Q1. How do teachers assess the progress of their pupils in science and maths?

Why this is important

Effective assessment methods can help teachers to identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and plan lessons accordingly.

The Department for Education (DfE) removed assessment levels in 2014, giving schools the freedom to develop their own means of assessing pupils’ progress.37 Your school will be expected to demonstrate (with evidence) how it assesses pupils’ progress. These assessments are used to keep parents informed, to enable governors to make judgements about the school’s effectiveness, and to inform Ofsted inspections”.38


The DfE’s core assessment principles state that effective assessment:

  • gives reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school, is performing
  • helps drive improvement for pupils and teachers
  • makes sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation.3940

Pupils in Key Stage 1 will complete statutory tests marked by the school. Pupils in Key Stage 2 will continue to complete statutory tests, including maths, marked externally. In science, biennial sample tests will be used from 2016 to estimate national performance.41

Schools should track pupils’ performance and benchmark it, where possible, against previous years’ results, national performance data (See Q2 for national benchmarks) and across different groups of pupils.

Ideas for improvement

School governors should understand school leaders’ plans for assessment of pupil progress throughout their school years – including how it is moderated and how the data are used. They need to be confident that these assessment systems are robust and provide accurate information about pupil’s progress which is effectively communicated to parents.

School leaders should check that new models for assessment under consideration meet the DfE’s core assessment principles.42

Other questions in Assessment

Back to Assessment