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National Curriculum

How does APP work?

The APP approach is straightforward. In line with their school assessment policy and practice teachers periodically review collections of pupils’ work, using the assessment guidelines, and build a profile of their achievements.

Generating evidence from teaching

Through their day-to-day interactions, observations and ongoing assessment teachers see evidence of what pupils understand and can do. APP is most effective when it draws on a broad range of evidence that shows what pupils can do independently.

Assessment evidence could include:

  • extended or shorter focused pieces of writing in a variety of different forms for a range of purposes

  • information from different curriculum areas

  • text annotation or visual organisers such as thought mapping, storyboards or timelines

  • oral work such as pupil presentations to the class, contributions to class discussions, drama activities or discussions with teachers

  • observing pupils’ behaviour and interactions

  • pupils’ self-assessment.

Reviewing the evidence

When a teacher has enough evidence about what a pupil is able to do independently and in different contexts, the APP guidelines can be applied to make a periodic assessment.

The assessment guidelines cover two national curriculum levels with overlaps (levels 3 and 4, 4 and 5, 5 and 6, and so on), so teachers need to select the appropriate sheet based on roughly which level they judge a learner to be working at.

Drawing on the evidence they have selected, teachers then consider each of the subject assessment focuses carefully and highlight where the criteria have been met across the two levels.

Making a judgement

Once judgements have been made for each of the assessment focuses, the profile of highlighted criteria allow the teacher to make an informed decision about the overall national curriculum level the learner is working at. This can then be refined into 'low', 'secure' or 'high' within the level. The judgement is made in a holistic way, taking account of how independently, consistently and in what range of contexts pupils have demonstrated their skills.

Using the assessment criteria inevitably involves a degree of interpretation and professional judgement. Standards files help ensure that judgements made by teachers are consistent and aligned with national standards. Regular collaborative assessment and discussion is another important way of ensuring that assessment standards are reliable and consistent.

Using information from APP

The assessment guideline sheet gives detailed information that can be used to create relevant and measurable targets for improvement. It also supports productive discussions between teachers, learners and parents.

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