Assesment Policy

Scoil An Clocháin 17922R.

Policy on Assessment
Introduction:
This policy was originally drafted in 2011 during a staff meeting.It was reviewed in March 2014. It was devised to ensure that all assessment procedures and guidelines were being followed and that recording of assessments was being done in conjunction with the latest guidelines.

Policy Rationale:
The core of the policy is that all children should experience success at school. This policy endeavours to identify at the earliest possible opportunity, children who may have learning difficulties and put in place a school response to their needs. An effective assessment policy is central to this core objective.
Relationship to School Ethos:
The school adopts a holistic approach to the education and development of each child, the enhancement of teaching processes. An effective Assessment policy identifies early interventions that need to be put in place to ensure that enhancement, increased confidence and raised self esteem is achieved.

Aims and Objectives:
The primary aims/objectives of the policy are;

To facilitate improved pupil learning
To create a procedure for monitoring achievement
To track learning processes which assist the long and short term planning of teachers
To co-ordinate assessment procedures on a school basis involving parents and pupils in managing strengths and weaknesses

Policy Content:
This policy is geared towards using assessment to inform planning and identify the needs of all pupils, including the exceptionally gifted so that adequate strategies are put in place early enough to facilitate remediation. These strategies may include pupil self assessment, pupil profiling, two way communication between parents and teachers, modification of teacher programmes and individual education plans.

Standardised Testing:
The school uses the Micra T and Sigma T tests. All classes from First class upwards are tested. The tests are usually administered in the last week of May or first week of June by the class teacher. Standard and percentile ranking scores are recorded on the class record template and stored by each individual teacher with a copy held in the administration office. The cover page of the tests is retained in the pupils file in the office and the remainder of the test shredded. The Principal and Special Duties Teacher together with the shared learning support teacher, analyse the results in June for allocation of resources to pupils in September.
Diagnostic Assessment:
Diagnostic tests are used in the school as a means of monitoring pupil progress at different stages of their schooling. Such tests are administered initially by the classroom teacher and where concerns arise, by the Learning Support and Resource Teachers following referral by the class teachers in consultation with parents/guardians. The administration of such tests is in keeping with the approach recommended by Circular 02/05 where a staged approach is used by the individual class teachers before recourse to diagnostic testing /psychological assessment. Parents are provided with test results and if a psychological assessment is warranted, parental permission is sought and a consent form is completed. The Principal will facilitate such an assessment happening.

The diagnostic tests used in the school include;

M.I.S.T.
M.A.L.T.
Neale reading test.
The group Reading test.
Aston Index.

Screening:
The screening tests used to identify learning strengths and weaknesses in the school are;

Belfield Infant Assessment Programme
Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST)
SPAR / Parallel Spelling Test
Non Reading Intelligence Test (NRIT)
Sigma T
Aston Index.

These tests are administered individually or on a class basis. The MIST and BIAP are administered on a class basis around Easter of each year, while the Aston Index is administered individually by the Learning Support Teacher when deemed appropriate. Screening is used by the school to initiate the staged approach to intervention as per Circular 24/03 and Circular 02/05.

Psychological Assessment:
If stages 1 and 2 fail to deliver adequate intervention, the class teacher/Principal will contact the parents for permission to secure a psychological assessment for their child. An assessment will determine the subsequent level of intervention, be it ‘Learning Support Resource’ hours or an ‘Individual Education Plan’. The most common form of assessment used in our school is teacher observation, teacher designed tests, projects and homework (informal assessment). These informal assessments are at the discretion of individual teachers. Records of teacher-designed tests are kept by the individual teachers and communicated to parents at the Parent-teacher meeting and the school report issued at the end of the school year. Each teacher has discretion as to the format, administration and frequency of in-class testing. The most common types of informal teacher designed testing in our school are math’s tests, spelling tests and quizzes.

Recording:
Each pupil has a file which is stored in the administration office. This file records standardised test results and end of year reports. This file is passed from teacher to teacher as the child progresses through the system. These files are kept in the strictest of confidence and under lock and key in the office.
In line with the new guidelines given in The National Strategy to improve Literacy and Numeracy, reports will now take the format of the ncca template and be communicated to parents in the second week of June in order to afford parents time to approach teachers with queries or concerns.
The results of standardized testing will be communicated to the Dept of Education and skills as required by the new strategy.
Success Criteria:
This policy is considered successful if;

Early identification and intervention is achieved
Clarity is achieved regarding procedures involved in a staged approach
Procedures are clear, with roles and responsibilities defined
The Special Education team (the principal, class teachers, learning support teacher,resource teacher and any other necessary individual assosicated with a particular schilds needs) have clearly defined roles and objectives
There is efficient transfer of information between teachers.

Roles and Responsibilities:
Mainstream Teachers and the Principal assume shared responsibility. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to set in train staged interventions at class level. At Stage 2, the responsibilities are shared with the Special Education Team. The Principal assumes a primary role at Stage 3 when a Psychological Assessment may be required. Parents have a role at all stages and the lines of communication must be always kept open.

Implementation:
This policy supersedes any previous policy and is effective from November 2011.

Ratification & Communication:
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management in November 2011 and communicated to parents thereafter.

Review Timetable:
This policy will be reviewed in 2 years time and amended as necessary by means of a whole school collaborative process.

References:
DES Circular 02/05 – 24/03
DES Learning Support Guidelines 2000
HYPERLINK “http://www.sess.ie” www.sess.ie
Working Together to make a Difference for Children – NEPS

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