The core purpose of assessment is to move students on in their learning in terms of their knowledge, understanding and skills. At Highdown School the two most important questions of assessment are (1) what are a student’s strengths? And (2) what does the student need to do to improve?
Assessment takes place on a range of timescales:
- Ongoing assessment takes place during every lesson, with teachers and additional adults responding to gaps in the knowledge, understanding and skills to close these gaps. Both verbal and written feedback help inform immediate next steps.
- Periodic assessment occurs with unit/topic/skills-based assessments, e.g. longer pieces of assessment work or end of unit tests, which help identify student’s grasp of key knowledge, understanding and skills and to identify areas for further improvement and development.
- Summative assessment, for example examinations, which helps to measure a students’ grasp of a subject and their progress over time.
All students will have a baseline assessment of aptitude (MidYIS test) in the first term of Year 7.
We assess student’s progress in a number of different ways:
- Questioning and observation of written, oral and practical work.
- Monitoring of class work and marking of home learning.
- Setting and marking assessments, tests and examinations.
We currently measure students’ attainment using National Curriculum Levels of 1 to 8 in Year 9. Level 5/6 is average for the end of Year 9. Students are assessed based on examination grades in Years 10 to 13.