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Longcause Community Special School

Longcause Community Special School

Learning for Life

Longcause Assessment Process

How we assess:

At Longcause we believe that knowing what each child has achieved and what their next steps are is crucial to helping them to succeed. In order to know this, we regularly assess the children. This happens in different ways:

  • Through questioning and discussion, teachers find out what children know each lesson
  • Low Stakes Quizzes at the beginning and end of all new blocks of learning 
  • Through the engagement model framework 
  • Through observations of pupils
  • Using the Autism Education Trust framework 
  • The British Picture Vocabulary Scale assessment to assess pupils understanding of vocabulary and identify misconceptions
  • Assessments once a year using  SSRT Reading age tests which give us a reading age and comprehension age, which helps us to identify the progress made throughout the year, and relate the pupils’ reading to AREs.
  • Evidenced based English and Maths schemes 
  • Assessing of phonics progress using the RWI scheme
  • Accredited outcomes at the end of KS4 where appropriate for individuals 


As a result of accurate assessment, teachers are able to adapt their lessons and the curriculum to make sure they are fully meeting the needs of the children. Additional support would be put in place for any specific needs identified. 


How we track pupil progress:

At Longcause we track pupil progress in a range of methods (see Appendix 3):

  • The Longcause Big 10 
  • The Autism Education Trust framework
  • Low Stakes Quizzes
  • Subject specific trackers 
  • Observations 


The Longcause Big 10, are the 10 key factors that we agree can be barriers for children making progress and then we can monitor and evaluate where there is a need for further intervention or support. 


  1. Safeguarding
  2. Healthy lifestyle
  3. Mental health
  4. Positive relationships in school
  5. Engagement in learning
  6. Intervention measures
  7. Self regulation
  8. Transitions
  9. Communication and interaction
  10. External / environmental factors


The AET framework we have divided into the four areas of the SEND Code of Practice as follows:


All subject leaders are accountable for pupil progress across the school in their subject and we have trackers for every subject area as appropriate for individual children. Entry assessments (Low Stakes Quizzes) are used to baseline what pupils know or don’t know and to support teachers in planning the next sequence of learning. Exit assessments (end quiz) are then one measure of progress at the end of the sequence of learning. We know that pupils at Longcause do not always perform for assessments, so we are also using teacher judgement for progress. 


Subject leaders are analysing the progress from the trackers, then triangulating this with book looks, drop ins and talking to individual teachers. 


‘The successful implementation of the new National Curriculum requires a radical cultural and pedagogical change…where the focus needs to be on high-quality, in-depth teaching, supported by in-class formative assessment.’ CAWL, 2015


Class teachers track and monitor progress against the Autism Education Trust Framework using a RAG rated system. 


Progress measures:


At Longcause, pupils within the Early Years Foundation Stage will start their school career within lower than expected phases of development for their age band. We have high expectations of all children regardless of their starting point in school. Using the model expected by OfSTED, we aspire for all pupils to make ‘good’ progress, whereby children progress two phases of development by the end of the year. Progress across the phases of development beyond this would represent ‘Outstanding’ progress for pupils. 

We measure progress across Reading using the Read Write Inc scheme as well as the follow on Literacy and Language programme. Progress is captured weekly in progress statements in individual books where appropriate. 

In Maths we follow the progression in the White Rose scheme of work and capture progress weekly in progress statements in individual books where appropriate. The subject leader for Maths is responsible for monitoring and tracking individual progress across the whole school for Maths. 

We also monitor and track pupil personal development through their Personal Development Plans (PDPs). These are shared with families three times per year, to show small steps towards the bigger EHCP outcomes. 

‘… [Assessment] should be used diagnostically to contribute to the early and accurate identification of children and young people’s special educational needs and any requirements for support and intervention.  …[Assessment] should consider long-term wider outcomes such as higher education, employment and independent living.  Schools should consider meaningful ways of measuring all aspects of progress including communication, social skills, physical development, resilience and independence. CAWL, 2015


Recording and reporting:

  • Evidence of progress is recorded in weekly progress statements for English and Maths.
  • Progress statements are written in books at the end of each block of learning in all other subjects. 
  • Evidence of progress for practical subjects e.g. PE, DT, Catering, Art and Expressive Arts are captured on SeeSaw. 
  • Progress is RAG rated on subject trackers at the start and end of each term. 
  • Subject leaders use the assessment data collected to gain an overview of progress and attainment in their subject area and make an impact where progress is not as expected
  • Subject leaders meet with Senior Leaders three times per year for a subject leader progress meeting 
  • Class teachers meet with Senior Leaders three times per year for a Class Pupil Progress meeting
  • Each class has access to their own (and others) Pupil Progress Meeting Action Plan which shows pupil achievement data and pupil premium information for the current assessment period
  • Reporting on progress to families happens three times a year through digital reporting 
  • Parent consultation evenings are held over the course of the year 
  • Pupil progress Governor’s working group met three times a year 
  • Up to date achievement data is reported to full Governors three times a year and kept up to date on the school website.


How we ensure our judgement is accurate:

  • Class teachers meet with senior leaders each term to share their class pupil progress reports and their action plan 
  • Subject leaders carry out drop ins to ensure that their schemes are being implemented as intended 
  • Subject leaders analyse and interpret their progress data and meet with senior leaders three times per year 
  • Book scrutinies are carried out termly by subject leaders and senior leaders.  
  • All of these additional supports form part of the teachers’ judgement alongside the children’s daily learning, work in their books and formative assessment
  • Cross school moderation and external moderation through Deputies Network groups with other special schools. 


What we do with this assessment data:

The main purpose of assessment data is to inform future learning for each child. Teachers and senior leaders use it to ensure that all children and groups (including pupil premium children) receive the education best suited to their needs which will ensure progress is being made and that we are preparing our learners for life after Longcause.   

The next steps for the Commission on Assessment without levels, 2015 (CAWL, 2015) shares our own aim for the assessment process: ‘Pupils should develop a better understanding of how they are doing and where they need to target their efforts to progress.  This should foster a sense of responsibility for their own learning and should result in more meaningful dialogue between pupil and teacher about the pupil’s attainment and progress’.


Assessment of our pupils is directly linked to our curriculum and this Assessment Policy should be read in conjunction with our Curriculum Policy.


Appendix 2


We follow an assessment cycle in order to report to governors and parents at least three times per year. Please see below for the process across an academic year. 




Pupil progress basket of measures