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Assessment and National Assessments

Assessment is at the heart of learning.  It is not separate but an integral part of the learning process.  Effective assessment is what informs next steps in learning.

Assessing the wide range of skills and attributes that children exhibit requires a wide range of assessment approaches.  So how do we do this?  How do we assess children’s learning?  How do we measure how well children are doing in order to plan for next steps?

The answer is in many ways.  We use many assessment approaches in order to build a picture of a child’s strengths and areas for development across a range of disciplines.  Our pie chart below is a crude overview and if you would like more information on any of the parts of the pie chart, please come and talk to us.

2 Quick Explanations

We would not expect you to be familiar with all the terminology here but do ask us if this is of interest.  You will notice the biggest section of the pie is professional judgement.  This is appropriate and important.

All of the other assessments are there to support this biggest section of a the pie.  It is our job to take absolutely everything we know about a child and his / her learning – all the parts of the assessment puzzle, and use this information to plan next steps for individuals.  Formal assessments give us good data but they do not follow through with the most important step – how we use assessment evidence to plan and impact positively on learners.

Secondly, the term “summative assessment” refers to a more formal piece of assessment.  We don’t like the word “test” as this suggests something you pass or fail.  But a summative assessment tool allows children to undertake an assessment which is moderated nationally, and which gives us specific feedback on where a child is performing well, or not so well.  Summative assessment results must be used carefully by schools.  It is our job to digest the data and use it to support our judgement alongside other assessment approaches.  Summative assessments tell us how a child performed at one particular time and is not always a fair representation of a child’s capabilities or potential.  Nevertheless it is useful data for us.

The Scottish National Standardised Assessments were introduced in Scotland in P1, P4 and P7 in school session 17-18.  These assessments are providing us with rich data in relation to how children are performing against key national benchmarks.  There are no pass or fail results and no percentages.  But we do get lots of information on a child’s strenghths and areas for development which we can feed into the planning for learning process. More information below.

Our Assessment Approaches Piechart

Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) Parental Leaflet

Education Scotland Parent Zone Assessment Page