St Martin's School

An independent, co-educational preparatory school.

How We Assess

At St Martin’s School, we use both formative and summative assessment systems to ensure that the children are progressing at an accelerated rate. This also gives us the opportunity to close gaps in the children’s learning. Assessment forms the basis of how we inform parents of progress.

Formative Assessment is undertaken by the teacher in every lesson.  It is the basis of teaching and learning and of marking. It allows the teacher to give immediate feedback to pupils. It allows teachers to understand pupil performance on a continuing basis; it is used to assess knowledge, skills and understanding, and to identify gaps and misconceptions. It enables teachers to identify when pupils are struggling, when they have consolidated learning and when they are ready to progress or even if they are working at greater depth.  The methods of formative assessment we use include: the use of appropriate questioning, marking of pupils’ work using our marking policy and observational assessment. In addition, we use a system of AAO (Assessment Against Objectives) sheets to ensure that feedback is structured and tracked. It ensures that gaps in the children’s knowledge are targeted. We use this system to ensure that we deliver the accelerated learning we offer to pupils and parents. Formative assessment helps pupils to measure their knowledge and understanding against the lesson objective and success criteria. They can then identify how they can improve.

Summative Assessment Tests are undertaken across the school. Forms 1 to 6 (published by GL) are used throughout the school year. Maths and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) are formally assessed twice a year during a Test Week: once in September to ascertain a student’s starting point and once again in May to measure the progress made throughout the year. Reading and Spelling are formally assessed termly during this Test Week. Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning are formally assessed once a year. They are completed digitally, and each pupil is given an age-related score.

In addition, we use ongoing Assessments throughout our Early Years setting; practitioners use the Development Matters and Early Learning Goals (ELGs) as a part of their daily observation, assessment and planning. This data gives a good indication of whether pupils are working towards, meeting or exceeding year group expectations for this time of the year.

Assessment information is used to plan teaching and learning strategies for individual pupils, including the identification of those children that are working below their age-related expectation, need further support in their learning to make progress, or those that need further challenges and scholarship. The outcome of this is that children are consistently making very good progress and are achieving highly.