Our policy is based on a commitment to ensure that pupils’ work is assessed regularly and thoroughly to inform teaching and learning. It is guided by the principles of the NI Curriculum which has Assessment for Learning at its core. Assessment can be both formative and summative but its main purpose is to support pupils to improve their learning and achieve their full potential.
Assessment should be used primarily to help pupils to know where they are in their learning and what they have to do in order to make progress.
Assessment is also used to identify strengths and possible underachievement in pupil learning so that support measures may be implemented.
Assessment is an integral part of Teaching and Learning and it should be incorporated in the schemes of works for all departments.
Assessment allows departments to review strengths and weaknesses in the scheme of work and so encourage curriculum development.
Assessment data will be communicated to parents following tracking assessments so they will have accurate and meaningful information on their child’s progress.
Assessment for Learning is conducted during day to day classroom practice and takes place during learning. Pupils work with the teacher to determine what is being learned and what the next steps should be. It involves the following key actions:
Sharing learning intentions – pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their learning
Sharing and negotiating success criteria- pupils can identify the steps needed to complete a task
Giving feedback to pupils – Marking for Improvement, comments should identify what has been done well and what still needs improvement. Effective oral feedback may be appropriate depending on the task.
Effective questioning-asking better, more focused questions and giving the pupils time to think. Encouraging pupil questioning.
Self and peer assessment- pupils asses and evaluate both their own and other’s work
There are four tracking assessments set out in the school calendar. Three of these will be done in class over a two week period defined at the start of the academic year. The summer exams will be timetabled for May/June.
For each tracking assessment the Head of Department will consult with the members of their department to devise a suitable assessment task. (One of which may be a homework activity if appropriate).
Teachers should use assessment data along with baseline data to monitor teaching and learning, set targets for pupils and vary teaching strategies as required. The whole school tracking process should support the assessment process and contribute to achievement of targets set.
Pupils will be informed of the topics which will be assessed in advance of each tracking test. The revision lists for the summer exams will be published on the school website.
The results from each tracking will be entered into Assessment Manager by the class teacher. A report will be generated and results communicated to parents.
Pupils are also encouraged to use the assessment section in the Homework Diary to record the results of tracking assessments and other class assessments so that they can monitor their progress.
Other Assessment Arrangements
All year 8 pupils are tested using PiE and PiM standardised tests. These scores will be used by class teachers to inform planning, target setting and identify any underachievement.
Cognitive Ability Tests
All Year 10 students are tested using CAT4. The results from these should be used to monitor progress across subject areas. Predicted grades for GCSE subjects are generated form these tests which can be used when it comes to making subject choices for GCSE. These predictions can also serve as a baseline for targets at GCSE.
KS3 Assessment and Reporting arrangements
Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities will be assessed and reported across the areas of learning.
Currently the following subjects report on TSPC as follows:
Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision Making
Working with Others
Cross Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT* (2016/2017) will be assessed and reported on (using the Levels of Progression) at the end of Year 10.
All pupils will be entered for external qualifications at GCSE level (or equivalent). Within these qualifications there may be an element of Controlled Assessment. There is a separate policy regarding the administration of this.
In summer term of Year 10 all pupils will be assessed to determine if they are entitled to additional access arrangements for GCSE examinations.
In addition to the formal arrangements outlined class teachers will be responsible for informal assessments be those tests, projects or homeworks as set out in their departmental schemes of work. The results of these should be retained by the class teacher.