Assessment at Western Downland

Our assessment principles

Assessment at Western Downland enables us to:

secure high aspirations for our children

help children to understand and demonstrate what they know

help children understand what they need to do next to improve their work

plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each child

provide regular and reliable information to parents about how well their child is doing

provide parents, the school leadership team and governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school

provide reliable pupil attainment and progress information for external bodies.

Assessment for learning (formative assessment) is an integral part of learning in every lesson, including how teachers give feedback in marking. Teachers find out, through rich questions, analysis of work, discussions and purposeful tasks, what children know, can do and understand well and where they have misconceptions or gaps in their learning. Teachers then plan the fine next steps to ensure that children are in their learning.

Testing and summative assessments are used to support teachers' daily observations in assessing how well children are achieving and to ensure that they are on track to achieve (as a minimum) in line with national expectations. These include:

• EYFS – A baseline assessment is carried out in Autumn Term 1 (we use the Early Excellence baseline assessment) and we report to parents at the end of the year on children’s achievements against the Early Years Foundation Stage.

• Year 1- The national Phonics Check is carried out in June to assess whether children know and can apply their phonics skills to help decode known and unknown words.

• Year 2 & 6- National end of key stage tests in mathematics, reading and spelling, punctuation and grammar. Additionally, teachers make assessments in writing and science.

Standardised tests such as The Vernon Spelling test and the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) are used annually from year 1 to 6 as an internal check to monitor progress in key skills. Periodically, teachers may also use internal tests to help find out further information about children’s achievements.


Since the removal of National Curriculum Levels, the school has been developing its own systems to measure the progress children make. Each year group curriculum has key knowledge, skills and ideas that children need to master. (See the Phased Assessment Documents for reading, writing and mathematics for more detail.) Teachers track the progress of children against these criteria and make summative judgements about how securely the children have mastered and can apply these. Progress is also tracked from one year to the next to ensure that children who are not secure are supported to close any learning gaps, identifying and overcoming any barriers to learning. Pupil premium funding is used to support this.

Keeping parents informed

We are firmly committed to ensuring parents are kept well-informed about how well their child is achieving and involving parents in setting targets and encouraging ways parents can support their child’s learning both within and out of school.

This includes:

  • Termly Parent Consultations which gives parents an opportunity to view children’s work, discuss progress with the teacher, share targets and be provided with ways in which they can support their child’s learning.
  • An annual written report, including summative assessments on how well children are achieving in relation to national expectations.
  • Parent information workshops to help parents understand how the curriculum is taught and ways in which they can support, such as workshops for teaching phonics and maths calculations. <Click here for the presentation from the New Assessment information evening>
  • End of topic celebrations of children’s work where parents and family are invited to share outcomes with their child.
  • Increasingly we are making use of on- line systems such as “Tapestry” in Early Years, to give parents a daily insight into their child’s learning.