Assessment is the means of obtaining information, which allows teachers, pupils and parents to determine what a pupil is actually achieving in relation to expectations of achievement and drawing conclusions from that comparison.
Each child’s progress is assessed by his/her class teacher throughout the year. Pupils are given the opportunity to discuss their progress and assess their performance. Teachers choose a variety of methods to capture what pupils say, write, make and do, but teachers use their professional judgement on a day to day basis as they observe pupils engaging in activities to assess progress.
The National Assessment Resource (NAR)
The National Assessment Resource is an online resource which is available to teachers and has been designed to support assessment approaches within the Curriculum for Excellence framework. It can be used by teachers to assist them in making decisions about a child’s progress and achievement.
Assessment is for Learning
Within class, teachers use a number of strategies within the Assessment is for Learning model to provide better feedback for pupils, which in turn leads to improved performance and achievement. Assessment is for Learning recognises that children learn best when:
¨ They understand what they are trying to learn and what is expected of them.
¨ They are given feedback about the quality of their work and what they can do to make it better.
¨ They are given advice about how to go about making improvements.
¨ They are fully involved in deciding what needs to be done next and who can give them help if they need it.
Teachers report on pupils’ progress and attainment across the whole curriculum, using their professional judgement and the evidence available to them from continuous formative assessments undertaken throughout the year in relation to nationally agreed and understood standards.
Cognitive Abilty Tests (CATs)
Cognitive Abilty Tests assess a pupil’s ability to reason with and manipulate different types of symbols. These symbols are in the form of words, quantities, and special, geometric or figural patterns.
It is the policy of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to offer CAT’s to pupils in P5, and S1. The three tests give an overall educational profile of the pupil and help teachers to set realistic targets for pupils. All parents are informed of their child’s CAT scores via Pupil Reports and the scores are explained to parents at parent-teacher appointments.
It is the practice of the Local Education Authority to undertake a variety of standardised assessments with pupils across a range of stages. Such assessments provide teaching staff with useful information which can better inform the delivery of learning and teaching activities for our pupils. Other assessments can be used to provide a baseline, in order to be able to assess progress over time and can also allow comparisons to be made with other standardised materials. The results of any standardised assessments carried out with pupils by teaching staff will be discussed with parents at Parent-Teacher appointments.