Assessment, marking and feedback is fundamental to ensuring that children are being supported, stretched and challenged to achieve their best.


At Thornhill we believe that:

  • Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process;
  • Teachers, support staff, pupils and parents all have an important part to play in this process.

General Principles and Aims

Our assessment and recording procedures will:

  • Support quality teaching and learning;
  • Provide reliable and credible information to support progression in learning;
  • Find out and build on what children already know;
  • Be based on clear and shared success criteria;
  • Motivate and actively involve children in reviewing their work;
  • Be manageable, sustainable, consistent and useful;
  • Describe the child’s progress against expectation;
  • Highlight a child’s success and progress;
  • Identify areas for improvement and how they can be addressed;
  • Meet statutory requirements;
  • And ultimately, raise standards for all.

Ongoing Formative Assessment at the Classroom Level

Assessment is a formal or informal dialogue between teacher and pupil about work in progress or completed work. It may take place between the teacher and an individual child or with a group or class. It may take the form of open-ended questioning, dialogue focusing on learning objectives, a written record of observations or written on the child’s work.

Essentially it should provide clear and realistic feedback to pupils about where they need to go next. We place great emphasis on this type of dialogic marking, developing teachers’ ability to question so as to assess a child’s understanding and next steps in their learning journey.

To support staff with expectations for high quality written feedback, we have produced this useful guide:

Assessment without Levels (AWL)

Following changes to the National Curriculum in 2014 and the removal of levels for statutory assessments, Thornhill had the freedom to choose its own approach to formative and summative assessment, according to what best suited the needs of our pupils, curriculum and staff. This provided an opportunity for us to challenge and improve our assessment system and to build greater expertise in assessment. After careful consideration, we decided to adopt the Islington Pupil Assessment Tracker (iPAT).

iPAT is a tool that records pupil progress against statements of learning derived from the national curriculum. It supports teachers in identifying strengths and areas for further development and provides up-to-date information about academic successes at key points throughout the school year.

In order to explain these changes fully to parents, we delivered several workshops and drafted a useful leaflet providing information, support and guidance.

Reporting to Parents

Alongside regular updating of iPAT, summative assessments/tests are carried out at the end of each term. The data from both formal tests and iPAT is then reported to parents. During parents’ evening meetings, teachers generate report cards to give an update of the child’s progress and targets for future development.