I'm more interested, at this stage about how to create continuous expectation.
Establishing baselines is a very useful activity in any sphere of life, to be able to make ongoing judgements and to offer continuous review and responses that sustain progressive developments. Essentially, the teacher has to know, at any point where a child is in terms of their achievement and have strategies in place to challenge, coach and guide them to undertake challenge that will allow them to demonstrate higher achievement.
There is a simple rule of thumb; is this piece of work “better” in some qualitative or quantitative way that allows a statement of (relative) security that something has been evidenced, plus statements of continuing or subsequent need? In other words, a teacher, knowing each child, as one might expect in a Primary context, should be able to compare current with past performance and make a statement of current achievement. This “taking stock” is assessment of learning that leads to statements for future consideration; the basis for assessment of learning.
It is, however, the continuous reference to baselines that allows children insights into what external expectations might mean. Using visual evidence from the class, the teacher can model what is being expected, while also showing how a good outcome can still be improved.
Moving between classes, it is essential that teachers fully appreciate the achievement at the end of the previous year, so that they can articulate expectations which don’t enable regression that then requires remediation to the earlier state. The simplest way to achieve this is to copy a piece of work from the previous year that is stuck into the front of the new exercise book. Equally, where a new book is needed within a year, the last baseline piece might be copied and carried forward, as a prompt, as much as an expectation.
Rather than the beginning and end assessments receiving such publicity and causing, as they do, additional stress to all concerned, I’d want some concentration on the “flow” through a school; how a school ensures that progress is seamless, limiting regression.
It is the challenging, progressive journey that matters, with successive baselines being established that support learning dialogue, establish further challenge and provide a focus for each child to become purposeful in their efforts to show that they are getting “better”.
Check the start point, as many schools and authorities have done for many years, supported by significant teacher assessment, but explore the dynamics at transitions. That’s where the drop-off can occur.