Schools are expected to devise their own assessment criteria and systems for assessing children’s understanding of mathematics in Years 1, 3, 4, and 5. This system could assess children throughout each year and at the end of each year. End of Key Stage 1 and end of Key Stage 2 statutory assessments are defined by the Department for Education.

The links here provide guidance and support both for schools to develop their own assessment practices and for end of Key Stage 1/2 statutory assessment expectations.

Maths Assessment : Key Principles

  • Thinking is at the heart of mathematics and therefore should be at the heart of assessment in mathematics. Reasoning and decision making, key elements of mathematical thinking, should be central to any assessment criteria
  • Assessment relies on listening to rather than listening for
  • Mathematics is a connected body of knowledge so assessment in maths looks for pupils making connections and demonstrating relational understanding
  • Activity is not enough; it is the sense that we make of it that matters. Making sense of the maths means going beyond ‘doing’; it comes from conceptual understanding of the structure of the mathematics, which leads to generalising
  • Children need opportunities to work at the edge of their understanding in order to demonstrate fully what they do understand and what they need to learn next: this will involve children struggling and getting things wrong
  • Unless opportunities are provided for children to make decisions, make connections and explain their thinking it will not be possible to make judgements: ‘getting it right’ is necessary but not sufficient
  • Assessment relies upon children demonstrating independence in thought not independence in activity
  • There is no place for assumptions – neither about what you will see nor about what you do see
  • Assessment includes observation and dialogue and is a necessary part of every lesson
  • Assessment feedback inspires greater effort and a belief that, through hard work and practice, more can be achieved. Feedback tells pupils how to improve
Scroll to top