Assessment Policy of Moynalvey National School 

Introduction

 

This policy was formulated by the teaching staff in Autumn 2014 so as to have a transparent and uniform approach to assessment throughout the school.  The P.D.S.T guidelines were used to assist in the drafting of this policy.

 

Rationale;

 

In order to ensure that all children in our school achieve to the best of their ability we believe it is imperative that any learning difficulties are identified at the earliest opportunity and that the school must put in place an appropriate response to their needs.  An effective assessment policy ensures quality in education is central to this process of teaching and learning.  Through assessment the teacher constructs a comprehensive picture of the short term and long term needs of the child and plans accordingly.  Assessment assists communication to all parties involved in the child’s education i.e., teacher and child, teacher and parent and teacher to teacher. It helps the child become more self aware as a learner and develops powers of self assessment.  It is integral to all areas of the curriculum and to the child’s growth and self esteem and acquisition of a wide range of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.

 

Relationship To The Characteristic Spirit of The School

 

The school adopts a holistic approach to the education and development of each child and to the enhancement of teaching processes.  An effective policy of assessment will identify the early interventions required to be put in place to ensure that enhancement, increased confidence and raised self-esteem is achieved.

 

Aims

 

  • To benefit pupil learning
  • To monitor learning processes
  • To assist teachers long and short term planning
  • To co-ordinate assessment procedures on a whole school basis and to establish a firm link between assessment and decision making with regard to future strategies, content and methodologies in the classroom
  • To describe strategies for assessment of pupils over as many areas of development as possible
  • To emphasise the importance of early identification of pupils with specific numeracy and literacy problems through establishing relevant baseline data which in turn can be used to monitor achievement over time.
  • To ensure availability of finance to purchase texts and resources
  • To outline specific strategies for monitoring the progress of all pupils with particular learning needs.

 

Policy Content

 

Purpose 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 including the exceptionally able if applicable
  • To monitor pupils 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 addresses
  • To compile records of individual pupils’ progress and attainment
  • To facilitate the involvement of pupils in assessment of their own work where feasible
  • (SALF folders)
  • To enable teachers to monitor their own approaches and methodologies

 

 

Assessment of Learning

 

  • The following are among some of the methods of informal assessment that are used in the school

 

Teacher observation

 

Teacher designed tasks and tests

 

Work samples, portfolios and projects

 

Checklists

 

  • The above assessment methods are used across the whole school, at the discretion of individual teachers, depending on the requirements of individual pupils, class level or subject and parents are given feedback on a regular basis.

 

  • Depending of the subject and the class level and the needs of individual pupils, teacher may assemble portfolios of pupil assignments, work samples, projects etc.

 

  • The school’s plan for each curriculum subject addresses the issue of assessment

 

  • Examples of teacher designed tasks/tests

 

Weekly spelling test, Weekly table test

 

Weekly SESE review (senior classes)

 

Termly assessment in maths

 

Assessments in Irish, English, maths designed by teachers

 

  • Pupils are encouraged to become involved in the assessment of their own work/progress. Examples include the use of

 

KWL

 

Self-editing/drafting/redrafting

 

Comments good/needs improvement

 

Self evaluation – SALF Folders

 

This data will be stored in assessment folders/children’s copies

 

 

Standardised Testing

 

Standardised Testing

 

The school has alternated in recent years between Micra T, Sigma T, Quest, Mist and YARC.  All classes, from Junior and Senior Infant class upwards are tested.  The tests are usually administered in May by the class teachers. Standard and percentile ranking scores are recorded on the class record template and stored by each individual teacher with a copy held in the administration office.  The SET analyse the results in June for allocation of resources to pupils in September.  Drumcondra Profiles (oral language) will be used to develop oral language in the school SIP plan.

 

Results of standardised test are reported to parents using the end of year report card and at parent teacher meetings.  The STEN score is used to explain results to parents.

 

Screening  –  Continuum of Support

 

First step in identifying pupils who may need Learning Support in Literacy or Numeracy is for the class teacher to administer screening tests.

 

The particular screening measures that are administered will depend on the age and stage of development of the pupils

 

In Infants Early Intervention Testing which includes the Drumcondra Profiles may be used in the last term of Senior Infants the M.I.S.T test is administered by class teacher or LS teacher.

 

From the end of First Class onwards Standardised Norm Referenced Tests are used, specifically the Micra T, Sigma T, Maths Tests

 

Junior and Senior Infants use Quest.

 

The Principal, in conjunction with all staff, analyses the results of these tests.  The Learning Support teacher will then include the children in the LS timetable.  The results of end of year testing are included in end of year reports.

 

On acceptance of LS parents sign a consent form

 

Diagnostic Testing

 

Diagnostic Tests have an important role to play in identifying children with learning difficulties.  The administration of such tests from Senior Infants is in keeping with the approach recommended by Circular 02/05 where a staged approach is used by individual class teachers before recourse to diagnostic testing (Continuum of Support).

 

Special Education Needs

 

Outside Therapists

 

S&LT Assessments

 

OT Assessments

 

Physiotherapy Assessments

 

Play Therapy Assessments

 

We use guidelines from these assessments to set targets for progression of skills in an individual basis.

 

Psychological Assessments

 

Each September a cohort of children will be identified for assessment/observation that academic year.  The class teacher and/or Principal meet parents and a consent form is signed by the parents if the child is targeted for psychological assessment.

 

The Principal will organise the assessment.

 

Children who present with possible SLT/OT needs will be identified by teachers to the Principal.  The Principal and/or the class teacher will advise parents re; getting a medical referral from their GP.

 

The results of assessments will guide the drafting of an IEP for the pupil of appropriate.  It determines the level of intervention either LS, General Allocation or an IEP.

 

The Principal will ensure that details of relevant reports are transferred with all 6th class pupils on their transfer to Second Level Education.

 

Recording Results of Assessment

 

Each pupil has a file in a cabinet in the strong room.  Tests booklets, end of year reports, copies of assessments etc., are kept here.

 

In line with the National Strategy to improve Literacy and Numeracy standardised test results will be given to the relevant second level school on transfer from Primary to Second Level.

 

End of year assessment results will determine who will receive LS for the following year.

 

The standardised test results will be given to the BOM + PA to review overall school standards in Literacy/Numeracy.  (No individual results will be identifiable)

 

Assessment of Learning And Assessment For Learning

 

As a school we are developing good practice in assessing learning. Results are used to select children for

 

Selecting necessary interventions if required

To measure the progress of the children’s learning

To evaluate for planning targets of class teachers and SEN teachers

As a guide for professional development

To guide the school to select target areas of various subjects for further school development planning

To report to parents

To highlight good practice and school strengths

To keep a clear focus on good teaching and learning

To inform the BOM an DES of levels attained in Numeracy and Literacy

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment of Learning

 

Following professional reflection we realise that our major emphasis to date has been on Assessment of Learning and that it is important that children reflect on and be aware of their own learning.  (Assessment for Learning).  We plan to ultimately teach children how to self-assess by

 

Setting clear learning targets/outcomes

 

Followed by then setting criteria to make judgements before the child commences their work

 

On completion by assessing their work according to the agreed criteria already set.

 

During 2012/13 we will commence formally developing various assessment strategies as outlined in Assessment in the Primary School Appendix A, pages 84 – 94 and section 2, Classroom Assessment Methods pg 12 – 27.

 

Success Criteria;

 

This policy is considered successful if;

 

Early identification and intervention is achieved

Clarity is achieved regarding procedures involved in a stage approach

Procedures are clear, with roles and responsibilities defined

The Special Education team have clearly defined roles and objectives

There is efficient transfer of information between teachers

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

Mainstream Special Education Teachers and the Principal assume shared responsibility.  It is the responsibility of the class teacher to set in train staged interventions at class level.  At Stage 2, the responsibilities are shared with the Special Education Team.  The Principal assumes a primary role at Stage3 when a Psychological Assessment may be required.  Parents have a role at all stages and the lines of communication must be always kept open.

 

Implementation

 

September 2015

 

Ratification and Communication;

 

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management in                            and communicated to parents thereafter.

 

Review Timetable;

 

This policy will be reviewed in 2 years time and amended as necessary by means of a whole school collaborative process.

 

References;

 

DES Circular 02/05 – 24/03

 

DES Learning Support Guidelines 2000

 

www.sess.ie

 

Working Together to make a Difference for Children  – NEPS

 

Appendix A;  Assessment in the Primary School

 

Appendix B.  Circular 02/05

 

School Calendar 2015 – 2016

 

Booklists 2015/2016

 

Junior Infants

Senior Infants

First Class

Second Class

Third Class

Fourth Class

Fifth Class

Sixth Class

 

Contact Details

 

Moynalvey National School

Moynalvey

Summerhill

Co. Meath

 

Tel/Fax No. 046 9557416

 

E-mail.  moynalveyns@hotmail.com