School assessments


Boy working on a maths test

Even schools where Assessment for Learning is embedded use tests - so your child will soon get used to informal classroom tests.

The most commonly used tests in primary schools include:

  • Weekly spelling or tables tests
  • End of topic tests
  • Assessed writing tasks
  • Termly tests of reading, maths or science progress

These tests take a variety of different forms, and not all schools do them all, but most children will do some of them as they pass through primary school.

If your child worries about the tests, talk to their teacher. Worried children rarely perform well, and the teacher may be surprised if a child is consistently underperforming in tests. Knowing how nervous a child is will help the teacher to understand the test results but, more importantly, will enable the teacher to reassure your child.

How are the test results used?

Results from these tests are generally used to help teachers to build their impressions of each child's learning. However, the majority of primary schools require teachers to make termly judgements about each child's progress in reading, writing and maths. These judgements are generally based on teachers' observations and Assessment for Learning.

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Some schools buy in termly tests so that all the children throughout the school take a similar test in the same week. Results from these tests are used to underpin the teacher's assessment.

The termly judgements about each child's progress are an important tool for the head teacher and teacher to use to ensure that every child is making appropriate progress. These judgements will often trigger additional support or interventions for a child whose progress is slowing down.

If you are lucky enough to be in such a school, your child will receive swift and appropriate support if their learning slows down. Early interventions like this are generally very effective.


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Last updated: about 3 years ago