Assessment is always in the news and is always something that is being thought about in schools. For those friends and colleagues in mainstream settings it is all about test results alongside their teacher assessments and how this affects their whole school image and can affect their Ofsted score.
For us in Special, especially in the world of PMLD like I am currently, it is a little more difficult. Firstly finding something to provide the data that local authorities and the DfE want be that B Squared, Pivats or something else. These methods provide the numbers and percentages that certain people love. However, for me they are massively flawed and this has really hit me over the last few weeks and months. I am working with some of the most profoundly disabled children in this country. I have several children who are still functioning at the very lowest P level (P1i) and for these children standard assessment methods just don’t work. For these children learning does not happen in terms of the dictionary definition of the world “the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.” Instead my role is to provide them with as many opportunities to explore the word around them and maybe, just maybe respond to them. Then once we see this response my role is to see if we can get that consistency of response. How do I record this? How do I show progress? I will always have high expectations of these children. I want them to find a way to show us that they know something is happening. This is key. How do I show this? This is something I need to work on. Those children deserve nothing less.