A Guide to Assessment at Cheam High School

There are two layers to assessment:

  • Layer 1: Formative – on-going, ungraded and focused on smaller chunks of the curriculum.
  • Layer 2: Summative – assessment of knowledge which will build cumulatively through the years. 

The formative assessment is what we want teachers to focus on most. This is because research evidence tells us that this has the greatest impact on learning. It does not involve the grading of work but instead the teacher uses it to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and adapt their teaching accordingly.

Some examples of formative assessment are:

  • Quizzes
  • Multi-choice questions
  • Reading or observing students’ written work (either during or after a lesson)
  • Live marking (marking students’ work as they are completing it)
  • Breaking a complex task down into several smaller parts and assessing one part at a time
  • Spelling and vocabulary tests
  • Filling in blank knowledge organisers
  • Questioning


When teachers look at work in books:

  • There is no expectation for teachers to tick or stamp books.
  • Any written feedback will focus on moving learning forward, targeting the specific learning gaps that students exhibit.
  • Teachers may take a cross section of the classes’ work to read to inform teaching.  This will mean that teachers can read
  • student work more frequently.  Teachers will ensure that that they are sampling all students’ work throughout the course
  • of the year.


Summative assessment will take the form of cumulative assessment in years 7 – 9 that assesses students’ knowledge to support mastery of the curriculum.

  • These will take place at 3 points over the course of the year.
  • They will never exceed 45mins.
  • Papers could be made up of a mixture of multiple choice, short and longer answers as well as checking students’
  • understanding of key vocabulary.
  • In practical subjects, summative assessment may include a practical task.
  • Students will be awarded a mark out of or a percentage for the assessment.
  • All students will sit the same assessment in the same conditions.


In years 10 – 13, summative assessment will also include exam questions.