Curriculum for Excellence has the potential to enable all learners to be better equipped for the changing world through gaining a wide, up-to-date and relevant body of knowledge, understanding, skills, attributes and capabilities. This means that assessment needs to make use of a broad range of approaches, which match the nature of the learning and the way it was encountered.
In Holy Cross there is a carefully planned blend of approaches to the kinds of evidence used for assessment as we think about:
- What can the children say?
- What can the children write?
- What can the children make?
- What can the children do?
to demonstrate or show:
- What they know
- What they understand
- The skills they have acquired
- The change that has taken place inside them
- The ability they now have.
All staff have been trained in the use of ‘Formative Assessment’ strategies and children are regularly involved in discussions about their work and their attainment. Staff write constructive comments in jotters and children are encouraged to reply to these. Children use a variety of strategies to show the teacher that they need assistance with a piece of work and confidence is evident in the use of these.
A variety of methods of formal and informal assessment are used, including P1 baseline, commercially produces standardized assessments, end of unit Mathematics assessments, the National Assessment Resource (NAR), weekly spelling checks, teacher observations, discussions about learning, feedback, peer and self-assessments. All assessment results are used to form a profile of each child’s needs. These are discussed regularly with the Senior Management Team on an ongoing basis and at formal timetabled forward planning meetings.
Parents’ Meetings are arranged twice each school year, usually in the months of October and March, to give parents an opportunity to discuss their children’s progress. Other, less formal meetings are also arranged where the children’s work is displayed and teachers are given the chance to explain and demonstrate various strategies and approaches to learning and teaching.
Progress Reports are distributed to parents twice each school year. An ‘Interim Report’ is issued in the month of December, and a ‘final’ report is issued in the month of June. Parents and pupils are given the opportunity to comment on the written reports and to provide feedback to the teachers.