Assessment allows teachers to decide where pupils are in their learning (their starting points), where they need to go and how best to get them there. When supporting pupils with additional needs it is important that small steps are identified to ensure progression. Within school we use the PIVATS assessment tool from mid-point in Year 1 throughout school to assess and monitor progress of SEND pupils.
Teachers continually follow the Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycle to allow pupils to progress and their learning needs to be matched to their specific needs. Teachers must notice what pupils already know and then what the next steps will be and how to get them there.
Assessment may take place individually or in groups through observation, task analysis in addition to interpretation of evidence collated, as well as pupil feedback about their work. Motivation and promotion of independence and pupil’s taking responsibility for their own learning is also key. The highest expectations are maintained for all pupils regardless of need.
Ongoing (Formative) assessment whereby teachers will make observations of children’s work, annotate planning, use questioning to clarify understanding, talk to children in the form of learning conversations and use pupil feedback. Some specific assessments used by the teacher and or the SENDCo may act as formative assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses in areas of learning.
Half termly/ termly/ end of unit (Summative) assessment whereby teachers will use a variety of assessment to record pupils’ achievements based on day to day evidence and record if children are working at, above or below their age expectation at the end of the academic year. This is entered onto our school tracking system to monitor progress.
Each term class teachers meet with Senior Leadership Team members (including Assessment coordinator and SENDCo) to discuss pupil progress.
Pupils with SEND have individual Pupil Passports (Summary Assessment sheets) that summarise all strategies, assessment and interventions in place. Termly Pupil Passport Review Meetings with key staff, parents and pupils review progress and identify next steps of support (Further information is included in our SEND Policy and SEND Information Report).
PIVATS (Performance Indicators for Valued Assessment and Targeted learning www.lancashire.gov.uk/pivats) is the scheme we choose to use in school to measure and ensure effective progress through targeted, specific support for pupils with specific needs.
Raising standards of achievement within an inclusive education system is an essential expectation for all pupils. All young people in our schools have the right to receive an education of the highest quality which is appropriate to their needs and aptitudes. They should have every opportunity to develop skills which will help them to contribute effectively to an increasingly complex and changing society. They should achieve their full potential, regardless of special educational needs or disabilities, social or other contextual factors - and their achievements should be recognised.
We can raise attainment by working with all the stakeholders and agencies in education and by our commitment to implement coherent approaches to improvement and change. Assessing small steps of attainment, setting challenging but realistic targets and tracking pupil achievement and progress are essential to this process.
PIVATS provides a structured approach to assessing, planning for learning, tracking and measuring small steps in attainment, focusing within the PIVATS structure on small steps within the P scales up to the revised national curriculum Y4 age related expectations.
PIVATS 5 is currently being used for Reading, Writing and Mathematics and is aligned with changes to assessment and the revised National Curriculum. Until PIVATS 5 is updated we continue to use PIVATS 4 for PSE development.
To address the gap between the P scale 8 descriptor, and the start of the revised national curriculum expectations for Year 1, PIVATS use a "bridge" for 5 performance indicators, to cover the transition from P8 to Y1 PIVATS milestones (broadly equivalent to year group expectations). The term "milestones", is used recognising the small steps of attainment and progress for pupils working potentially well below their chronological year group, incorporating a “can do” approach.
PIVATS is aimed at supporting pupils who are working well below national expectations for their age, due to areas of SEND need.
A key purpose is to provide supporting material for class teachers, TAs and SENDCo’s, in assessment of attainment/achievement, and planning for subsequent learning support and small steps in learning
It should provide criteria for establishing starting points of an initial attainment judgement. This can then be used to aid in measuring future and further progress. Progress may be in very small steps for some pupils due to their needs. Over time it should help staff in setting appropriate learning targets for individuals.
It will also provide a basis for judgements to be more consistent, with staff being able to use the indicators to support internal and external moderation, and for use when explaining small steps of achievement to parent and carers.
It will then provide the basis for evidence of progress for senior leaders and others - backed up by other evidence such as learning journeys, work sampling etc.