Development of assessment across the schools in North West Leicestershire
The ACE Partnership was established in 2011. It has six member schools from the Ashby, Ibstock and Coalville area, comprising two upper schools (Ashby and King Edward VII) and four high schools (Castle Rock, Ibstock, Ivanhoe and Newbridge). These six schools work in partnership to ensure that their students achieve the best possible outcomes during their time in ACE Partnership schools.
ACE schools have been working together closely over the last two years to design a common curriculum and assessment system. This will ensure that all students in ACE Partnership schools share an entitlement to the same core of knowledge, understanding and skills (known as the core curriculum) throughout high school.
It will define the progress steps each year for all students, building on their achievement in their primary school, to fully achieve their potential at the end of Year 11.
It will also ensure that students are assessed at the end of their time in ACE Partnership high schools in a consistent way. The system is known as the Pathway system.
Subject groups across the ACE partnership have agreed statements of attainment for 5 pathways, differentiated according to standards on entry. The pathways have been written to build in high expectations for students from KS2-4.
These pathways are described as follows:
The pathways show a possible route from the start of Year 7 to the end of Year 11 (GCSE). The GCSE grade here is an aspiration for which the pathway statements of attainment will provide the building blocks. It should not be seen as a predictor of future performance.
At the start of Year 7, students will be given an Expected Pathway. This is the minimum pathway which we expect students to be working at. The Expected Pathway is worked out from students Key Stage 2 results.
The current pathway is an indication of where students are at the end of each review period. At Castle Rock High School, the year is divided in to six, 6 week Review Periods. At the end of each Review Period the progress of each student is monitored. Those students who are working below their Expected Target will be given a wide range of interventions in order to try and get them back on to their Expected Pathway.
Our method of assessment
- Assessment serves many purposes, but the main purpose of assessment in our school is to help teachers, parents and students plan their next steps in learning
- We also use the outcomes of assessment to check and support our teaching standards and help us improve
- Through working with other schools and using external tests and assessments, we will compare our performance with that of other schools
- We assess students against assessment criteria, which are short, discrete, qualitative and concrete descriptions of what a student is expected to know and be able to do
- Assessment criteria are derived from the school curriculum, which is composed of the pathway statements
- Assessment criteria for periodic assessment are arranged into a hierarchy, setting out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year
- The achievement of each student is assessed against all the relevant criteria at appropriate times of the school year (this will be at least once every 6 week Review Period or where a subject rotates – a least once in a rotation module)
- Assessment judgements are recorded and backed by a body of evidence created using observations, records of work and testing
- Assessment judgements are moderated by colleagues in school and by colleagues in other schools to make sure our assessments are fair, reliable and valid
- Moderation at KS3 and 4 will usually take place within the ACE Partnership of Secondary Schools
- Moderation across KS1-4 will usually take place within the Forest Way Teaching School Alliance Partnership
Our approach to assessment
Castle Rock students have a wide range of abilities and learning styles and our approaches to assessment reflects this. Techniques that we use include:
- Observational assessment, where a member of staff observes student response to learning activities and unstructured situations
- Dynamic assessment, which looks at the student’s responses in the context of learning a task
- Questioning and discussion, which enables the teacher to make a judgement about students’ degree of understanding
- Criterion-referenced assessment, which measures a student’s attainment against a list of skills or pieces of knowledge
- Formal assessment, where the student is asked to complete tests or set tasks which indicate his or her knowledge or approach to learning
- Marking and review of written and performed work
- Student self and peer assessment
- Functional assessment of behaviour
- Records of frequency and intensity of behaviour
- Tests set by the class teacher
- Multidisciplinary discussion, e.g. to review a behaviour support plan or IEP, or follow up the outcomes of National Curriculum assessments
We involve students in recognising and assessing their progress in ways that reflect their level of understanding. This varies from sharing in the celebration of achievement at the end of a lesson, peer assessment, and identifying (with support) what they have achieved in a lesson and finally to discussing and reviewing learning objectives. We expect students to be able to understand their IEP goals and targets and the objectives set for each lesson.
Classroom staff will help them to understand the progress they are making and what they need to do next to continue learning and make further progress. Formal and informal praise and incentive systems are used to reward student’s good progress. Intervention strategies for students who are underachieving or underperforming are discussed with the students concerned.
We involve parents in the Review process at termly Parent evenings and SEN Annual Reviews by seeking their views on their children’s progress and priorities for the following year and sending them;
- Termly progress reports
- Annual progress reports
- IEP's for SEN students
We also use phone, e-mail and or face to face contact, whenever the need arises to discuss any concerns about their child’s progress identified from tracking assessment information.
The school operates an open door policy where parents may request information and or a meeting to discuss their child’s progress at any time.