1 October 2019
Assessments and student progress
At Colonel Frank Seely Academy we believe every student can make excellent progress and achieve their very best. We do however, recognise that learning is not easy and requires students to work hard to maximise their potential. Assessments in school do form part of the learning process and are valuable in highlighting key areas to work on.
This letter outlines some of the different approaches we take to assessing and retrieving knowledge and the importance of student preparation for assessments.
Key assessment types:
- Students undertake very quick ‘low stakes quizzes’ at the start of many lessons to help develop memory and retrieval skills and help teachers acknowledge what has been learnt and respond accordingly
- Activities at the start of lessons to activate prior learning and develop student’s ability to immediately recall what has been learnt in previous lessons
- Formal assessments in lessons – these are usually a longer written assessment, every six to eight weeks for most subjects, which will help provide a clear picture of what students have learnt and how successfully they can apply their knowledge in a timed and structured environment
- Longer examinations held at a pre-determined point in the year, usually towards the end, to assess students’ knowledge and skills from everything that has been covered in their course so far and their ability to recall and apply information over a longer time period
Almost every GCSE course is now assessed entirely by examination at the end of Year 11. It is not possible to leave the hard work until Year 11 or rely on being able to ‘cram’ knowledge as you near the end of studies. This leads to examination stress and has a detrimental impact on a student’s ability to perform to their best. Exam success is a culmination of hard work across many years.
To ensure that our student pick up good learning habits we are going to insist on a required level of preparation for assessments. If students underachieve in formal assessments due to them clearly not preparing or working hard enough before the assessment then they shall be given a clear timeline in which to prepare better and will be required to re-sit the assessment. The re-sit of the assessment will be either in another lesson or at another time identified by the teacher. This may in some cases be after school.
I would be grateful if you can discuss this letter with your child and ensure that they truly understand the importance of preparation for assessment and the importance of the hard work and planning required for success. We will be discussing this with students in assemblies in the next few weeks.
Thank you for your continued support.
Mr J Gale