Life without Levels

Many thanks to Andrea Willis for sharing her findings whilst researching current practice and approaches to this issue on behalf of her school - Click here

Another really interesting read is Helen Hindle's blog on this issue - Click here

An exemplar Assessment Policy - Click here


Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) and Assessment for Learning (AfL)

2012 Ofsted Report - Mathematics Made to Measure
This is an extract of the complete document from Ofsted with a particular focus on the effective use of Assessment - Excellent balanced report

Quick and meaningful Self Assessment

Red - Amber - Green or Thumbs Up ... systems are commonly used in many classrooms although their effectiveness is largely dependent upon the pupils and the ethos in the classroom.  Another approach might be to use this self reflection tool which gives an agreed description for each level of understanding - Click here

A Possible Approach to Homework

The key thing to this project that I want to build on is the feedback I give to the class and the constant loop of 'where have you got to' and 'what do you need to do next'. I see the class every Tuesday (the only day we have a lesson in both weeks of the timetable) and so I have set aside parts of these lessons to go over the students projects, check their progress and suggest ways forward. I will do this using both my input to the whole class, having taken examples from the class, and via peer assessment with the students getting the opportunity to look over each others projects. This, I can see, will be very important in the first feedback session after they have decided on a hypothesis and therefore project idea. Taking suggestions from the students and asking them what they plan to do etc should open up some good discussion points for the rest of the class to take on board and reflect on their own ideas.     Blog      PowerPoint

Summary of alternative forms of Assessment within Mathematics
Traditionally, assessment has been derived from the curriculum; however, assessment has not been part of a feedback loop linked to instruction. It is now widely believed that assessment must be an integral part of teaching, so that it is used as a tool not merely to collect data, but also to influence instruction.
Click here to download the full document

Exemplars and Guidance

This table was the result of analysing GCSE results in 2006 and looking back at the KS3 levels achieved in Year 9.  This provides an indicator of progression from KS3 to KS4 but is a summary from all schools and not aspirational or even desireable.  For example Suffolk LA were expecting more than 90% of level 6's and 40% of level 5's to get a grade C or above.

Comparison of 2004 KS3 to 2006 GCSE Grades

Good Assessment practice in Mathematics (OFSTED)
Effective assessment practice in mathematics is associated with systematic arrangements for actively promoting, monitoring and recording pupilsí progress. In such circumstances, assessment is used as a teaching tool as well as a means of judging attainment. At best teachers review pupilsí progress closely as part of daily classroom practice, involving pupils in the assessment of their strengths and weaknesses and provide feedback on how to improve. 
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Using Assessment to raise achievement in Mathematics at KS1-3 (OFSTED)
Evidence suggests that using good strategies for formative assessment could lead to significant improvements in the performance of pupils. This guidance aims to provide information about using the following techniques: a)  involving pupils in assessing their own performance
b) setting learning goals for pupils and sharing these with them
c) using effective questioning techniques to assess and further pupilsí learning
d) using marking and feedback strategies to inform pupils about their progress

This guidance considers each of these aspects and illustrates how some schools have used them.
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Assessment and Target Setting
Assessment, recording and reporting are important elements of teaching but they have to be manageable if the information they yield is to be useful. The best assessment has an immediate impact on teaching, because it alerts you to the needs of pupils who are either out of step or exceeding expectations.
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Assessing though Posters
Preparing a poster and presenting and defending it at a poster session encourages a pupil to speak, write and visualise mathematics. We are suggesting that poster creation is a good, alternative, way of encouraging mathematical learning.

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The purpose of a Maths Journal is for the pupil to keep a record of the things they have learnt in Maths lessons over a set period of time.  This can be ...
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Click here for some thoughts on journals shared by Peter Taylor (Ormiston Academies Trust). In order to help me identify what my students did not understand and also to develop their writing skills ...