Assessment at Temple Moor
Temple Moor High School places significant value on assessment as a mechanism for informing teaching and learning, providing personalised support for students, and enabling all students to progress well in their acquisition of knowledge and skills.
We believe that rapid student progress is best achieved when teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment are all carefully integrated toward the goal of ensuring that students are well prepared for future examinations and beyond. This requires that each element both informs and is informed by the other elements.
Assessment is more than testing. Assessment is conducted in many different forms, ranging from in-class questioning, to formative assessment techniques and reviewing class work and homework, as well as more formal assessment projects and tests. These assessments are designed to understand what students can and cannot securely do, so that subsequent learning sequences can be planned to address areas of development.
All subjects undertake extensive work around moderation of assessment judgements within the subject teams and across other partner schools in the Red Kite alliance, not just to ensure consistency of judgement but also to evaluate and inform the curriculum provision and teaching and learning. This is also supplemented by subject evidence portfolios of work, which subject leaders use as a live document to inform curriculum planning and use as part of departmental quality assurance.
Regular, low stakes assessment
The multi-store model of memory states that long term memory is formed through the continual retrieval and rehearsal of knowledge. In simple terms, this means that knowledge must continually be revisited and reinforced, otherwise it will be forgotten.
To address this, a school wide approach across all subjects is to conduct regular fortnightly low stakes assessment as an activity within lessons. This assesses students’ cumulative knowledge across the breadth of the subject material covered so far, but within an environment where students do not feel under the pressure brought by examinations. This allows students and staff the opportunity to reflect on areas of knowledge which are secure and those which need revisiting. This is used to inform curriculum planning and teaching, in order to maintain high levels of subject knowledge. Students are also encouraged to undertake independent work to review insecure content.
Assessment at Key Stage 3
Our approach to assessment at Key Stage 3 recognises that students of different abilities make different rates of progress, and progression in different subjects is unlikely to be the same or linear. Following careful curriculum mapping by subject staff, and in conjunction with other Red Kite alliance schools, each subject has developed a progression path for students of different abilities against which progress can be assessed and measured. This progression pathway, alongside the curriculum map, ensures that students make good progress from their starting points, across five years, in all aspects of the skills required for GCSE and subsequent A-level exams.
This is an example of a progression pathway for Art:
Each half term, students will carry out Common Assessment Activities (CAA’s) within a subject, whereby all students will undertake a common assessment task set by the subject and designed to test students’ progress against the subject’s curriculum map.
– In Year 7, students are all assessed against subject statements which link with the curriculum map, and are assessed in four bands:
Excellence – work being produced shows a deep understanding of the material covered and well developed skills. This band is indicative of a student who will go on to get GCSE grade 7-9, if they continue to progress as expected.
Secure – work reflects a food understanding of the material covered and associated skills needed for a subject. This band is indicative of a student who will go on to secure GCSE grade 5 to 6, if they continue to progress as expected.
Developing – work reflects a reasonable understanding of the material covered and some of the skills needed for a subject. This band is indicative of a student who will go on to secure GCSE grade 3 to 4.
Foundation – work reflects a basic understanding of the material covered the associated skills needed for a subject. This band is indicative of a student who will go on to secure GCSE grade 1 to 3-, if they continue to progress as expected.
For some subjects, this band will progress throughout the year as they will be assessing against common statements throughout the year, whilst for other subjects the statements will be different each half term and will become more challenging which will mean that the band may not change throughout the year. This approach again allows subjects to be flexible in using assessment in the most effective way to assess the skills and knowledge that they want to develop in students.
Year 8 and 9
– In Year 8 and 9, subjects have flexibility to assess in ways that are most appropriate to their subject, including the use of examinations, and assessments will begin to mirror aspects of the criteria assessed at GCSE. Assessments will be designed to ensure they are cumulative and iterative, assessing the full breadth of student knowledge and skills to date, in order to continually retrieve and rehearse knowledge whilst also identifying areas of ephemeral knowledge that require revisiting as part of the teaching and curriculum plan.
Students will begin to be graded using GCSE criteria and numerical grading, although age appropriate assessments will be used to generate this grade rather than students sitting a GCSE paper. Based on each subject’s progression plan, students will have an end of year target grade calculated against which their progression can be benchmarked. Over the course of Year 8-11, these grades will improve toward the final GCSE in Year 11, with support put in place for students who are falling below their progression pathway.
Assessment at Key Stage 4
Assessment at Key Stage 4 will be based upon the assessments used by exam boards to award the final GCSE or Tech award qualifications. Throughout Y10 and Y11, students will sit Pre-Public examinations (PPE) which will provide a realistic experience of the final GCSE assessment.
All assessments will again be cumulative and iterative, with the aim of assessing the full breadth of student knowledge and skills to reinforce and identify areas where ephemeral knowledge has been forgotten. This will feed into the planning and evaluation of the curriculum, as well as future teaching sequences and intervention programmes.
All assessments at Key Stage 4, like Key Stage 3, will be subject to internal and external moderation. As part of this, our school routinely participates in PiXL examination studies (known as the PiXL Wave) in order to assure our assessments and also to provide students to access to bespoke resources based on their needs. We also utilise our close relationships with schools through the Red Kite teaching alliance to conduct external moderation.
Assessment at Key Stage 5
Assessment at Key Stage 4 will be based upon the assessments used by exam boards to award the final A-level, Applied General or Tech level qualifications. Throughout Y12 and Y13, students will sit Pre-Public examinations (PPE) which will provide a realistic experience of the final A-level assessment.
All assessments will be cumulative and iterative, with the aim of assessing the full breadth of student knowledge and skills to reinforce and identify areas where ephemeral knowledge has been forgotten. This will feed into the planning and evaluation of the curriculum, as well as future teaching sequences and intervention programmes.
All assessments will be subject to internal and external moderation, utilising our Post-16 Partnership schools to verify our assessments.
In all years across the school, students are set target grades, in order to provide a benchmark against which their attainment can be judged. These targets are generated based on estimates produced an organisation called Fischer Family Trust, using national data from previous years to determine the most commonly achieved grade for students based on their KS2 scores.
The estimates used by the school are FFT-20, which means we look at the most commonly achieved grade in the top 20% of English schools and use this as our target. This reflects our ambition for our students and our ethos of “Excellence in all that we do”.
These targets are subject specific, based on the performance of similar students nationally in each subject in previous years. However, it is important to note that the targets are estimates of the most commonly achieved grades by students nationally and are not a glass ceiling to student achievement. As such, these targets are regularly reviewed at each data cycle and staff are given the opportunity to raise these targets where students are showing evidence that they are more capable than the original target.
In order to promote parental support and dialogue, parents will be sent reports three times per year to update them as to the attainment, progress and learning qualities of their child. These reports will be communicated home via the MyEd app.
Parent-Teacher consultations are also calendared at key points during the year to allow for dialogue to occur between teachers, students and parents, with a view to forming a working partnership to support the student’s next steps. However, this dialogue is also encouraged throughout the year, particularly where there are concerns about progress. Parents can make contact with subject teachers via the Phase leaders (Mr S. Murray, Mr C. Sergeant and Mrs K. Cuddy), who will pass on communications and facilitate meetings with subject teachers.
Contact details for the Phase leaders are:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mr Murray – KS3 Phase leader)
email@example.com (Mr Sergeant – KS4 Phase leader)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mrs Cuddy – KS5 Phase leader)