At Benedict Academy, we understand that learning is a change in long term memory. Our understanding of assessment is based on cognitive science and how children learn. Therefore, we believe that ongoing formative assessment and responsive teaching results in learning over time. 

Formative Assessment

The purpose of formative assessment is to monitor student learning and provide ongoing feedback between staff and students.

At Benedict, we have ongoing professional development for all teaching staff to maximise opportunities for formative assessment. This includes:

  • Lesson design: We plan lessons in accordance to Barak Rosenshine's principles of effective instruction. This multi-part lesson design involves breaking learning into small, sequential steps with multiple opportunities for applying new knowledge in a deliberate way.
  • Frequent opportunities for Assessment for Learning: As well as through oral rehearsal and the targeted questioning of students, we explicitly build in opportunities within and at the end of lessons to collect data about what the child knows. We call these 'Hinge Point' activities and 'Exit Tickets'.
  • Careful questioning: Teachers plan lesson activities that ramp up in challenge using progressive questioning, or ones that use multiple choice questions to inform next steps.
  • Low-stakes quizzing: Across all of our curriculum areas, we employ low-stakes quizzing. This may be based on the retrieval of prior knowledge, like in our question quadrants at the start of a lesson, or at the end of a unit based on knowledge that has been taught.

Crucial to formative assessment is that teaching staff make inferences about what a child has learnt, and then plans what to do next to fill any gaps in their schema. This may take place through whole class feedback or live marking.

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is used to evaluate a pupil's long-term knowledge retention.

There are nationally standardised summative assessment points throughout primary school. These currently include:

  • Reception Baseline Assessment and EYFS Profile Reporting;
  • Phonics Screening Check (Year 1);
  • National Curriculum Multiplication Tables Check (Year 4);
  • National Curriculum tests at the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6);
  • National Curriculum teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 2..

Nationally standardised summative assessment helps teachers understand national expectations and assess their own performance in the broader national context.

We also have more frequent summative assessment points planned into our curriculum, that includes:

  • Reading diagnostic tests;
  • End of unit quizzes;
  • Weekly spelling and arithmetic tests;
  • Termly teacher judgements;
  • Termly Pupil Progress reviews for all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, disadvantaged pupils and the most able.

In-school summative assessment enables teachers to evaluate both pupil learning at the end of an instructional unit or period (based on pupil-level outcomes) and the impact of their own teaching (based on class-level outcomes). Both these purposes help teachers to plan for subsequent teaching and learning to ensure that the needs of all groups of pupils are met within the subject.