Pupil Assessment

We offer a wide range of assessment approaches to best meet the needs of individual pupils. These include standardised assessments such as the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT), which provides information on a range of areas including literacy, maths and language development. Alongside the WIAT, we have a number of other standardised assessment tools which can provide insights into areas such as processing speed, working memory, expressive language, receptive vocabulary, reading accuracy and comprehension, non-verbal reasoning, and more. Our Consultant Teachers in SEND are trained to administer and interpret formal assessments, having completed the level 7 Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET) qualification, as well as being registered as test users with the British Psychological Society. Alongside formal assessment approaches, we draw on informal approaches to provide further qualitative and dynamic assessment information, such as flexible writing approaches, phonics knowledge and word reading.  

Another valuable form of assessment is school observation. We use observation to inform our advice to schools, alongside discussions with key partners including pupils, staff and families. Pupil voice is an important part of the assessment process; we gain pupils’ views in appropriate ways, and include them in reports. We provide assessment work for young people of all ages, and generate professional advice reports for schools, which are then shared with home. We also offer follow-up discussions with families if needed. Reports are professional and comprehensive, using clear and respectful language. We provide explanations of test findings, a summary of pupils’ needs and specific advice regarding their provision, which is based upon best practice and a specialist understanding of what helps pupils to learn and develop. We can provide additional elements in reports if needed, such as (for Sheffield schools) Sheffield Support Grid levels and Birmingham SEN Toolkits levels, as well as outcomes advice and approaches to try at home. Reports often include web links and photographs to help make the advice as accessible and useful as possible. 

Assessment reports provide a crucial role for schools in identifying strengths and needs for specific pupils, and providing targeted advice regarding their provision. Assessments are often requested when a pupil is encountering difficulties with learning, and their school/family would like to know more information as to why that might be. Assessments may also relate to formal processes such as an education, health and care needs assessment (an EHCP application), an upcoming annual review or as evidence/advice pertaining to another process, such as school transition or an NHS assessment. As well as focusing on learning development, we are often asked to look into other areas of need, such as social, emotional, behavioural, communication and language development. We aim to provide a ‘holistic’ view of pupils’ needs, so will often look at and advise upon a range of factors. Some assessments are wide-ranging, while at other times we are asked to focus on one or a small number of factors (e.g., just literacy or social and emotional development). We are flexible and responsive, and will design the assessment approach with the needs of each pupil in mind.