This policy was drawn up with full collaboration of all members of the staff within the context
of the Primary School Curriculum, the Education Act of 1998 (Article 22), DES circular
01/338/2006, Department Circular 0022/23, Circular 0056/2011 and the NCCA Guidelines,
Kealkill NS considers assessment to be an integral part of teaching and learning.
The core of the policy is that all children should work to their own individual potential and 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 whole school response to their needs. An effective assessment policy is central to this core objective.
This policy covers both Assessment of Learning (AOL), which is summative assessment –
assessing how well children perform after a specified period e.g., Standardised Testing, and
Assessment for Learning (AFL), which is continuous formative assessment and is used to
determine future planning and teaching goals.
We have drawn up this policy with the following in mind:
- To review and update the existing policy for assessment in our school
- To benefit teaching and learning in our school
- To ensure that our approach to assessment in Kealkill NS reflects current and best
- To inform and enhance the teaching and learning process
- To set out the use and purpose of standardised testing in the schoo
Relationship to School Ethos
Our school adopts a holistic approach to the education and development of each child and the
enhancement of teaching processes. An effective Assessment policy identifies early
interventions that need to be put in place to ensure that relative success, increased confidence
and raised self-esteem is achieved.
Aims and Objectives
The primary aims / objectives of the policy are to:
- Evaluate and facilitate improved pupil learning.
- Monitor learning processes and target needs and strengths which assist the long and
short term planning of teachers.
- Create a procedure for monitoring progress and achievement.
- Coordinate assessment procedures on a whole school basis involving parents and pupils in
managing strengths and weaknesses.
- Generate baseline data that can be used to monitor achievement over time and establish
baseline data for newly enrolled pupils.
- Careful thought is given to the purpose of assessment, adopting a wide range of methods
to reflect the whole Curriculum and learning opportunities. The main purpose of
assessment must be to facilitate progress in a pupil’s learning.
- Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process, a valuable formative
- The range of opportunities for carrying out continuous assessment is increased by good
classroom organization, which encourages children to work independently while the
teacher is concentrating on individuals or small groups.
- The outcomes of assessment modify our teaching methods, provide feedback on the
Curriculum as well as indicate pupil progress.
- We recognize the potential for assessment in developing a positive self-image in the
pupil from positive and constructive feedback and the feeling of success, which
encourages further study.
- In addition to normal assessment, opportunities are taken to record significant points in
a child’s development, such as: a moment of ‘breakthrough’ in understanding, surprises and unusual reactions, interesting examples of strategies for mental calculation, and difficulties encountered and possible reasons for them.
- Results of assessment are reported in a way useful for pupils, teachers, parents and other interested parties.
- Assessment records must be easy to interpret, useful, manageable and should not be administratively burdensome.
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 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,
Classroom Support Plans and Student Support Plans. See also SEN Policy.
Functions of Assessment
There are four functions of assessment which include formative, evaluative, summative and
- Formative: Helps the pupils in the process of learning.
- Evaluative: Helps the teacher to evaluate the learning activities provided. Pupils are also involved in assessing their own work.
- Summative: Provides information for reports and school records.
- Informative: Provides information for parents and for the pupil’s next teacher.
Types of Assessment
|Assessment for Learning (A.f.L.)
|Assessment of Learning (A.o.L.)
|An ongoing process of recognising and responding to the pupil’s learning in order to enhance his/her development
|Involves assessing a pupil’s learning at the end of a given instructional period
|Pupil-centred and pupil-directed
|Goal is to enable learners to further their own learning
|Goal is to establish levels of attainment
Assessment practices in Kealkill NS incorporate some or all of the following approaches:
|What we use
|When it happens
|Drumcondra Primary Maths Test (DPMT) Drumcondra Primary Reading Test (DPRT) Drumcondra Spelling test Drumcondra Early Literacy and Numeracy tests
|1st – 6th class May each year Senior Infants May each year
|Belfield Infants Assessments Test
|Junior Infants 2nd & 3rd term
|Various diagnostic tests
|Where required and as appropriate
|Teacher-designed tasks and tests
|Pre-tests Summative tests
|Use of whiteboards (Active student responding) Work samples (use of copies)
|Teacher & peer questioning
|Portfolio Copybooks Freewriting Hardback books
|Examples of work at different stages of development. Project work Work samples Concept/mind mapping Reflective logs & journals
|Using see saw and aladdin
|Teacher-led and pupil-led
|Thumbs up, thumbs down, Traffic lights system, Two stars and a wish, Smiley faces, Journals Find and fix (error analysis) K.W.L. chart (What I know, what I want to know, what I learned) Sharing learning intention: W.A.L.T. (We are learning to) W.I.L.F. (what I’m looking for) / Success Criteria
Each subject area on the curriculum has its own assessment criteria which teachers will be cognisant of, and these criteria will be recorded in the school plan.
Diagnostic tests may be carried out throughout the year, by the SEN Team, on specific children as need arises.
The Drumcondra Maths, Drumcondra Spellings and Drumcondra Literacy Tests are administered each year and results are communicated to parents in the annual school report card.
Drumcondra Early literacy and numeracy tests are administered to senior infants and results are communicated to parents in the annual report card.
Homework and class work are marked, and comments are made as appropriate. Marks and especially grades are not usually given. Work is ticked to indicate that the teacher has looked at it and a written comment may be used to indicate sources of error, good points etc. Some spelling mistakes but not all may be corrected as appropriate to what is being assessed (informed by planning).
Informal assessment is ongoing during all lessons in response to oral work, teamwork, skill development, project work etc.
Homework will be checked both formally and informally in a routine way – see also the Homework Policy.
The school administers the Drumcondra Maths, Literacy and Spelling tests. All classes from First class upwards are tested. Standard, STEN and Percentile Rankings scores are recorded and kept on file ON Aladdin,
The SEN team and teachers analyse the results to aid in the allocation of resources to pupils.
Pupils in Senior Infants are assessed using the Drumcondra Early Literacy and Numeracy tests.
Following DES guidelines all standardised test scores will be written in the end of year reports and uploaded to the Department of Education through the Esinet System.
Class teachers are responsible for correcting the tests of pupils in their class.
Standardised Tests are discussed at end of year Board of Management meeting.
Tests are administered by the SET 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 advised of the outcome and if a psychological assessment is warranted, parental permission is sought.
Any screening tests used to identify learning strengths and weaknesses in our school are sourced from the school NEPS psychologist. We use the Belfield Infants Assessment Test in Junior Infants.
At times it may become necessary that to deliver adequate interventions and support for a particular child. The class teacher / Principal will need to contact the parents to discuss options available for a Psychological Assessment.
An assessment will determine the subsequent level of intervention.
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
are kept by the individual teachers and communicated to parents at the Parentteacher meeting /end of year report. 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 Maths tests, spelling tests and quizzes.
Each pupil has a file which is stored in the administration office. Enrolment forms, professional assessments are stored in this file. We use the Aladdin Software for storage of other information on our pupils such as Test scores, log of actions, school support plans etc. Summarised recommendations from professional reports are also included in the log of actions.
Every child in the school has a Student Support file and these are completed as required.
Class teachers have assessment folders, and these are passed on from teacher to teacher. Also, any other information of relevance is passed on from teacher to teacher on a need to know basis.
Standardised test records are stored in accordance with DES guidelines and kept until the pupil reaches the age of 25.
This policy will be successful when:
• All of the staff are familiar with and implement the procedures outlined
• All of the staff understand and recognise their responsibilities and carry out the assessment of pupil’s work continually
• The transfer of assessment data between teachers is systematic and efficient
Roles and Responsibilities
Class Teachers, Special Education Teachers, SNA’s and the Principal assume shared responsibility. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to set in motion staged interventions at class level. At Stage 2, the responsibilities are shared with the Special Education team. The SEN Coordinator, in consultation with 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/Ratification and Review
This policy has been developed in Kealkill NS in May 2023. It was ratified at a meeting on June 19th, 2023. It will be reviewed again in May 2027 or as is required by changes to DES guidelines and procedures.
Ratification of Policy, Review and Monitoring
This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management periodically every 4 years.