A Guide to Assessment at Cheam High School - 2023/24
The purpose of formative assessment is to improve all student performance through the identification and correction of mistakes, misconceptions and gaps in knowledge. Teachers at Cheam make frequent, interactive assessment of student understanding. In doing so, teachers are able to respond to individual student need to enable all students to access the highest possible standards in their learning. We aim to teach responsively in our classroom, regularly checking understanding to adapt to the needs of the class. We provide specific and directed feedback that is essential to move students on in their understanding of particular concepts. Teachers aim to not only provide feedback that improves the understanding of content, but also develop their own approaches to learning. As such, feedback allows students to self-regulate and engage in metacognitive thought to become knowledgeable and proficient learners.
Our approach to Formative Assessment:
- All work produced by students – both verbal and written contributions – will be used by teachers to assess the learning that has taken place.
- Teachers plan for assessment throughout their lessons, and in doing so identify misconceptions and address these appropriately. Teachers aim to immediately address misconceptions that have been discovered, but also forward plan tasks and activities that will strengthen this correction at suitable points within the curriculum.
- Teachers ensure that their extensive subject pedagogical knowledge allows for skilful navigation of misconceptions without narrowing of the curriculum.
- Teachers plan in opportunities to encourage self-reflection and response to students’ own performance.
- Teachers plan to assess the understanding of specific content that has been taught, but also plan larger pieces of work/ performances that combine several components from a series of lessons.
Formative assessment and feedback go hand in hand and are not considered in isolation. At Cheam, our approaches to feedback are varied and take many forms, depending on the subject. Whilst individual written feedback can be effective, often this can be time consuming. We recognise and act on the findings from the Independent Workload Review Group and want to reduce onerous tasks where the hours spent marking do not have the commensurate impact on student progress.
We also follow guidance on the impact of verbal feedback in helping students to make progress, whilst also acknowledging the benefit of time-efficiency when compared to some forms of written feedback.
Our approaches to feedback:
- Students receive verbal feedback in every lesson through effective teacher monitoring and checking for understanding.
- Students regularly review their work to encourage assessment of own performance.
- All feedback is followed by prompt practice that builds on student knowledge (not just correcting work but building on these tasks).
- Not all literacy errors will be always be addressed but teachers will aim to provide feedback on common spelling and grammar misconceptions, particularly of subject specific key terminology. This is also, of course, dependent on the subject.
- Feedback is received on planned independent tasks, depending on the subject. A wide range of methods are adopted by staff to provide effective feedback, without the need for extensive book marking. These include whole class feedback, individualised feedback, live marking/ modelling and self-regulated feedback.
The purpose of summative assessment is to make claims regarding student performance in relation to that particular point in the curriculum. This give departments an idea of how well the curriculum has been learned and retained so that plans can be put in place to raise achievement.
Summative assessments are not designed to pinpoint elements of individualised student underperformance. Instead, use the results from summative assessments to inform curriculum planning.
Our approaches to summative assessment:
- Summative assessments are infrequent and not done more than 3 times in a year. These are cumulative and assess the curriculum up until that point in the Key Stage.
- These assessments are standardised across classes and sat in timed, unseen exam conditions.
- We aim to assess students with a robust enough assessment that we create a sufficient spread of student performance and identify any key areas of the curriculum that need to be addressed.
- Teachers upload the % onto our central database which is used to send reports home and create an analysis that is used by departments. This will help inform them of any interventions that need to take place and what areas of the curriculum need to be adapted.
- Predicted grades, or any reference to end point exams, will not be issued to years 7-10 has they will have not covered enough of the curriculum to support their grade. Additionally, grades will not be provided (beyond a rough guide) to students unless sitting full past papers.