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Holy Cross Catholic

Primary School

Building relationships with God and each other,
working hard in faith and hope to give our best in all things.

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Building relationships with God and each other,
working hard in faith and hope to give our best in all things.


Assessment at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Underpinning principles for assessment


1. Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning.

  • Assessment provides evidence to guide teaching and learning.
  • Assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their  



2. Assessment is fair

  • Assessment is inclusive of all abilities.
  • Assessment is free from bias towards factors that are not relevant to what the assessment   
  • intends to address.


3. Assessment is honest

  • Assessment outcomes are used in ways that minimise undesirable effects.
  • Assessment outcomes are conveyed in an open, honest and transparent way to assist

            pupils with their learning.

  • Assessment judgements are moderated by experienced professionals to ensure their



4. Assessment is ambitious.

  • Assessment places achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and expected standards.
  • Assessment embodies, through objective criteria, a pathway of progress and development for every child.
  • Assessment objectives set high expectations for learners.


5. Assessment is appropriate.

  • The purpose of any assessment process should be clearly stated.
  • Conclusions regarding pupil achievement are valid when the assessment method is

     appropriate (to age, to the task and to the desired feedback information).

  • Assessment should draw on a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture of

     student achievement.

  • Assessment should demand no more procedures or records than are practically required

     to allow pupils, their parents and teachers to plan future learning.



6. Assessment is consistent.

  • Judgements are formed according to common principles.
  • The results are readily understandable by third parties.
  • A school’s results are capable of comparison with other schools, both locally and



7. Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for:

  • pupils in developing their learning;
  • parents in supporting children with their learning;
  • teachers in planning teaching and learning.
  • school leaders and governors in planning and allocating resources; and
  • government and agents of government.


8. Assessment feedback should inspire greater effort and a belief that, through hard work and  

    practice, more can be achieved.


Our approach to assessment

Assessment is integral to high quality teaching and learning. It helps us to ensure that our teaching is appropriate and that learners are making expected progress.


All staff are regularly trained in our approach to assessment.


Our method of assessment

Assessment serves many purposes, but the main purpose of assessment in our school is to help teachers, parents and pupils plan their next steps in learning.


We also use the outcomes of assessment to check and support our teaching standards and help us improve.


Through working with other schools and using external tests and assessments, we will compare our performance with that of other schools. Teachers in Years 2 & 6 will attend all informal and formal moderation meetings led by the LA, Brentwood Diocese and the Christus Trust during the year. Teachers in Reception are also required to attend informal and formal moderation with the LA.


We assess pupils against assessment criteria, which are short, discrete, qualitative and concrete descriptions of what a pupil is expected to know and be able to do.


Assessment criteria are derived from the school curriculum, which is composed of the National Curriculum organised into a thematic approach across a 2-year rolling programme.


Assessment criteria for periodic assessment are arranged into a hierarchy, setting out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year.


The achievement of each pupil is assessed against all the relevant criteria at appropriate times of the school year.

Target Setting and Assessing Progress

Each year targets are set for each year group in the Autumn term.  These targets are based on a combination of –

  • FFT assessment data
  • Previous end of key stage assessment data
  • Previous year assessment and progress data


The Headteacher or a member of SLT will work with the class teacher to set challenging targets for the whole cohort for Secure and Secure + and for identified underperforming groups.  These targets are then shared with Governors and the Christus Trust.


Assessment Cycle

Each half term teachers must submit teacher assessments on to Target Tracker (in line with school deadlines).  Teachers make their assessment judgements using –

Informal assessment tasks

Use of assessment statements and KPI’s

Moderation of pupil’s work

Formal testing using NFER or End of Key Stage SAT’s tests in years 3, 4 and 5 each term

Reading ages assessments twice a year




Autumn 1

EYFS – Set targets for GLD for all areas and combined

Reception – complete Baseline assessment

YEARS 1- 6 Set targets for ALL subjects and combined for Reading, writing and maths for all pupils and underperforming groups

Year 2 – Phonics assessment

Baseline assessment on previous year expectations in years 2-6

YEARS 1 – 6 Submit teacher assessments on target tracker in –

Reading, GPS, writing, maths, RE, science and reading age assessments

PPM Paperwork Preparation (see appendix A)

Autumn 2

YEARS 1 – 6 Submit teacher assessments in –

Reading, GPS, writing, maths, RE, science, art, design and technology, PE, history, geography, music

EYFS – submit teacher assessments in prime and specific areas

NFER testing / end of key stage National Curriculum tests to inform teacher assessments

PPM Paperwork Preparation

Spring 1

YEARS 1 – 6 Submit teacher assessments on target tracker in –

Reading, GPS, writing, maths, RE, science, art, design and technology, PE, history, geography, music

EYFS – submit teacher assessments in prime and specific areas

End of key stage National Curriculum tests for Year 2 and 6 to inform teacher assessments

PPM Paperwork Preparation

Spring 2

YEARS 1 – 6 Submit teacher assessments on target tracker in –

Reading, GPS, writing, maths, RE, science, art, design and technology, PE, history, geography, music

EYFS – submit teacher assessments in prime and specific areas

NFER testing / end of key stage National Curriculum tests for Years 2 and 6 to inform teacher assessments

PPM Paperwork Preparation

Summer 1

YEARS 1 – 6 Submit teacher assessments on target tracker in –

Reading, GPS, writing, maths, RE, science, art, design and technology, PE, history, geography, music

EYFS – submit teacher assessments in prime and specific areas

Year 6 / Year 2 End of key stage SAT’s tests

PPM Paperwork Preparation

Summer 2

YEARS 1 – 6 Submit teacher assessments on target tracker in –

Reading, GPS, writing, maths, RE, science, art, design and technology, PE, history, geography, music

Year 1 phonics screening check

Year 4 times tables check

Submit teacher assessments for Year 6, Year 2 and Reception

PPM Paperwork Preparation



Target Tracker

At Holy Cross, we use Target Tracker as a resource to track the progress of each pupil throughout the year.  Each year band has been broken down into six steps within the year group:

  • beginning (b)
  • beginning + (b+)
  • working within (w)
  • working within + (w+)
  • secure (s)
  • secure + (s+)

Each pupil progresses through the levels as the year evolves.

The three broader sections may be thought of in these terms;

B/B+ Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focussed on the criteria for the band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still to gain complete confidence in.

W/W+ Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focussed on the criteria for the band. This is a teacher best-fit decision but could be informed by statement assessments between around 40% and 70% achieved.

S /S+ Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focussed on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met.

Lower attaining pupils may be working at a band outside of their current year and are supported to make progress through that band.

For children to be working at age-related expectation, they would need to reach the secure (s) step at the end of the appropriate year, although during the transition period w+ is also acceptable.


Our use of assessment

Teachers use the outcomes of our assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their pupils and classes.


Teachers use this data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations. Teachers and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk in this school, are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched.


The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils on a termly basis through structured conversations such as at parents’ evenings and pupil conferencing and a ‘report grade card’ in Autumn and Spring terms and a full written report at the end of the Summer term. Parents and pupils receive rich, qualitative profiles of what has been achieved and indications of what they need to do next.


We celebrate all achievements across a broad and balanced curriculum, including sport, art and performance, behaviour, and social and emotional development.



  • Records to be used to assess learning outcomes in relation to planning and as an aid in evaluation of teaching methods.
  • Regularly updated records give a clear and accurate picture of the child.
  • Records provide clear evidence of achievement against National Curriculum age related expectations.
  • Records to be used as a key tool in ensuring continuity and progression.


Recording in Detail

a) Learning outcomes                                                                                                              ‘Evaluation and next steps’ records on planning will identify the successful link between planning and learning outcome.  Subsequent lessons should reflect the previous learning outcomes. 

b) Maintenance                                                                                                                      Records of summative assessments will be regularly updated. Current data is submitted once every half term on to Target Tracker for Reading, Writing, GPS, Maths, RE and Science.  Termly foundation subject assessment will be completed and submitted on Target Tracker. Summary of data analysis is reported to the Headteacher and the SLT, who scrutinise and collate the school’s strength and areas for development and address accordingly.  These records are a prime source of evidence of achievement and an important aid in accountability.

Submission dates for TA and end of term tests will be clearly stated, in advance, in the calendar for each academic year.

Each half term teachers must report on their assessment data in a Pupil Progress Meeting with the Headteacher and members of SLT.  Teachers must report on progress towards targets and identify key reasons for accelerated progress and any barriers to learning.

c) Continuity and progression                                                                                                         Records should be meaningful, relevant and diagnostic.  They should inform future teaching and learning, raise achievement and motivation.  End of year assessment records are passed on from one year to another, during transition meetings and when children transfer to another school.


Reporting to Parents                                                                                                                                       The school has a well-established system for reporting to parents.  This consists of:

  • Autumn Term - parents are invited to attend a consultation evening where the child’s progress towards settling into a new academic year and end of year targets are discussed. Termly Progress reports are given to parents/carers at the end of this term.
  • Spring Term - parents are invited to attend a second consultation evening where the child’s progress is discussed in terms of age-related and personal expectations. Termly Progress reports are given to parents/carers at the end of this term, highlighting their child’s progress to date.
  • End of Summer Term - parents receive a full written report which includes details of the child’s achievements and progress for the academic year.  Parents are invited to an optional consultation meeting with their child’s class teacher to discuss the written report


In addition, the school has an open door policy for parents whereby staff are available to consult with parents at a mutually convenient time.


Management of above                                                                                                                           To ensure there is a shared understanding and common practice amongst staff.

  • To maintain a coherent policy and carry out regular evaluation.
  • To monitor and analyse results of summative assessments.
  • To develop effective target setting strategies.
  • To use ICT as an aid for assessment, recording and reporting.
  • To ensure that statutory requirements are fulfilled.  Records will detail Teacher Assessments [TA] and the results of SATs/Optional Testing.


Each term, the SLT and Subject Leaders will conduct a data analysis and identify strengths and areas for development across the school. These will be fed back to the Headteacher and used to amend subject action plans and identify next steps. This may include organising any staff training relevant to the policy requirements.  The success of this policy depends of the full cooperation of staff and due regard will be given to staff opinion.

Teachers attend Pupil progress meetings at the end of each term (Half termly for years 2 & 6) to discuss: the progress of the children in their class, the impact of interventions and forward planning to address any barriers to learning and to accelerate progress.

Monitoring and Evaluation                                                                                                               This policy will be regularly monitored and evaluated against the following criteria:

  • A variety of assessments strategies will be used.
  • Assessments will be carried out according to half-termly plans.
  • Moderation is embedded within CPD to ensure secure judgements.
  • Records are accurate and systematic.
  • Records are used to inform future plans and are passed on to subsequent teachers.
  • Agreed reporting methods are being used.
  • The policy is used by staff in practice.
  • The policy is reflected in all subject areas.
  • Evidence from the results of assessments is used as performance indicators.
  • Statutory requirements in assessment, reporting and reporting are adhered to.



Assessment of learning

Core subjects:

  • One summative assessment is undertaken each half term; teacher assessment and formal tests are used alternately – pupil outcomes are judged against the new national curriculum objectives. 
  • Writing Assessments take the form of one unaided piece of writing per term and teacher assessment based on a range of evidence gathered during the term and/or year.
  • Reading assessments are as above for teacher assessment and NFER tests are used with scores converted to match newly devised assessment system, as well as previous SAT’s tests for years 2 & 6.
  • Maths assessments are as above for teacher assessments and White Rose assessment tests and NFER formal assessment tests, which are linked directly to the new national curriculum, are used for testing, as well as previous SAT’s tests for years 2 & 6.
  • Science is assessed on a termly basis in the same manner as the Foundation subjects below.


Foundation subjects:

On-going TA during lessons and at the end of each unit is used to assess pupil attainment against new national curriculum objectives/skills. At the end of each topic teachers will record on Target Tracker whether the children are working at age related expectation, below age related expectation or working above age related expectation. 

Assessment for Learning

  • Self-Assessment - All children will have opportunities to assess their own attainment and achievement through a variety of methods including:
    • Traffic Lights or the ‘language of traffic lights’ - Green being a secure understanding, Amber being some understanding but still some support/input required and Red being concept/idea not understood. This means that we can use the ‘language’ at any point during a lesson or in fact the school day.  Children are often asked to self-assess after a teaching session. Self-Assessment is also used at the end of lessons and will inform teaching and/or grouping for the next lesson. 
    • Success Criteria – Children can use agreed success criteria or ‘steps to success’ that have been generated in the lesson or as part of a previous lesson to create a ‘closed checklist’ to assess their learning against; either during a lesson, at the end of a lesson or at the end of a unit of work. The learning objective and success criteria labels are stuck in children’s workbooks at the start of each new piece of work. Children in KS2 tick off against the success criteria as appropriate to their progress in the lesson. Teachers in KS1 and KS2 tick of the children’s progress against the success criteria for each lesson.


  • Peer Assessment - As with self-assessment, peer assessment should be used in a variety of ways.  Children should be given opportunities to peer assess in a ‘formal’ way during, or at the end of lessons; they are asked to identify an aspect of the work that is good and/or a possible improvement to another child’s work with regard to the learning objective and or the agreed success criteria. Children may also comment on the collaborative skills of their peers, behaviour, citizenship and many other aspects of day to day school life.  
  • Observation – Observation is a tool which should be used continually by the teacher.  Observations can be planned for and have a particular assessment focus, or they may be an incidental observation made by the class teacher or LSA.
  • Discussion/Questioning – Discussion and questioning are an integral part of classroom activity and are closely linked to the personal and social development of a child. For example, teachers will value opportunities for children to report back to the class about their work, to explain to others what they are doing, to take their turn in discussion and be able to ask questions. The discussions will be at individual or group level to provide a variety of opportunity which is important to both teacher and child.  Teachers should use a range of questioning techniques to challenge the children’s thinking in all groups.