As a school we have researched carefully the new flexibilities offered with the Department for Education's decision that the National Curriculum Levels do not need to be used by schools from September 2014 for assessing progress at Key Stage 3.
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 believe it is in the best interests of our Year 7 and Year 8 students to move away from tracking and reporting progress by the use of National Curriculum levels. Instead, we will move to 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
- 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 other year groups will continue to be assessed using GCSE grades.
Please note changes to GCSE grades from June 2017 for English and Maths and from 2018 for all other subjects by clicking here.
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).
For further information about our Year 7 assessment framework and our general assessment rationale and systems, please refer to our full Assessment Policy below and the Key Stage 3 and 4 Programmes of Study under the Curriculum section of the website.
Curriculum and Assessment Reform
There is much in the news regarding upcoming 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: