Watch our about Chesterton’s approach to assessment below.
Frequently Asked Questions
At Chesterton we use the term assessment to mean a piece of work that students complete to show their understanding of an individual piece of knowledge or their understanding of a topic more broadly. Assessments can be informal such as online quizzes, vocabulary tests or team games or more formal such as a task or set of questions which students complete individually. Teaching staff will often classify an assessment as formative, where students receive feedback without a grade, the aim being to help students improve further or classify an assessment as summative where students receive feedback as well as a grade or mark. Formative assessments usually take place during a topic and summative assessments commonly take place at the end of a topic or unit of work. The term exam is used in year 10 and year 11 where students are preparing for their external GCSE and vocational exams.
A formal, summative assessment usually take place at the end of topics and units, these are termed common assessments because students across the year group sit the same assessment. Students across a year group don’t sit the common assessment at the same time because due to timetabling they have a subect at different times in the week from each other e.g. History class A will have their history lessons at a different time to History class B.
Formative assessments, both formal and informal, happen throughout a topic as planned by the class teacher.
For either type of assessment the teacher will clarify with students if the assessment is something that should be prepared for and provide the necessary resources.
Year 10 exams happen in June each year and Year 11 mock exams take place in November and February each year.
- Research shows that answering questions promotes learning, by re-visiting and consolidating knowledge.
- Answering questions helps both the student and the teacher learn what the student has really understood, what misconceptions they hold, and what areas to focus on next.
- Regular tests are a positive learning tool and shouldn’t be viewed as a punishment.
- We prioritise the student experience at Chesterton, assessments are one way that we can ensure students are getting the best experience in the classroom. Assessments can show teachers if students need further challenge in order to stay engaged and stimulated. They can also show where students need some additional support with an individual concept or wider topic to ensure they don’t get lost and become disengaged.
No. School leaders and governors have taken time to compare the assessment structure at Chesterton with other local schools and the comparison shows Chesterton’s assessments are completely in line with other schools.
The starting point for all teaching and learning at Chesterton is knowledge. Subject teachers work together to identify the knowledge and skills they believe students have a right to have within their subject field and design schemes of learning around that. Assessments are used to evaluate the teaching and learning that is taking place and to ascertain the extent to which individual students are accessing the knowledge which teachers have identified as important. The information gained from assessments allows teachers to plan going forwards at whole class and individual level. Assessments are a checking tool, the knowledge and skills identified by subject specialists are the goal.
The Edulink homework system is used to inform students and parents of all assessments, giving them at least one week’s notice and information about how to prepare. All end of topic assessments feed into a student’s continuous assessment grade for that subject.
Students’ homework for the week preceding an end of topic assessment will be to prepare. This may be via independent revision, or via a structured homework task focussed on preparation for the assessment. This will be communicated via Edulink, with appropriate resources attached.
Revision checklists for all end of topic assessments are available on Teams for students to access. A range of other useful resources are posted by teachers on class Teams for their students. For students in years 10 and 11, all revision resources are also collated in the appropriate subject channel on the year group Team.
Support is offered in a variety of different ways. General support is offered to students via the PSHE programme in tutor time and through drop down days. For more bespoke support students have constant access to the school wellbeing service which can help students access internal and external support. A student’s Head of House is the best person to contact to access support at any time.
The role of the parent is vital in supporting students. Parents can help by reinforcing the messages in this section of the website, parents can also attend the How to Help Your Child at Home events or the event resources which are shared via parentmail as these contain a wealth of information for parents about supporting your children at home. As a parent if you notice your child is suffering from any form of stress and anxiety contact your child’s Head of House as soon as possible.
Learners with additional needs are given informal access arrangements in key stage 3 with the support of their subject teacher and in communication with the SEN department. This helps to paint a picture of need for the student. Common adjustments may include typing, a reader, a prompter, rest breaks or extra time. If a student needs to type, the school provides a keyboard and enrols the student in typing club. Sometimes the content of an assessment is adapted, for example scaffolding or broken into smaller chunks to help a student feel successful and motivate them to further success.
Each case is individual to the learner’s needs. Teachers, parents/carers and students may make referrals for exams access arrangements.
Access arrangements are formalised in key stage 4 which requires prior JCQ awarding body approval and the school must evidence need and a normal way of working. Schools must now exhaust the option of rest breaks before applying for extra time.
We will always listen and react to situations where it would not be in a child’s best interests to sit an assessment. You can contact the class teacher, the form tutor or the Head of House to discuss this.
We do not move students groups on the result of a single assessment. We always look at a broad range of evidence.
Students are asked to take photographs of individual assessments when they complete their feedback work, parents will be able to see the results by looking at the photographs.
These are typically stored in teacher’s mark books which may be shared across departmental areas using shared spreadsheets. These records are kept for the duration of the time the students are studying the course.