Our strategy for raising achievement is to set challenging targets for each student, assess continuously, examine formally and report to parents and guardians regularly.
High Expectations Real Challenge
We have high expectations of all our students. Regular assessment is built into Schemes of Work. Results are collected and collated three times during the school year to track students' progress against their targets.
Setting Challenging Targets
When they join Year 7, students are set a target to aim for in each subject. We use statistical methods on their Key Stage 2 attainment levels from primary school to determine an average student's expected progress during Key Stage 3. Then, taking into account factors such as gifted and talented potential, Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an early stage of learning English, we seek to challenge all students to do better than average. Using their professional judgement and in discussion with the student, teachers set targets at or higher than the average.
When students begin their BTEC and GCSE courses in Year 10, Key Stage 4 targets are set based on results of Key Stage 3 Standard Attainment Tests (SATs), internal examinations and teacher assessments. Again, these are intended to challenge each student to achieve more.
Students should have the descriptor of the Attainment Target for the Level they are working towards pasted into their exercise books. Comments during regular marking of both class-work and homework relate to points in this descriptor. This 'formative assessment' is a key factor in raising achievement. There are regular opportunities for self assessment and Schemes of Work have been developed so that there is at least one assessed and graded piece of work each half term.
During Terms 2 and 4, we collate assessment data and compare progress against targets. Progress Review meetings are held when parents and guardians meet tutors by appointment on Thursday evening or Friday to discuss their child's progress and agree action points for the future:
- 25th - 26th November 2010 and 7th April – 8th April 2011
There are further opportunities to meet subject teachers and senior staff at evening meetings:
- Year 7 on Tuesday 18th January 2011
- Year 8 on Tuesday 21st June 2011
- Year 9 on Tuesday 15th March 2011 (options)
- Year 10 on Tuesday 14th June 2011
- Year 11 on Tuesday 8th February 2011 (exam entries)
- Sixth Form on Tuesday 15th February 2011 (exam entries)
Parents and guardians receive an Annual Report for each student throughout the year. BTEC/GCSE and Sixth Form results are published in August.
Examination In addition to continuous assessment of class-work and homework, students are tested in examination conditions at the end of the school year. Year 9 students also sit the national Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) in English, Mathematics and Science in May.
In Years 10 and 11, students have Modular Tests which are part of their final GCSE Science grade. Trial GCSE examinations are taken in December of Year 11 with the final papers the following June.
In the Sixth Form, students have AS exams in Year 12 and A-level examinations in Year 13.
BTECs are 100% coursework-based so no formal exams.
Targets for Key Stage 3 are expressed as National Curriculum Attainment Levels on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). On average, 14-year-olds should reach Level 5.
'Good' GCSE grades are A*, A, B and C whilst grades G and above are passes.
Progress Reviews report on behaviour, effort, homework and whether a student is on track to achieve their targets.