Assessing progress in foundation subjects (primary)

Understand how to plan and assess effectively in foundation subjects, and use the assessment activities to help you. See how other primary schools have approached foundation subject assessment.

Last reviewed on 22 February 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 1056
  1. Plan your curriculum carefully
  2. Your approach to assessing progress will depend on your curriculum
  3. Include opportunities for assessment in planning
  4. Mix and match these 6 assessment activities
  5. Be clear what you are assessing
  6. See examples of foundation subject assessment from other primary schools

Plan your curriculum carefully

You should specify the content you want in your curriculum, including the:

  • Substantive knowledge (facts)
  • Vocabulary
  • Concepts
  • Disciplinary knowledge (understanding)

You may want to present this as a curriculum map for teachers, being clear about what's core knowledge and what's nice to have. Summarising this as a knowledge organiser will make it accessible to pupils. 

Use formative assessment at the beginning of each unit of work to find out what pupils know and understand. Use responsive teaching to add to their knowledge.

Your approach to assessing progress will depend on your curriculum

You should:

You could classify pupils’ progress as ‘emerging’,

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