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Hollymount Primary School


Principles for Assessment – Hollymount Primary School



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. Assessment is inclusive of all abilities.

We believe that good assessment practice has ‘formative assessment’ at its heart and will continue to ensure that we:

- Carry out good quality initial assessment of what pupils already know and can do, and where there may be misconceptions, at the initial stage of a unit of teaching;

- Provide rich, open-ended learning activities that are well matched to pupils’ starting points and that allow for pupils to extend their skills and develop their thinking;

- Ensure that pupils make identifiable progress in lessons, against specific learning objectives and success criteria, enabled by quality, constructive feedback and marking, collaborative peer discussion and informed self-assessment;

- Use continuous assessment of the progress pupils are making in their lessons to evaluate and plan further teaching.


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 schools in our local cluster and using external tests and assessments, we will compare our performance with that of other schools.

We assess pupils against assessment criteria, which are 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 and our own local design incorporating criteria developed by Herts for Learning.

Assessment criteria set out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year, grouped within phases – A: Years 1/2; B: Years 3/4; C: Years 5/6

The achievement of each pupil is assessed against all the relevant criteria at the end of each term and an overall judgement made against the expectations for that year.

Each pupil is assessed as either ‘entering’, ‘developing’, ‘securing’ or ‘exceeding’ each relevant criterion contained in the expectations for that year.

Where a pupil is assessed as exceeding the relevant criteria in a subject for that year, pupils’ understanding will be further enriched by exploring higher-level skills within the content domain of the year group. This may include applying knowledge and skills in extended problem-solving and within more challenging contexts or extended project work where pupils conduct their own research and follow their own lines of enquiry.

Assessment judgements are recorded and backed by a body of evidence created using observations, next-steps marking and feedback, recorded work and, where appropriate and timely, testing.

Assessment judgements are moderated by colleagues in school and by colleagues in other schools to make sure our assessments are fair, reliable and valid.


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 in the autumn and spring terms through a structured conversation and in the summer term, through an annual report 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, the creative arts, behaviour, and social and emotional development.

Hollymount Assessment Matrix


Purpose – what do they need to know?



What do I know?

What do I need to do next?

How am I getting better?

Measurement against standards 


Feedback/next steps/target setting

Teacher/self-assessment against previous performance

Formative and/or summative assessment


What do I need to teach?

Where are they in relation to where they should be?

What do they need to do next?

What progress have they made? 

Assessments are practical and informative but not overly time consuming

Curriculum planning

Marking and evaluation/moderation

Assessment criteria/subject knowledge

Formative assessments/pupil voice/moderation

Continuous/professional judgement/termly checkpoints


How do I know what my child can do?

What do they need to do next?

How are they doing in relation to others?

How can I help?

Parents evening/reports

Parents evenings/target setting

Understanding the NC expectations/use of shared assessment language

Home/school communication


How do I know what’s going on in my school?

How can I demonstrate and track progress?

How can I evaluate the quality of teaching?

How can I improve standards?

Lesson observations/learning walks/planning & work scrutiny/moderation

Termly assessment checkpoints for data analysis/performance reporting

Collate monitoring evidence/measure against targets


Is assessment practice aligned with the vision and ethos of the school?

Can Governors ensure quality and consistency of assessment practice?

Does assessment practice support the individual needs of pupils?

Clear Assessment Principles

Assessment Policy, documented guidelines for staff, monitoring reports

Progress and attainment reporting including pupil groups, target setting, performance projections.


How is assessment used to:

-Improve teaching

-Raise attainment

-identify pupils falling behind

How accurate and consistent are assessments?

How is progress and attainment reported to parents/carers?

Clear Assessment Principles, Assessment Policy, documented guidelines for staff, monitoring reports, using assessment to inform future planning/teaching.

Progress and attainment reporting including pupil groups, data analysis, target setting, performance projections.

Draws on a range of evidence/consistency across year groups/phases/ internal & external moderation

Reports help parents to understand how well children are doing in relation to expected standards.