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Our Assessment Approach

At Paulton Infant School we focus on all children achieving what is expected of their age group and not going beyond this until they demonstrate depth to their learning. This is the Mastery Approach. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a range of situations and then be creative to really understand it. Simply going beyond their age group does not guarantee they understand something, it just means they have heard it. Our aim is to ensure our children have all the skills and subject knowledge they need to be resilient learners as they enter Key Stage Two (junior school).

 Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning and it provides evidence to guide successful teaching and learning provision. Teacher assessment is ongoing and made throughout your child’s time in school – we believe this to be the most important form of assessment as it helps the teacher to plan work for individual children and make judgements about their progress.


Key features of the Mastery Approach:

  • Everyone is working together on the same topic. This does not mean some children are left behind and it does not mean some children are not challenged. The emphasis is on keeping the class together until specific skills and concepts are mastered. In order to do this, some children will need extra or different resources or further intervention and some children will be given activities to deepen their learning.

  • Teachers will spend longer teaching a skill or concept and ensure the children have lots of time to practice. This will enable some children to have the opportunity to deepen their learning and apply what they have learnt in relevant or often real life contexts.

  • There is speedy intervention to close gaps. This will be small group or 1-1 adult support for as long as is needed so that they do not fall behind

  • Challenge is provided to deepen the learning. This means once a skill or concept is mastered, the children will be expected to use higher order thinking activities through a range of challenges.

  • There will be more verbal feedback in the lesson and less formal marking away from the child. You will see less marking in children’s books than in years gone by. This does not mean there is less feedback to your child. There is likely to be more feedback within the day.


Teachers use a range of assessment strategies which include; Assessment for Learning (AfL), Assessment as Learning (AaL) Assessment of Learning (AoL)

Assessment for Learning

Teachers use a range of AfL strategies such as: observing, questioning, marking, self and peer assessment. We consistently involve our children in regular feedback on their learning so that they understand what it is that they need to do better. Actively involving children in the review process raises standards and empowers children to become confident learners who know how to learn.

Assessment as Learning

This is any practice where the learner is encouraged to think about the how to improve as well as what needs to be improved.

Assessment of Learning

Assessment of Learning occurs at the end of a topic or unit of work, the end of the year or the end of key stage. It provides clear evidence of children’s progress across year groups and accurate information on children’s progress.

Using AfL and AoL teachers are required to form a continuous professional judgement of each child's progress. This is called Teacher Assessment it indicates where a child is judged to be consistently working at.

Parents receive an end of year progress report which indicates where their child’s achievement in relation to age related expectations. In addition to our parent/carer Learning Meetings, parents/carers are welcome to make an appointment to see their child's class teacher at any point in the year to discuss their child's progress and next steps.

Baseline Tests

Currently we use Development Matters as our tool for Baseline Assessment in Term 1 of EYFS. During the year 2020 - 2021 we have chosen to be an 'Early Adopter' school trailing the new EYFS curriculum. This supports a practitioner led approach that values the strength and accuracy of teacher and TA judgements based on observations of and interactions with children. This facilitates teacher planning for next steps.

Phonics Progress Check

In Year 1, children undergo the national phonics progress check. Children are asked to sound out and read 40 words incuding some 'psuedo words' or 'alien words'. The result of this check are reported to parents and the Department for Education during the Summer Term.

Statutory Assessments

In Year 2, at the end of Key Stage 1, children are assessed in reading, writing and maths using a range of tests, tasks and teacher judgements. The outcomes of these assessments are reported to the Department for Education and to parents/carers in the Summer Term.


N.B.During the year 2020 - 2021 the statutory assessments did not take place due to the covid pandemix

Go to our Statutory information page for our school assessment outcomes

Related documents (click to open):

Feedback and Marking Leaflet for parents

Quick guide to Assessment codes

Related Policies:

Assessment Policy

Feedback and Marking Policy

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