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Curriculum & Assessment

CURRICULUM and ASSESSMENT

Our aim is to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum. The school curriculum has a thematic approach covering the subjects of Design/Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art, P.E., I.C.T., MFL, R.E. PSHE and Citizenship. All children must study the Core Curriculum, which includes English, Mathematics and Science. Our school uses the National Curriculum introduced in Sept. 2014 as a basis for planning a broad and exciting curriculum. We deliver German in Key Stage 2.

The children in the Reception Class follow the Early Years Foundation Curriculum, which they have followed in a Nursery or PreSchool setting. The children are assessed against this curriculum at the end of the Reception year.

Children at ages 7 (Y2) and 11 (Y6) will be assessed using the Government’s standard assessment test, (SATS). These are a mixture of teacher assessment and statutory tests. The results of these tests are sent home with the child’s annual report. Regular assessment takes place in other year groups and this is used to help the school set targets.

The Y1 children currently undertake a statutory phonics assessment/screening during the summer term. In Key Stage 1 we use a wide range of material to support reading e.g. Oxford Reading Scheme, Dandelion Readers and Snap Dragon books. For phonics we use Read Write Inc, Yellow Door resources, LCF and Phonics Bug. Further information about the curriculum and school policies can be obtained by asking the school staff.

Wherever possible we use first hand experience as a starting point for our teaching. We strive to provide learning experiences that are appropriate for your child’s level of ability. We plan activities, which lead to new learning, so that we can build on prior learning. We aim to provide challenge through organising work in a variety of ways, encouraging children to use their initiative and become more responsible for organising their own learning. We aim to give equal opportunities to all children.

We are constantly striving to improve the delivery of the curriculum to ensure that all children have access to the curriculum and we involve children in the planning so that they have ownership. We try to teach subjects through mini topics or link subjects together in a thematic approach to make them relevant in order to motivate learning. Practical activities in all areas of the curriculum help to improve skills, understanding and the development of ideas. The topics are usually taught across a Key Stage and planned by staff to address progression in skills, knowledge and understanding. The topics are broad and flexible so that children have the opportunity to research areas they are particularly interested in. The 2016/17 autumn topic in both KS1 and KS2 is ‘Night at the Museum’.  This has a historical focus, looking at significant people and events from the past.  The Year 6 topic is ‘Travelling and Explorers’, linked to the seven wonders of the world.

We have a Residential Environmental Studies Programme in which we encourage all older children to participate. This year the Year 5 children are going to Castleton and the Year 6 children to Kingswood near Penistone. We aim to develop children’s independence and confidence.

A link to The National Curriculum requirements can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum 

Computers

Computers are widely used across the curriculum through our well developed ICT system. All children have the opportunity to develop ICT skills and use appropriate software to enhance their learning. We have a network of computers that have access to the Barnsley Intranet. This gives the children an opportunity to use the internet through a protected system. We use wireless linked lap tops enabling all children to use them in a cross curricular way and the interactive whiteboards are used as a teaching aid for further developing ICT skills. In addition, we have class of i Pads. We are continually developing our ICT systems in order to keep pace with changes in technology to ensure children are equipped with the skills necessary for the 21st century.

Sport

All children take part in sport as part of their P.E. lessons. We offer children after school activities in sports. At the moment karate, dance, rugby and football are offered.

The schools’ sporting aims are:-

1. To provide physical activity and healthy lifestyle

2. To develop positive attitudes and observe the conventions of honesty and fair play

3. To ensure safe practice

Initially we teach basic game skills then build up to small group situations in Football, Netball, Cricket, Rounders, Hockey and Tennis. This leads to full team sports abiding by primary school rules. There is a well-equipped gymnasium and large playing field and an enclosed multi purpose sports area on the schoolyard. We have the Active Mark which recognises our commitment to sport and we regularly participate in inter school competitions. We have received almost £9,000 in Sports Premium. This has been spent on additional equipment, coaches and sporting events.

Arts

We have a strong commitment to the Arts. All children are given the opportunity to develop their artistic skills and we take pride in displaying a high standard of work in school. We positively encourage all children to participate in our school performances. We try to stimulate their creative development through first hand experiences such as observation of the local environment, visiting performers and visits to local art galleries and theatres. As part of developing the Arts we have achieved the Gold Arts Mark which recognises all the extra opportunities we give children to develop their artistic skills. We are undertaking the Arts award through the Barnsley Museum Service. This is overseen by Trinity College London. We have a strong emphasis on drama as a means of developing skills in Speaking and Listening.

Sex Education

The Sex Education Policy is incorporated into our school Health Policy. The Y5 and Y6 children are taught Sex Education through a school’s T.V. programme and parents will be notified in advance if they wish to withdraw their child from the lesson.

 

Religious Education

We offer Religious Education as an integral part of the curriculum, following LA guidelines. Children will learn about Christianity and use this as a basis to compare with all the major faiths of the world. Parents do have the right to withdraw their child from RE lessons, but this must be put in writing to the Headteacher.

Assessment

As part of the Government reforms to the curriculum, the current system of levels used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed for all year groups apart from the 2015 cohort of Y6 and Y2. The school uses a wide range of assessment systems to see if children are working at their age expected level, above their age expectations or below it. We follow the Assessment Principles.

Assessment Principles

1.  Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning.

a.  Assessment provides evidence to guide teaching and learning.

b.  Assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their progress.

2.  Assessment is fair.

a.  Assessment is inclusive of all abilities.

b.  Assessment is free from bias towards factors that are not  relevant to what the assessment intends to address.

3.  Assessment is honest.

a.  Assessment outcomes are used in ways that minimise undesirable effects.

b.  Assessment outcomes are conveyed in an open, honest and transparent way to assist pupils with their  learning.

c.  Assessment judgements are moderated by experienced professionals to ensure  their accuracy.

4.  Assessment is ambitious.

a.  Assessment places  achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and expected standards.

b.  Assessment embodies, through objective criteria, a pathway of progress and development for every  child.

c.  Assessment objectives set high  expectations for learners.

5.  Assessment is appropriate.

a.  The purpose of any assessment process should be clearly stated.

b.  Conclusions regarding pupil achievement are valid  when  the assessment method is appropriate (to age, to the task and to the desired feedback information).

c.  Assessment should draw on a wide  range  of evidence to provide a complete picture of student achievement.

d.  Assessment should demand no more procedures or records than are practically required to allow  pupils,  their  parents and teachers to plan future learning.

5.  Assessment is consistent.

a.  Judgements are formed according to common principles.

b.  The results  are readily understandable by third parties.

c.  A school’s results  are capable of comparison with other schools,  both locally and nationally.

6.  Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for:

a.  pupils in developing their  learning;

b.  parents in supporting children with their learning;

c.  teachers in planning teaching and learning.

Assessment must provide information that justifies the time spent;

d.  school leaders  and governors in planning and allocating resources; and

e.  government and agents  of government.

7. Assessment feedback should inspire greater effort and a belief that, through hard work and practice, more  can be achieved.

Our method of assessment

  • Assessment serves many purposes, but the main purpose of assessment in our school is to help teachers, parents and pupils plan their next steps in learning
  • We also use the outcomes of assessment to check and support our teaching standards and help us improve
  • Through working with other schools and using external tests and assessments, we will compare our performance with that of other schools.
  • We assess pupils against assessment criteria, which are short, discrete, qualitative and concrete descriptions of what a pupil is expected to know and be able to do
  • Assessment criteria are derived from the school curriculum, which is composed of the National Curriculum and our own local design.
  • Assessment criteria for periodic assessment are arranged into a hierarchy, setting out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year
  • The achievement of each pupil is assessed against all the relevant criteria at appropriate times of the school year
  • Each pupil is assessed as either ‘developing’, ‘meeting the expected level for their age’ or ‘exceeding the expected level for their age’
  • Where a pupil is assessed as exceeding the relevant criteria in a subject for that year they will also be assessed against the criteria in that subject for the next year. For those pupils meeting and exceeding the expected standards, we provide more challenging work
  • Assessment judgements are recorded and backed by a body of evidence created using observations, records of work and testing
  • Assessment judgements are moderated by colleagues in school and by colleagues in other schools to make sure our assessments are fair, reliable and valid

Our use of assessment

  • Teachers use the outcomes of our assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their pupils.
  • Teachers use this data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations. Teachers and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk in this school are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched
  • The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils on a termly basis through a structured conversation or in their end of year report. Parents and pupils receive rich, qualitative profiles of what has been achieved and indications of what they need to do next
  • We celebrate all achievements across a broad and balanced curriculum, including sport, art and performance, behaviour, and social and emotional development

Standards

 May 2016

We are required by the government to publish end of Key Stage assessments for the children in Year 6 in Reading, Writing and Maths. In 2016 the Y6 children were the 1st cohort to be assessed on the new curriculum and more challenging assessments. After the children had taken the tests in Reading, Maths and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling a mark was decided as a national benchmark and all children that achieved that mark were deemed to have met the expected standard. The writing was teacher assessed, but the criteria for the expected standard, was set at a higher level than previous years. Below is a table with the information and % in brackets is the national % level.

 

  KS2

  2016

Cohort

Numbers

 

 

 

 

Actual

Expected

Achieving a High Standard

Progress measure

Average scaled score

Reading

29

55%

(66%)

17%

(19%)

-3.0

100.8

(102.6)

Writing

29

72%

(74%)

14%

(15%)

-2.4

 

Mathematics

29

79%

(70%)

14%

(17%)

-1.5

102.5

(103)

Combined R W and Maths

29

52%

(53%)

        3%

       (5%)

   
SPAG

29

72%

(72%)

      17%    

Our Reading results were lower than those nationally and were disappointing, but some

children struggled with the content of the paper and did not complete all the questions.

Our Writing results, although lower than the previous year, were almost at the national level.

We were pleased with our Maths results as we were above the national expected level and our

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling results demonstrate an upward trend and equalled the

national expected level.

The low expected reading level impacted on our combined Reading, Writing and maths level

and puts us just 1% below that nationally.

 

Further information can be obtained from the Department for Education website www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance.

 

 

Y2 KS1 2016 May. Expected Greater depth
Reading 72.4%

(74%)

24.1%

(23.6%)

Writing 48.3%

(65.5%)

6.9%

(13.3%)

Maths 69%

(72.6%)

17.2%

(17.8%)

R W and M 44.8%

(60.3%)

6.9%

(8.9%)

 This cohort left the Foundation Stage with a Good Level of Development 7% below that nationally, so children have made good progress in Reading and Maths to be just below the National expected level. In KS1 we applied the new writing criteria in accordance with the strict guidelines from moderation exercises and our writing results were much lower than those nationally. The writing results impacted on the combined score.

Standards continued

  1. Foundation Stage – In the summer of 2016 our Good Level of Development was 72.4% compared to a National GLD of 66.3%. Based on the on-entry data, only about 40% of the children started school in line with national expectations. This shows that the children in Reception have made rapid progress. We have a 3 year upward trend in our GLD.
  2. Phonics – The Y1 phonics in the summer of 2016 shows a 3 year upward trend and we achieved 79.3%. (nationally it was 80.7%).  In the Y2 resits of the phonics all but 2 children achieved the mark required so in total 90% of the Y2 cohort had achieved the level required.