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
Alongside our careful curriculum planning by subject teams, they have also worked to develop a complementary assessment model against which progress within the curriculum can be measured. Our assessment approach maps out yearly expectations for the progress which we would expect students of differing abilities to be demonstrating, having accessed our taught curriculum. Student attainment can then be judged against these expectations.
By doing this, it allows us to ensure that students are making good progress throughout Key Stage 3, from their given starting points, across all aspects of the knowledge and skills set out in our curriculum planning. Where some students fall below the expectations set for them, this allows us to identify those students and put support in place at an early stage, ensuring that all students have a strong and successful Key Stage 3 foundation on which to build at Key Stage 4, and subsequently at Post 16.
The yearly expectations are planned by our subject teams in four main bands, representing different ability ranges:
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 good 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 2, if they continue to progress as expected.
Each year, the descriptors for each band reflect an increase in demand, in line with the progression we would expect throughout Key Stage 3 for students accessing our curriculum. Subjects have worked with other Red Kite Alliance schools to develop statements which are appropriate to the knowledge and skills each subject is intending to develop by the end of each year, and a range of formal assessments are used to place students into the best fit banding.
Subjects have flexibility to use the method of formal assessment which they deem most appropriate in their subject area. All assessments are designed to be 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 to inform teachers’ next steps with students and evaluate the impact of the curriculum. Assessments are also internally and externally standardised to ensure validity in the judgements which each member of staff makes.
Subject Assessment Statements
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 5 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 (Miss Drew, Mrs Britton and Mrs K. Cuddy), who will pass on communications and facilitate meetings with subject teachers.
Contact details for the Phase leaders are:
email@example.com (Miss Drew – KS3 Phase leader)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mrs Britton – KS4 Phase leader)
email@example.com (Mrs Cuddy – KS5 Phase leader)