Assessment information for parents and carers
Ark Charter Academy Curriculum Intent - Assessment
Formatively assessing our pupils throughout the year allows for responsive teaching – using this approach teachers are confident when re-teaching and revisiting knowledge to develop pupils’ mental models. Departments coordinate their formative assessment at regular intervals across year groups to infer where pupils are in relation to where they should be – and therefore to be responsive with teaching. Accurate summative assessment sampling the work completed over a year – with reference to work completed in previous years – allows inferences about attainment and progress to be made, which are shared with parents.
Types of Assessment
Three different types of assessment are used at Ark Charter Academy:
- Formative assessment - responsive teaching & low stakes quizzing
- Coordinated formative assessment - hinge points / White sheet marking
- Summative assessments - End of Year Assessments
Different types of assessments are used at different times and with different purposes - this will vary depending on the year group. The outcome/reporting will also vary depending on the particular group.
A summary of our different methods of assessment can be found here: Assessment Summary
The detail of the thinking behind our different methods of assessment can be found here: Assessment Intent
Below is a more detailed explanation of how we use assessment to help our students do well and how our assessment system works. We call it Ark Assessment Plus (AA+).
Pupils’ baseline KS2 scores are converted to a predicted new GCSE number. This conversion is based on the proportions of pupils who achieve each grade at KS2 compared to the proportions at GCSE.
In KS3 and KS4, every long term, pupils do an assessment which is marked using GCSE number grades.
These grades are age-related grades. They refer to a pupil’s position in the performance distribution for their age group. These grades do not tell you what a pupil would get if they took a GCSE at that moment in time. So, for example, if a pupil gets a grade 9 in Year 7 Summer 2, it means we think they are performing as well as could be expected for their age group. It does not mean that they could get a 9 if they sat a GCSE English paper at that point.
We are using the statistical guidance provided by Ofqual in their 2014 board paper to define these grades.
- Our default target is for pupils to make + 1 grade of progress over the 5 years of secondary school, and to achieve a minimum of a grade 5 – whichever is the highest.
- The senior team moderates these targets for individual pupils to provide an overall school target that is ambitious and realistic.
Implications of this grading system
- Staying at the same grade is making progress. Moving up one grade may not sound that impressive, but it is.
- You can get a grade 9 in year 7 – but it means something different from a grade 9 in year 11.
- Assessments get harder from term to term and year to year, so that a grade 6 in year 11 represents a higher standard than a grade 6 in year 8.
- This system measures attainment progress in the same way as the new Progress 8 measure, which means that we are then able to calculate a progress and attainment score from term to term. For example, a cohort might arrive in year 7 with an attainment score of 4.2, based on their KS2 Sats. If their average at the end of year 11 was 5.2, they would have a Progress 8 score of +1.
- In 2015, King Solomon Academy’s Progress 8 was 1.63 – this was the best nationally. +1 is only achieved by about 100 schools.
- With Progress 8, 0 means pupils have made nationally average progress.
- You can’t use this progress measure to measure progress in individual lessons. For that, you need formative measures (see below)
- You can use it from term to term, but it will be more useful if you look at a cohort average than at individual pupils. EG, Y7 moved from an average grade of 4.2 at the start of Y7 to 4.5 at the end.
- When we are awarding these grades from term to term, we are making claims about how our pupils are doing against their national cohort. In order to make sure these claims are as robust as possible, we have to moderate within the network, use shared assessments, and reference externally wherever possible. We have three moderation days a year which help us do this.
Recording and sharing data
- We use the following dashboard to analyse pupil data.
- It has three columns, which record: 1) pupil progress against national expectations; 2) pupil attainment; 3) pupil progress against Ark expectations.
- Measuring progress against both national and Ark expectations allows to be both realistic and ambitious.