Academic achievement is tracked half-termly throughout the year from Year 7 up to Year 13. For Years 7 up to Year 9 a termly report is produced for parents/carers that provides information on levels of progress (shown as either a sub-level such as 4b, 5a etc or, as a GCSE grade or BTEC equivalent such as Grade A or Pass, Merit or Distinction). Whilst these termly reports contain current academic levels of achievement (a working at level or grade) the half-termly report indicates attitudes to learning and their behaviour.
Year 10 and Year 11 students are given a half-termly report that covers academic progress as well as attitudes to learning and behaviour. We feel that parents/carers need and can be provided with more regular academic assessments as they progress through their education.
Target setting is currently based on a student’s results in English and Maths SATS tests from Year 6. Students have ‘expected’ grades and ‘challenge’ grades. The more aspirational ‘challenge’ grades ought to be the focus of discussions between student, home and the Academy as it our belief that students do not limit their potential against a nationally expected level of achievement. Every child should exceed their expected grade. We look at other indicators when target setting such as baseline tests and CATs scores to ensure that targets are personalised and challenging.
Each half-term students will work with their subject teachers to record their current level of academic progress and to set a target for the next half-term. This tracking is completed within the student planners, therefore it is essential that students use and respect the Academy planners on a daily basis. Students refer to assessment grids (which are visible in classrooms and students books and folders) in order to provide them with information as to their ‘next steps’. ‘Next steps’ feedback is provided by subject teachers within frequent marking of books and folders. Students respond to this marking within the yellow assessment sheets which are clearly visible throughout their work.
Other mechanisms for reviewing student progress include consultation evenings which are available to view within the Academy calendar. In addition teaching and/or support staff are available, via appointment, to discuss progress throughout the year.
Progress 8 is a new measure of school performance. It replaces the previous measure of 5A*-C including English and maths, and shows how well pupils of all abilities have progressed, compared to pupils with similar academic starting points in other schools. For a full explanation see this Progress 8 Video.