Assessment monitors and evaluates the pupil’s learning. In Bishop Ahern N.S., assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Teachers observe and discuss both work in progress and completed work. The primary form of assessment in our school is teacher observation. Use is also made of teacher designed tasks/tests to assess areas of development. Standardised tests are used in both Mathematics and English to compare children to the national average. Projects, copies and work samples are also used to look at the progression of skill development and as a record of achievement.
Teachers on the Special Education Needs team also hold relevant documentation on each child. All such information is treated as confidential. However, parents may view any information held on their child by making an appointment with the class teacher and/or learning support/resource teacher. If applicable, one copy of psychological/ occupational therapy/speech and language reports etc. are kept in the child’s individual file. This file is kept in a locked filing cabinet in the school office. No child is assessed by any outside party without parent/guardian’s consent. Such reports are not photocopied. Teachers treat all such information as confideniali and with respect.
Our reasons for assessment are as follows:
- To assist planning, evaluate and modify teaching strategies based on the outcomes of assessment
- To identify pupils with learning difficulties
- To use assessment outcomes to assist and improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning programmes used in Bishop Ahern N.S.,
- To effectively and sensitively use assessment outcomes to assist pupils to reflect on their own learning
- To be able to provide accurate information about pupil’s progress to relevant parties particularly parents
- To evaluate pupil achievement in curriculum areas in comparison with national norms
A broad range of assessment approaches/strategies/tools are used in Bishop Ahern N.S. to cater for a wide spectrum of needs among our pupils, taking into account their individual learning styles and needs. The pupils may be assessed with their class or individually out of the classroom, whichever is deemed the most appropriate for the pupil at the time. Alternative assessment tools will be designed, altered or sourced by the Special Education Needs (SEN) teachers should the assessments be deemed inappropriate to the pupil’s level of ability.
Range of assessment modes used to assess pupil achievement and progress:
- Teacher observation
- Teacher-designed tasks
- Work samples
- Curriculum Profiles
- Portfolio and project assessment
- Dynamic assessment (1 step beyond the child’s ability)
- Diagnostic and Standardised Tests
Types of assessment:
- Formative assessment- Helping the child in the learning process.
- Evaluative assessment – Helping the teacher to evaluate the learning opportunities provided. This should take into account the needs of the child so that their skills, knowledge and understanding are fully developed.
- Summative assessment – Providing information for reports and school records.
- Informative assessment – Provides information for parents and for the child’s next teacher.
ENGLISH ASSESSMENTS ADMINISTERED IN BISHOP AHERN N.S.
- MICRA T
The MICRA T is a standardised assessment of reading and comprehension ability. It is administered to all classes from 1st-6th Class in late May by the class teachers, adhering strictly to the conditions outlined in the testing manuals. The Principal and staff are involved in the analysis of standardized test results for an individual pupil, class and whole school level. Scores are used in order to identify pupils for learning support the following year.
- DRUMCONDRA LITERACY TEST
These will be administered to Senior Infants in May.
- SPELLING TESTS
These are administered by the class teacher.
- PHONICS TESTS
The phonics tests are designed by the SEN team/class teacher and are administered to pupils in the Junior Cycle. Each class test is based on the Jolly Phonics scheme. The tests are administered by the SEN team/class teacher to Junior, Senior Infants.
Jolly Phonics Test 1B for Senior Infants in January
Jolly Phonics Test 2B for Senior Infants in June
Jolly Phonics Test 1B.
- VOCABULARY TESTS
The vocabulary tests are based on vocabulary from the Dolch list and class readers. They are administered by the SEN team to Junior and Senior Infants and by the class teacher with the assistance of the SEN team from 1st-3rd Class.
MATHEMATICS ASSESSMENTS ADMINISTERED IN BISHOP AHERN N.S.
- Junior & Senior Infants:
A teacher designed mathematics test is administered at the end of every term based on the content material that has been covered. DRUMCONDRA NUMERACY TEST will be administered to Senior Infants in May.
- 1ST-6TH CLASS
Teachers will administer check-up assessments based on material covered in the textbooks throughout the year.
- SIGMA T
The SIGMA T is a standardised assessment of pupils’ mathematics abilities. It is administered in late May to all pupils from 1st-6th Classes except in exceptional circumstances
PUPILS WHO ARE ABSENT ON DAY OF TESTING:
If pupils are absent on the day of testing the test will be administered to them by a SEN teacher at a later date unless in the event of exceptional circumstance.
OTHER TESTS ADMINISTERED IN BISHOP AHERN N.S.
- MARINO WORD READING TEST will be administered individually in September to all pupils receiving learning support and pupils will be retested in June.
- BELFIELD INFANT ASSESSMENT PROFILE
This provides diagnostic information on the child’s capabilities which will assist the teacher in devising educational strategies best suited to the needs of the individual learner. It also highlights children who need some form of additional support or remediation. The assessment is administered by a member of the SEN team/class teacher in April.
- NON-READING INTELLIGENCE TEST
Administered by class teacher to pupils in 2nds class and 4th class in May
- DYSLEXIA ASSESSMENT TEST
- OPTIONAL TESTS ADMINISTERED BY SEN TEACHERS
After consultation with the class teacher and with the consent of parents, the SEN teacher will administer initial diagnostic assessments. These results are recorded in the pupil’s individual profile. After diagnostic assessment and a complete instructional term of learning support, each child’s profile will be reviewed. If there is concern expressed by the parents, class teacher and SEN teacher, psychological assessment will be explored. General permission to carry out diagnostic assessments will be sought as part of the admission form. A regular review is carried out and discussed as part of staff meetings resulting in the drawing up of a priority list which may lead to LS/RT intervention, assessment or further observation. This list is reviewed at each staff meeting.
- NEALE ANALYSIS OF READING ABILITY
- RAIN READING TEST
- SCHONELL SPELLING TEST
- JACKSON PHONICS SKILLS TEST
- RENFREW ACTION PICTURE TEST (to assess expressive language)
- MIST (Middle Infant Screening Test)
- The MIST test is an assessment of pupils’ skills and ability in auditory comprehension & attention, recognition of letter sounds, written vocabulary, 3-phoneme word spelling, and sentence dictation. The test is administered to Senior Infant pupils in February by the class teacher assisted by one of the Special Education Needs (SEN) teachers. If pupils obtain a score below the cut-off point as recommended in the manual, we then invite their parents/guardians to work with the learning support teacher and with their child at home on a specifically designed programme.
Copies of individual standardised assessments are kept in the school for ten years after the pupil leaves 6th class. Results of class standardised assessments are recorded electronically and manually and are kept in the office. They are used by staff to evaluate learning and compare results from one year to the next. Parents are entitled to their child’s results. Results are given to them in the end of year report. However, parents are welcome to arrange a meeting with teachers to discuss assessment outcomes at other times during the year. The principal will arrange supervision of classes to facilitate such a meeting.
A written report giving a profile of pupil achievement in each curriculum area is sent home to parents at the end of the school year.