The Purpose of Assessment at Cromwell
Assessment at Cromwell is designed to identify what pupils understand from their learning and where there are misconceptions. Doing this regularly, allows us to better support all pupils in their learning journey. Assessment takes place via a multitude of different methods, from the public summative assessments of Key Stage 2, GCSE and A level, to the more formative approach of in-class assessments, multiple choice questioning, low stakes testing, extended writing pieces, practical demonstrations or simple question and answer responses.
Key Stage 4 and 5
At the end of Year 11 and Year 13, pupils will sit a series of summer examinations. These are usually terminal in nature, meaning that all pupils are assessed for the entirety of their course via 1, 2 or 3 public examinations in that subject area. Vocational qualifications such as BTECs and Cambridge National/Technical qualifications may still have some aspect of modular examinations which can take place in January of Year 10, 11, 12 or 13. Some qualifications also still have a coursework element which while strictly controlled under examination regulations can take place during the course of the two years of study. At GCSE level, this accounts for no more than 20% of the course outcome.
As we prepare pupils for these public examinations, pupils will undertake a series of mock examinations in key years, while also following best practice for in-class assessment to retrieve and recall prior learning from their long term memory. In order to assist pupils in identifying where misconceptions in their learning may have occurred from Key Stage 3, we undertake a series of nationally standardised progress tests in English, Maths and Science, along with three reading tests to identify areas where literacy may need to be improved to fully access GCSE papers. We then employ various intervention strategies to assist with bridging these misconceptions, these may be in-class strategies or
In addition to the above, we utilise our relationships with partner and trust schools and use our only externally recruited examiner and moderating staff to regularly standardise and moderate marking within the college to ensure it is correct and in line with examination board expectations. After each mock examination, pupils may receive a question level analysis breakdown of where they can improve and focus their revision for next time.
Target grades are shared on Go4Schools and devised from national data, they are only a guide to the minimum expectation for the pupil and are not, nor should they be considered a limiting factor in the aspirations of any child at the college. We have hundreds of examples each year of pupils achieving far in excess of their target grades. If you have any questions regarding the target grades on Go4Schools for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the college.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7, 8 and 9, there is no nationally standardised testing process or expectation of progress throughout these three years.
At Cromwell, we have adopted a simple but highly effective system of assessing where pupils are in line with the expectations from our curriculum. In each subject, assessment grids have been created that outline what learning the pupil is expected to have made that term during the curriculum. All pupils are expected to meet the SECURE outcomes as a minimum. Where pupils are working above the expected level, they may be recorded on Go4Schools as EXCEEDING expectations for that scheme of work, meaning they are working at a higher level than anticipated at that stage. Where pupils are not yet working at secure level, they are recorded on Go4Schools as DEVELOPING. In these circumstances, this will be clearly displayed on Go4Schools, discussed at parents’ evenings and highlighted during reports. Pupils at developing level, can expect to receive a series of interventions from the college until they can raise their level to secure. There are no target grades at KS3.
To view the Assessment Grids for each subject for the Autumn Term 2021-22, follow this link to our Home page and scroll down to the Curriculum section
In addition to in class assessment, pupils will undertake a series of nationally standardised progress test in English, Maths and Science, as well as a termly reading test in order to ascertain areas of strength or weakness compared to the national cohort of pupils. This is a similar method as found in GCSE and A level grading. At the beginning of Year 7 and Year 9, pupils will also undertake a Cognitive Ability Test which gives us information about their abilities in particular skillsets such as verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial.
If you have any questions regarding the examination process, assessment or the information found on Go4Schools, please do not hesitate to contact the college.