This policy was prepared by the teaching staff of St Joseph’s Primary School in October 2014.Itoutlines how assessment and reporting are carried out in our school and is guided by the advice and information provided in the Primary Curriculum, the NCCA Website, the NCCA booklet Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum – Guidelines for Schools and Circular 0138/2006.
This plan was formulated to benefit teaching and learning inour school and to provide a coherent approach to assessment across the whole school.Itendeavours to identify at the earliest possible opportunity, children who may have learning difficulties and establish a response to their needs.
Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
Assessment activities used in this school will contribute to pupil learning and development by gathering relevant information to guide each pupil’s future learning and by providing information on each pupil’s accomplishments at a particular point in time.
Through the implementation of this plan we are endeavouring to:
- To benefit pupil learning
- To monitor learning processes
- To generate baseline data that can be used to monitor achievement over time
- To assist teachers’ long and short term planning
- To coordinate assessment procedures on a whole school basis
Content of the plan:
Purposes of assessment
This policy is geared towards using assessment to inform planning and identify the needs of all pupils, so that adequate strategies are put in place early enough to facilitate remediation. These strategies may include pupil self assessment, pupil profiling, two way communication between parents and teachers, modification of teacher programmes and individual education plans.
Content of the plan:
Purposes of Assessment
- To inform planning for and coverage of all areas of the curriculum
- To gather and interpret data at class/whole school level and in relation to national norms
- To identify the particular learning needs of pupils/groups of pupils
- To contribute to the school’s strategy for prevention of learning difficulties
- To monitor pupil progress and attainment
- To enable teachers to modify their programmes in order to ensure that the particular learning needs of individual pupils/groups are being addressed
- To compile records of individual pupils’ progress and attainment
- To facilitate communication between parents and teachers about pupils’ development, progress and learning needs
- To facilitate the involvement of pupils in assessment of their own work
- To enable teachers to monitor their own approaches and methodologies
Assessment for learning
Teachers use a variety of informal assessments including teacher observation, teacher and school designed tasks and tests, work samples and portfolios. These vary depending on the class level and also on the subject being assessed. Teachers have a bank of assessment tools which have been formulated individually by themselves and collectively with their class groups.
The Micra T and Sigma T tests or the Drumcondra reading and maths test are administered in First Class. The tests are usually administered in the last week of May or first week of June by the class teacher and Resource/Learning Support Team. Standard and percentile ranking scores are recorded on the class record template and stored by each individual teacher with a copy held in the principal’s office.
The screening tests used to identify learning strengths and weaknesses in the school are;
- Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST) administered in the 3rdterm
- British Ability Scale Word Reading Test administered throughout the year as required.
These tests are administered individually or on a class basis. Screening is used by the school to initiate the staged approach to intervention as per Circular 24/03and Circular 02/05.
Diagnostic tests are administered by the Learning Support and Resource Teachers following referral by the class teachers in consultation with parents/guardians. The administration of such tests is in keeping with the approach recommended by Circular 02/05 where a staged approach is used by the individual class teachers before recourse to diagnostic testing /psychological assessment. Parents are provided with test results and if a psychological assessment is warranted, parental permission is sought and a consent form is completed. The Principal will facilitate such an assessment happening.
The diagnostic tests used in the school include;
- Reading Recovery Tests
- Maths Recovery Tests
If stages 1 and 2 fail to deliver adequate intervention, the class teacher/Principal will contact the parents for permission to secure a psychological assessment for their child. An assessment will determine the subsequent level of intervention, be it ‘Learning Support Resource’ hours or an ‘Individual Education Plan’. The most common form of assessment used in our school is teacher observation, teacher designed tests, profiles and homework (informal assessment). These informal assessments are at the discretion of individual teachers. Records of teacher-designed tests are kept by the individual teachers and communicated to parents at the Parent-teacher meeting and the school report issued at the end of the school year. Each teacher has discretion as to the format, administration and frequency of in-class testing. The most common types of informal teacher designed testing in our school are math’s tests, spelling tests.
Recording the results.
Each pupil has a profile folder which is stored in the classrooms. This file records standardised test results and records if other assessments are available. The end of year reports for each pupil are also stored here. Psychological assessments and other reports from outside agencies are also stored in the LSR department. This file is passed from teacher to teacher as the child progresses through the system. Procedures are in place to manage sensitive data (see Data Protection Policy).
It is hoped that this plan will impact positively on assessment in our school.
The implementation of this plan will be evident through the adoption of a more co-ordinated and effective approach to assessment across the school. Teachers will be expected to base their assessment of pupils on the procedures described within this plan.
The efficacy of the plan will be will be evident from:
- Teacher evaluation.
- Feedback from pupils, parents and teachers and the school inspector.
Implementation and Review
Roles and responsibilities
The plan will be supported, developed and implemented by school staff, pupils, parents, the school’s Board of Management.The teacher responsible for co-ordinating Assessment will co-ordinate the progress of the plan, encourage and accept feedback on its implementation and report to staff on findings. Class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the assessment intheir own classes.
- Implementation Date: October 2014
Roles and responsibilities
The plan will be monitored and evaluated at regular staff meetings.It will be reviewed regularly to ensure optimum implementation of assessment in our school. The teacher responsible for co-ordinating assessment has responsibility for co-ordinating this review. Teachers, Parents, the Science Plan Co-ordinator and the Board of Management will be involved in the review.
- Review Date: June 2019
Ratification and Communication
This policy is made available as part of the whole school plan. The whole plan is also available in the school office for viewing. This policy will be communicated to the school community by the following means:
- Hard copy available in Principal’s Office.
- Board of Management/Other staff members via hard copy
- Parents via School Development Plan in Office