Formal Methods of Assessment and Examinations
Regular assessment of learning and progress in lessons include end of unit or module tests and homework. Internal assessments take place per term in all subjects through formative, summative, or project-based assessments. All students take part in these examinations, the outcome of which can lead to a change in a student’s class in Key Stage 4. For all students, this is a great way to practice and become familiar with the formal examination setting.
Regular mock examinations for GCSE in Year 11 in preparation for public tests.
Formal public tests. Students from year 10-13 sit these exams.
The following are concepts and pedagogical techniques associated with formative assessment.
- Setting and sharing learning intentions and success criteria that match with the current readiness of pupils.
- Pitching activities at a degree of demand just beyond what pupils would find too easy, but not so difficult that the activities demotivate them.
- Effective questioning to check for understanding and to distribute requests for responses evenly among the class.
- Providing feedback that has a genuinely formative function by giving details of how to make further progress.
- Helping pupils to reflect on and take ownership of their learning.
Using formative assessment can be challenging to implement effectively, particularly when considering the progress of an activity that is already underway. For example, the teacher might decide that part of the lesson should be put on hold if they discover through formative assessment that:
- pupils have not understood;
- they are struggling with a concept; or
- a discussion has veered off-topic.
How does a student change classes in Key Stage 4?
Each time a student takes a new set of examinations, they have an opportunity to move sets. Therefore, if a child is successful in their assessments, they may maintain their position or move up a set. However, if a child achieves a lower than expected or group, this will mean that the student may move down a set.
The purpose of this system is to ensure that all students are taking full responsibility for their learning and working hard to achieve aspirational outcomes for themselves.