English - The Assessment Process

Written by Emily Kelsall, English Coordinator.

At BSB we are committed to raising the standards of literacy for all of our learners. We want them to develop the ability to use literacy skills effectively in all areas of the curriculum, supporting their ability to think, organise, communicate and learn.

This term we have focused on our assessment process as a key to progress point. This links directly to our PSHE focus ‘Growth Mindset’. In order to create a ‘can do attitude’ and to avoid the labels of levels, we encourage children to think “I can get better”. To achieve this we are developing and refining our use of formative assessment. Formative assessment combined with quality teaching and high expectations equals effective teaching and learning.

At BSB we have introduced the use of cold and hot writing tasks.

Cold Tasks
Cold tasks are set at the beginning of a new English unit. These allow us to:

1. Observe the children as writers.
2. Inform our planning.
3. Adapt the unit to fit the needs of each individual child.

The cold task drives the teaching and learning because it allows the teachers to clearly identify the children’s specific needs.

Hot Tasks
Hot tasks are set at the end of each English unit. They demonstrate what the children have learnt. These allow us to:

1. Give the children the opportunity to showcase their learning.
2. Assess each child’s progress through comparing the cold and hot tasks.
3. Talk to the children about their progress and celebrate their success individually.
4. Assess the effectiveness of our teaching and learning.

Texts That Teach
In addition to reviewing our English assessment, we have also invested time in selecting and using high quality texts that allow our children to grow as independent writers and readers. Texts that teach contain three things: something worth discussing, rich language and a plot/structure that is visible and a clear model for children’s writing. Our texts that teach dig deeper into pictures books, look into hybrid texts and explore classics.

Christmas Writing Competition
Deck the (school) halls; it's almost Christmas. We are making the most of the end of term countdown with a festive writing competition. We have asked the children to show us their creativity in a 12 line (for the 12 days of Christmas) poem. The poem must be connected to the theme of Christmas but we would love them to write about the season in any way they like, whether that is putting up the Christmas tree, doing the Christmas show at school or watching Christmas TV.  We are really looking forward to hearing about the different ways that Christmas magic is felt around Brazil. I am sure that the children will spread Christmas spirit with poetry.