Assessment and Reporting
Reporting and Grades
Effective, timely and regular assessment plays a crucial role in pupil progress. It allows teachers to have a clear understanding of their pupils’ abilities, strengths and weaknesses. This in turn helps teachers guide their pupils to make good progress and develop a more independent approach to their own studies, taking responsibility for their own learning. It allows for pupils to be both stretched and supported appropriately.
As important as the actual assessment is the feedback that pupils receive – do they know where they are (relative to their own abilities)? Do they know what areas of learning need to develop? Do they know how to get there?
‘Feedback is what is received, not what is given.’
We believe that assessment should be based on a continuum. This means that the type of feedback given will depend on where a pupil is in a particular unit of study at a particular time. For example, at the start of a unit of work a teacher might give detailed feedback to encode success. Once a pupil is aware of what “correct” might look like, the teacher is more likely to employ strategies such as delayed feedback (using a marking code, partial feedback etc.). This also means that teachers are not expected to mark everything in the same detail, nor do they have to mark every set of notes.
A key element of feedback is sharing with pupils and parents specific guidance on progress to date and developmental points for the future. At Caterham School we ensure there is a regular flow of information for parents. Some of this is done formally through our reporting processes but also we encourage colleagues to engage informally at an early stage with parents if there are concerns about pupil progress and development.
We also believe that pupil progress is enhanced when they are able to identify those working and learning habits that need development for themselves; to help them understand that improved performance is not just about consistent application but also about thinking about their working and learning habits. Consequently, we do not simply report on ‘effort’ which too often encourages pupils to do ‘more’; we report on the Learning Habits they are developing to encourage them to think strategically about how to improve performance.
Our policies on reporting and learning habits are outlined below:
All pupils will receive one full report and at least one Tutor Report per year. Additionally, Grades Reports are issued at half terms, except for the Fifth and Upper Sixth years, who do not receive a Grades Report at the Summer half term.
Autumn half term: First Year will receive effort grades only. At all other reporting sessions, grades for attainment and effort (homework and classwork graded separately) will be awarded.
Learning Habits were introduced in September 2018 to encourage pupils (and parents) to think about working “smart” rather than simply working “hard”. They were subsequently reviewed with students, teachers and parents in January 2019 and a few amendments made.
The principle of LH is to encourage pupils to reflect on how they might work more effectively and develop the learning strategies that will see them become successful and independent learners. We want pupils to think about effort as more than just time spent at their desk and more about a series of learning habits that they can develop.
Pupils receive feedback on how well they are working in each Habit, for each subject, allowing anyone to discern patterns of success and development areas.
Each Habit is assessed as:
Working above grade level (EX on the report)
Working at grade level (ME on the report)
Working below grade level (WB on the report)
For example, if a child is given an A grade for Effort, they will be deemed as working at this level (ME) across the 6 Habits unless otherwise indicated; an EX would indicate that a particular Learning Habit is at A* grade level, a WB would indicate that a particular Learning Habit is at B grade level. There is also a Comment Box which teachers will only use in exceptional circumstances.
Learning Habit descriptors
Giving 100%, not being distracted, attention to detail
Willingness to put hand up, not to fear failure, take part in group work positively
Asking questions, reading around subject
Thinking for yourself, trying different ways to overcome obstacles to your learning,
Punctual for lessons and submitting work, books / folders well-kept and well structured
Checking your work, sticking to the task even when it becomes difficult
Learning Habits will be kept under review as we refine them in the terms and years succeeding their recent launch.