Children are assessed across the country at three times during their time in KS1 and KS2. In Year 1 all children take the Phonics Check which is designed to see how successful they have been at learning the key sounds upon which reading is built.
At the end of KS1 children all take Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) in Reading and Maths. These give an indication of how children are getting on with their learning compared to other children nationally. Most children will be working at Age Related Expectation (ARE) which means within the average band for their age. Some children will be working higher than this level and some below. The children are also assessed by their teacher against national criteria in Writing.
In Y6 children take SATs in Reading and Maths along with a test of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. Again, most children will be working at ARE with some above and some below. Teachers assess the children in writing against strict national criteria.
Attainment alone is only one way of judging what children achieve. Starting points can be very different and so for some children it is important to measure progress. For other children it is helpful to know how close they might have been to the ARE. Knowing that they are only one or two marks away from ARE is more encouraging than feeling that they are below ARE. For this reason we also provide progress scores and a summary of standardised scores for the school.
Martins Wood has performed to a consistently high standard in the national phonics check which takes place in Year 1 each summer. Since 2016 we have exceeded the national and local average for the number of children passing the standard required.The attached table shows our performance over the last four years.
Our performance in the KS1 SATS has been rising steadily. Over the last few years the number of pupils achieving the expected standard or higher was above the national average in all subjects. The number of pupils achieving a higher level (greater depth) is significantly higher than nationally in all subjects.
To an outsider looking at our data presents a very unusual picture. Judged by our end of key stage data alone it appears that there is a huge difference between achievement in KS1 and KS2. This does not take into account a very significant period of turbulence for KS2 caused largely by high numbers of families relocating to more affordable housing away from Stevenage. Over recent years we have also had a few cohorts pass through the school with a significantly higher than usual proportion of lower ability learners and SEND (sometimes approaching 25% of pupils). This is in addition to the extremely high levels of mobility. For example in 2019 twenty pupils joined the school between September 2017 and May 2019 when they took their KS2 SATs. As a result of this we have significant fluctuations in our KS2 data over recent years and levels of attainment which contrast starkly with our published results for KS1. This is because to a very significant extent we are assessing a considerably different cohort of children by the time they reach Y6.
Headlines from our data do indicate that;
Our forecasts show that for 2020 onwards we will reach levels that are at least in line with those nationally and begin to have an increasing number of children exceeding the age related expectation levels above those nationally. However, this will depend on our recent very high levels of pupil mobility, caused by families moving away from Stevenage, slowing down, giving us greater consistency between the children taking their SAT at the end of KS1 and the children taking their SAT four years later in Y6.