Internal Assessments and Reports
We assess our students' progress regularly throughout the year and issue reports to parents. We also invite parents to attend parent conferences with their children's teacher. The details of the relevant schedules of reports and parents' evenings are published under the Infants', Juniors' and Seniors' sections of the website.
External Assessments and Examinations
National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) tests
We also use NFER tests to assess our students' cognitive ability in Reasoning (Maths) and Reading. These tests give us an age-related score which is used for the tracking and recording of students' performance over time. The reason for doing this is to obtain accurate data to be able to make judgements about the maintenance of our standards against a national U.K. norm. To achieve this end and monitor changes in performance, students have to be tested regularly and systematically over time.
Student assessment data
Student assessment data is collected at Key Stages 1 and 2 through Teacher Assessments and National Curriculum Tests, known as SATs or Standard Assessment Tasks and at Key Stage 3 through the Cambridge Checkpoint tests. This assists us in assessing and comparing our educational programme and our students' achievements against standardised benchmarks.
Key Stage 1
During Year 2, teacher assessment is carried out in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. In English, teachers are required to record a level in the three strands of Reading, Writing, and Speaking & Listening. To assist teachers in arriving at an assessed level, tests and tasks are completed in reading, writing and mathematics. These are normally taken during May.
Key Stage 2
During May in the final year of Key Stage 2, Year 6 students undertake National Curriculum Tests in the two core subjects of English and Mathematics, which provide records of attainment in the subjects, including separate levels for reading and writing as part of the overall English grade. In addition, teachers provide teacher assessments in the same subjects. Students in Key stage 2 also take the Edinburgh Reading Test in October which provides a standardised score and reading age, as well as results in four subtests: vocabulary, syntax, sequencing and comprehension.
Key Stage 3
Until 2008, in May during the final year of Key Stage 3, all students in England and Wales were required to undertake National Curriculum Tests in the three core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. Following a series of issues regarding the marking of National Curriculum Tests in 2008, the national tests were abolished for Key Stage 3 in England and Wales. However, we are now using the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Checkpoint examinations which are similarly diagnostic and predictive standardised tests that provide useful feedback and data on a student's strengths and weaknesses in key curriculum areas at the end of Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
GCSEs are the main examinations taken by UK students at the end the two years of Key Stage 4. Students typically take 9 and a half subjects at GCSE level, five and a half of which are compulsory core subjects. The assessment of these subjects is by means of exams that are externally marked and graded and continuous assessment during the two-year course, such as coursework assignments and practical experiments. Once students have passed at least five subjects at GCSE with a C grade or higher, they can proceed to study at Advanced Level in Years 12 and 13. Please note that students are required to achieve at least a B grade in the subjects they wish to study at A Level.
General Certificate of Education, Advanced Level (GCE A Level)
A levels are studied typically between the ages of 16-18 and are the most usual route into UK and most international higher education institutions. To gain entry to a top UK university students need 3 good A Level grades, although exceptionally talented students can take 5 subjects. Each full A Level consists of 4 units which are studied in two stages:
- Stage 1 - Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level: 2 modules are studied for the award of an AS Level.
- Stage 2 - A2 level: a second set of 2 units is studied to take an AS level to a full A Level. (Some subjects have 3 modules.)