Assessment information for pathways Key Stages 1-4

Pupils following our Pre-Formal and Informal pathway are all set pupil profiles and next steps within the four areas of need- Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Physical and Sensory and Social and Emotional. Opportunities to develop skills within these areas are holistically implemented throughout the school day. Observational assessment is the most reliable way of building up an accurate picture of pupil’s progress (The Engagement Model 2020). Progress meetings are held termly with teaching staff to review engagement and to ensure that the curriculum offer is meeting needs. Pupil profiles, Seesaw and Next Steps are reviewed as part of this process and regular classroom ‘drop-ins’ are carried out to look at engagement against the Engagement Model.


Pupils following our Semi-Formal pathway are all set individualised learning Intentions within the five areas of need- My Communication, My Thinking and Problem Solving, My Physical Wellbeing, My Social Skills and My Independence. Semi-Formal Learners are working below age expected standards and are therefore given functional and purposeful opportunities to develop their learning intentions throughout the school day. Practitioners meet termly to discuss pupil progress and to ensure that all pupils are on track to meet either below, good or above expected progress. We use the Continuum of Skill Development to ensure pupils have opportunities to generalise skills in a range of contexts.


Pupils following our Formal pathway are set multiple targets for English and Maths in line with the adapted National Curriculum teaching objectives. Progress is tracked through outcome trees on our Onwards and Upwards data tracking system. Each objective is assessed against the linear continuum which is split into the following 3 areas: emerging, developing and secure. Formal learners are also set learning intentions within My Physical Wellbeing, My Social Skills and My Independence which are tracked against the Continuum of Skill Development. Formal Learners are working below age expected standards. Therefore, they are offered alternative examinations and accreditations which are more functional and accessible. They are offered Entry Level qualifications in English, Maths, Science and Humanities.



Upper School - Assessment method/ Performance for Functional Skills in Literacy and Numeracy

At the beginning of the new academic year our objectives are:

  • To gather background information about the students following NCFE Functional Skills in Literacy and Numeracy as part of the Upper Semi-Formal and Upper Formal Curriculums in Upper school.
  • To gather and utilise relevant data from the student’s previous schools or previous teachers within our school, will be gained and used to support student’s transition to Upper School at St Francis.

Students are then set into individual ability groups based on the data that has been gained and the baseline assessments that have been carried out by the Functional Skills Curriculum lead teacher


In the first 6 weeks of the Autumn term all students in Upper School following Functional Skills in Literacy and Numeracy will go through a series of baseline assessments to ascertain their starting points. The strands in Literacy (Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening) and Numeracy will be assessed and then each student will be given a raw baseline data teacher assessment, using the ‘I Can’ statements links to the level of learning, from Entry Level 1 to Level 2.


From this initial baseline assessment targets will be individually set as a percentage. Various factors will also be taken into consideration, these being:-

  • Individual Medical needs,
  • Background information gained from previous schools and teachers,
  • Individual timetables, and
  • Information from their Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Assessment, Moderation and Standardisation is carried out 2 times annually by the Head of Upper School and Functional Skills lead teacher. This is linked to the whole school data policy.


Intervention and Monitoring lists are developed by the Functional Skills lead teacher and quality- assured by the Head of Upper School to support those students who have made limited progress. The students on both of these lists will then receive further intervention and monitoring to aid progression further. Currently COVID-19 catch-up funding is being used to support this process.


Data tracking and recording initially takes place by the Functional Skills lead teacher twice annually using the ‘I Can’ statements and the progression made in each of these (not achieved, partly achieved and fully achieved). This data is then transferred at the calendared data meetings held between Head of Upper school and Functional Skills lead teacher to the whole school data tracking system ‘Onwards and Upwards'.


Performance Table

To access the School Performance Tables on the DfE website click here