Approaching your assessment materials

    Published: 03 October 2014

    Nearly 1000 delegates from primary schools across Hertfordshire attended HfL’s launch sessions last month to learn about its new approach to assessment. Advisers from the HfL assessment, computing, English, maths and science teams talked through their materials and SITSS provided a technical demonstration.

    Ben Fuller, Joint Lead Adviser for Assessment, outlined the scale that HfL advisers have devised for schools to use in the absence of levels. The scale tracks progress in phases and steps. It is not meant to replace levels, but gives teachers a way to manage formative assessment and give feedback on pupil progress.

    Shelagh Mackenzie, Primary Computing Curriculum Adviser, has reworked V3.1 of the HfL Scheme for Computing which now embeds the new assessment criteria – schools who subscribe to the computing scheme will have access to these updates, and subscriptions for schools adopting the scheme any time after 1st  January 2014 have been extended to the end of the academic year.

    Representatives from the English Teaching and Learning team outlined how they have approached assessment in reading, speaking and listening, and writing as well as the characteristics of texts to be used as the context for reading assessment. They also detailed expectations around the use of spoken language and grammatical terminology to support judgements.

    Representatives from the maths Teaching and Learning team spoke about their materials and use of the DfE’s statements. The team have added a fluency focus to exemplify approaches to mathematical fluency across each year group and developed the strand of working mathematically – an assessment expectation that is vague in the programme of study. The documents use information currently available about 2016 tests, so are future proofed with regards to assessment.

    Joanna Conn, Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for Science, outlined the maps she has created to provide an overview for each year group. The science materials suggest ways to embed ‘thinking scientifically’ within lessons, using skills to track pupil progress. Joanna has added breadth to the skills mentioned in the DfE’s statements to help schools with progression.

    Sally Cort, MIS Primary Manager, explained changes to the new AM7 system. She talked through entering data with new phases and steps, adding targets and the major improvements to the analysis reports. These include the ability to preview reports in a report dashboard before running them, and the ability to run a number of reports for all year groups and registration groups simultaneously, rather than having to run each report separately from SIMS for one year or registration group at a time.