Assessment

We have always prided ourselves on ensuring our assessment system is robust and fit for purpose, allowing scrupulous tracking of student progress.  Our systems are extremely refined, designed to identify any actual or potential underperformance quickly with rapid intervention then put into place to close any gaps in learning.

We have an assessment system that, up to the point of public examinations, focuses on which specific elements of the curriculum an individual has deeply understood (mastered) and which they have not.

  • is based on developing the key knowledge, skills and understanding required for success in the new Key Stage 4 curriculum whilst ensuring Key Stage 3 provides a firm and engaging foundation.
  • is based upon high expected standards for all our students
  • is based heavily upon formative feedback and subsequent student response which allows all to succeed – and so develops growth mindset
  • incorporates periodic summative assessment to support ongoing formative feedback and prepare effectively for terminal linear examinations

All  year groups are assessed using a tracking back system from an ambitious GCSE target grade.

In Key Stage 3, students will be assessed according to the following criteria;

  • Well Above = achieving well above expectations relative to target grades
  • At Expected = achieving as expected relative to target grades
  • Just Below = achieving just below expectations relative to target grades
  • Well Below = achieving well below expectations relative to target grades

At KS4 the same principles will apply as above – however students’ work will frequently be assessed against specific examination questions for the subject.

We will continue to enhance the assessment system further with all subjects conducting formal assessments of Spelling Punctuation and Grammar in addition to their subject specific assessments.  We hope this will provide a clear and formal mechanism for promoting the critical importance of Literacy in every area.

In addition to the new assessment system, the school also uses Cognitive Ability Tests, Reading Assessments and a battery of specific tests for identifying special educational needs to ensure we gain as holistic a picture of a child’s needs as possible (please refer to our Local Special Educational Needs Offer for more information).

Assessment Policy


Curriculum and Assessment Reform

There is much in the news regarding the reforms to GCSE and A Level qualifications and I would like to take this opportunity to outline the changes and how we are managing them to ensure the best outcomes for our students. 

Please see below for relevant documents and a more detailed explanation of the changes.

Key Links relating to GCSE and A Level Reform:

How will reforms affect each year group?
OFQUAL Statement on new GCSE grades 

New GCSE Grading Structure

 

 

 

Latest News

Posted on: 4/02/2019

The Hidden World of the Atom

Last November, A Level Physics students from Hatch End High went to a lecture at the University College London. There, Dr. Robert Palgrave delivered a mesmerizing lecture on the Hidden World of Atoms. Dr Palgrave started the lecture by introducing the great Michael Faraday’s example of a burning candle flame to explain modern chemistry. That seemingly modest reaction is summarized here: CnH(2n+2) (s) + {(3n+1)/2}O2 (g) → n CO2 (g) + (n+1)H2O (g) Many of the students in the auditorium that evening were wondering, how do we know that atoms are structured and behave in the way we see them in textbooks? The lecture took us on a history tour starting as early as antiquity. Democritus, the ancient Greek philosopher, considered the fundamental question on the nature of matter. He imagined a very large block of gold, which he cut it into half repeatedly. The question he posed was: “Is there ever a point where the block of gold can’t be cut any further?”. The people who thought the block could not be divided were called atomists and thus, they called the smallest unit of matter “the atom” (Greek: a + tomos = not cut). On the other hand, those who disagreed with Democritus could not accept the fact that there were gaps between atoms, which contained nothing. Dr Palgrave then steered us into the 1880s, an era of rampant discovery in chemistry. Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen and nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas). His contemporary and equal, Henry Cavendish would discover hydrogen in this period, calling it “inflammable air”. Astutely, Cavendish realized that no matter the amount of product made, the reactants always reacted in a certain proportion with each other. John Dalton (shown) lay down the foundations for modern atomic theory – his postulates said the states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases) are composed of discrete, indivisible units called atoms. Elements (like Cavendish’s hydrogen) are composed of atoms of the same mass and properties, and chemical reactions simply are the rearrangement of these atoms. Dr Palgrave then entertained us with the story of August Kekule, a German organic chemist, who was the first person to solve the structure of benzene - a problem which had been troubling chemists for decades. The legend goes that whilst Kekule was asleep in front of the fire, he had a dream of a snake devouring its own tail. Upon waking, Kekule had the idea of the circular structure of benzene (shown). As Dr Pelgrave brought his lecture to a close, he arrived at his conclusion. The truth about the hidden world of atoms becomes clear: the accuracy and usefulness of scientific models of atoms have improved over time. Science is the relentless and rigourous pursuit of better and better models to explain the natural world. Written by Monishka Sinha(6HME).
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