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-designed 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. Teachers use a range of assessment strategies within lessons to determine pupils' learning and progress through the content being taught. We use termly summative assessments (milestones) to provide a clear insight and overview into the progress pupils are making in terms of knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more. These assessment points inform teachers planning and equally enable teachers to rapidly address any misconceptions and gaps in knowledge to drive learning forward.
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. When a pupil begins the study of a subject from KS4, the skills, core knowledge and content develop in the level of challenge from this point onwards. Subject specialists and curriculum experts carefully plan, design and construct assessments and marking criteria to ensure pupils can demonstrate their learning and understanding. Milestone assessments assess both the core knowledge and content taught, the skills introduced throughout the curriculum and the application of knowledge. These are teacher marked and therefore provide invaluable insights to each pupils' level of understanding and application of knowledge. As our curriculum builds upon pupil’s knowledge each year, our assessments mirror this and are therefore age appropriate.
Marking criterias are used robustly to ensure pupils' milestone assessment scores/percentages or grades are consistently assessed and moderated. Each milestone enables 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 core knowledge and skills. It also allows them to determine where their areas of strength are. Milestone folders/books are used to collate 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 and leaders 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.
Retrieval tasks have been embedded throughout each subject curriculum and on average, classes complete a form of retrieval practice at a minimum of once per week. These tasks are carefully designed and sequenced to ensure that pupils’ are given opportunities to recall core knowledge from their long term memories and really capture what they know. The retrieval tasks support pupils in strengthening their schemas and enhancing the development of knowledge over time but also reducing cognitive load when learning more challenging concepts. 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 different concepts and different subjects.
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