The curriculum is the progression model – if children are keeping up with the curriculum then they are making good progress. Within the context of the WMAT curriculum we understand progress to mean knowing more and remembering more and being able to demonstrate that knowledge in different contexts. We ask: has the child gained the knowledge to understand the key concepts and ideas? Is this enabling them to develop the skills they need to master? We set regular low stakes quizzes as well as cumulative quizzes on previous topics. Assessment is carefully planned, and activities are underpinned by the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy. We know that if knowledge has been learned and retained in the long-term memory it can then be used to analyse, create and evaluate and so opportunities are planned to enable this.
Teachers from all our schools come together to ensure consistency in our assessment and expectation. This takes place through our subject Professional Learning groups where we develop and refine MAT planning that supports clear expectations and learning, alongside collating profiles of quality outcomes that can be used to illustrate the appropriate expectation.
Termly moderation meetings, held across the MAT, also ensure that assessment judgements are accurate. The process used across the MAT models that of external moderation, where staff are asked to provide several examples of work to justify the judgement they have made. Discussion of this work takes place to ensure agreement. Teacher assessment of writing is further supported through the use of ‘No More Marking’ assessments by all year groups within the MAT.
We have also implemented a common assessment tool that enables all our primary schools to show progress effectively and identify areas where intervention is needed. This data tracking is augmented by 3 yearly standardised reading and maths tests.
Collaboratively, we ensure that schools set challenging targets for pupil achievement in terms of both attainment and progress within year, across years, at the end of each year and across Key Stages. The targets, when realised, ensure that pupil achievement is above national average. Target setting in our academy involves the Headteacher, School Improvement Director and CEO, along with the school Academy Committee and reflects the context of individual schools working from pupils’ prior attainment. These targets are reviewed through the school year to ensure that good progress is being made.