Assessment and Reporting
Our assessment and reporting system is designed to produce timely, accurate and relevant data that provides students and teachers with the information they need to continually improve, leading to raised outcomes. It also provides parents and carers with regular feedback on how students are progressing so that they can support their learning throughout the school year. Finally, assessment data is used by leaders at all levels to strategically to monitor trends in student performance so that we can deploy resources as efficiently as possible.
How does assessment work?
Teachers assess student performance using a range of techniques both in and out of class, and the schedule of assessment is set down by each subject in their assessment map. These tools include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:
- “Do now activities” or “DNAs” – short, recall-based tasks at the starts of lessons, used to aid students in retention of knowledge from prior lessons.
- Questioning of students – teachers employ developmental questions to gauge and improve understanding of topics taught.
- Written and verbal feedback on work (including homework) to help provide targets for students to improve. The balance of verbal and written feedback varies across different subjects.
- Mid and end of unit tests which provide a summative assessment of how well students have gained knowledge, skills and understanding; at KS4 and 5 these tests are almost exclusively derived from examination materials to help students prepare.
- Extended tasks (including non-examined assessment, or NEA) that test students over longer periods of time.
When all this evidence is collated, it provides a rich picture of how well students are progressing and what knowledge, skills and understanding they have gained. When compared to other key documents such as schemes of work and exam board specifications, teachers can then judge the areas students still need to work on to further improve.
How is progress judged?
For students in years 7-9, we formally assess using end of unit tests which are marked as percentages. These percentages are compared to the level of achievement from students’ end of year 6 SAT scores to ascertain if they are performing above, at or below their prior attainment level.
For students in years 10-13, formal assessment of progress is carried out using examination board materials and is marked using the appropriate scoring system, i.e. 9-1 for GCSE, distinction/ merit/pass for vocational subjects and A, B, C etc for A level subjects. These grades are then compared to target data generated from KS2 (for KS4 students) or KS4 attainment (for KS5 students) to determine the level of progress students are making.
How does assessment link to teaching?
Assessment data is used by teachers to continually improve learning through a system of in-class actions. Teachers review the progress of their students during and at the end of each teaching unit; if students are deemed to be making less than satisfactory progress then they employ appropriate tools to enhance student progress, known as teacher response actions. These include group tuition, different reading materials, 1:1 support and other methods. Managers also review assessment data with a particular focus on groups of students such as special educational needs, service students or high prior attainers, to make sure all are meeting their potential; the findings of these reviews are also used to fine tune teaching strategies to maximise student progress.
How do we report progress to reports?
Parents and carers have a minimum of four opportunities across the school year to access progress and target information for their sons/daughters. These opportunities consist of three reports and one parents evening; there are additional opportunities in examination years. Reports are delivered electronically to Parent Portal accounts in terms 2, 4 and 6 so they can be accessed immediately, are available on any internet-enabled device and save paper. Parents evenings are held electronically using SchoolCloud, enabling parents to access appointments with their son/daughter’s teachers wherever they may be.
For a detailed video explaining how reporting and assessment works at key stage 3 and 4, please click here.