The Hundred of Hoo enjoys increasingly improving standards of academic achievement. Our GCSE and A level results in recent years have been the best in the Academy’s history; this is reflective of the learning that pupils have undertaken throughout our robust, rich and carefully-constructed curriculum and of the expertise with which our teachers deliver this curriculum.
Every assessment opportunity is used meaningfully and purposefully to determine what our pupils have learned and to ascertain the impact of our curriculum and its implementation. We use assessments to provide a clear insight into the progress pupils are making in terms of knowing more and remembering more.
The level of challenge and difficulty of assessments for the vast majority of subjects spirals upwards from Y7 up until Y11, and then Y13 for those who continue to study with us; all learning and therefore assessment builds towards a clear end point. Where a pupil begins the study of a subject from KS4, the skills and content then become more difficult from this point onwards. Both assessments and marking criteria are written by subject specialists and test both the content covered and the skills introduced throughout the curriculum. As our curriculums extend on pupil’s knowledge each year, our assessments mirror this and are therefore age appropriate. Teachers mark Milestone assessments to accurately assess the progress pupils have made within specific areas in a unit of work.
The percentages or grades scored in each milestone enable pupils and teachers to clearly see, over the course of a year, which elements individual pupils found most difficult; those that they need to devote more learning time to in order to embed and retain key knowledge and skills. It also allows them to determine where their areas of strength are. Milestone folders are used to collate all Milestone assessments for individual pupils and this allows teachers and students to regularly reflect on their progress and retention of knowledge throughout the year. It allows teachers to monitor and track the impact of the curriculum. The timing of assessments is crucial and ensures that all pupils are assessed at the most pertinent point in the curriculum; it is not determined by module lengths. Therefore the impact measured is robust and accurate.
Recall and retention tests have been embedded throughout each subject curriculum. On average, classes complete low stakes quizzing at a minimum of once per week. Year 7 and 8 complete knowledge organiser tests and teachers record these scores once per term. This information is sent home to parents in termly reports. The application of this knowledge recall is further assessed in their milestones – this provides current and informative data about whether their knowledge is being embedded in their long term memory, and whether they can use this knowledge to make key links between subjects.
Specific Assessment Opportunities
Year 7 pupils complete baseline assessments in September. The purpose of this is to allow teachers to consider how secure pupils are in core subjects after the summer break and assess gaps in curriculum, knowledge and skills.
At the end of year 10 pupils sit a full GCSE paper in each of their subjects. There is a further PPE season for the Core Subjects in November of Year 11 and then a comprehensive PPE season which includes all subjects, including Art, Photography, Textiles and Food, in late February/ Early March.
Reporting to Parents
Research tells us that the best and most effective school assessment systems are clear, consistent and coherent. They must be shaped by the whole school community and maintain consistency across a range of subjects.
We provide parents with a wide range of information about their children and we take seriously the vital role they play in their education. We want to ensure that they are provided with further details about the topics and key concepts our pupils are studying.
All pupils and parents across the Trust receive termly reports outlining key information on the individual pupil’s progress, attainment, attitude towards learning and attendance, based upon the 6 separate data captures across the academic year.
My Child at School
MyChildAtSchool [MCAS] is a portal enabling parents to view their child’s academic performance in real-time via a web browser. This facility allows exclusive access to the child’s Attendance, Assessment and Behaviour whenever the parent/carer wishes. As well as student performance data, the portal also provides general useful information about school such as the Academic Calendar and Announcements.
In summary, MyChildAtSchool provides:
- Access to real-time Attendance, Assessment and Behavioural data
- An insight to parents on their child’s schoolwork (homework topics etc.)
- Communication facilities to improve contact between parents and schools
- Instant access to Published Reports and Letters