The processes of conferencing and evaluation are embedded in all aspects of the OPA curriculum and are fully described in our Conferencing and Evaluation policy.
Conferencing is used in all learning and social contexts to promote agency, reflection, and self-regulation. It has become part of the fabric of learning at Oaks Primary Academy and inspired a shift in culture away from traditional marking and feedback to a more progressive, pupil-centred approach that now permeates all aspects of school life.
The delivery of the OPA curriculum is supported by rigorous evaluation and assessment practices. The main evaluative practice involves monitoring learning – in other words, making effective use of assessment for learning tools to inform next steps planning. This may include, for example, conferencing, questioning, observation or low stakes testing. Another form of evaluation and assessment in use at OPA is that of documenting learning. We recognise that evidence of learning takes many different forms, from work in books to displays, digital content or pupil action. Each class and national curriculum subject area collect snapshots of this learning through entries on digital portfolios with annotations that make the learning visible. Oaks Primary Academy measures learning through careful and considered use of internal summative testing, teacher assessment judgements, and national testing. As part of our journey with the IB PYP, we are now moving towards assessing pupils’ conceptual understanding with the use of the SOLO (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) Taxonomy (Biggs & Collis 1982). Use of this taxonomy will make clear whether learning is at a surface or deeper level in order to inform planning for the rest of the unit, as well as defining and tracking the increasing complexities of pupils’ understanding. As pupils engage with units of inquiry, their understanding will progress from uni or multi-structural (knowing one or several facts about a concept), to relational (connecting and integrating knowledge on a deeper level) or to extended abstract (the ability to generalise and apply learning in new contexts).