Assessment at St Nicholas’ takes many forms.
Assessment for Learning
Teachers use Assessment for Learning practices in lessons, ensuring that students are clear about the requirements of tasks (often referred to as “success criteria”) and are provided with opportunities to assess themselves and their peers against these requirements. This encourages students to have some control over their own learning and progress. Objectives of lessons are made explicit and teachers design lessons and schemes of learning to ensure that specific outcomes help to meet these objectives. Questioning techniques and observation of students during lessons help teachers ascertain how students are progressing.
Summative Assessment takes place in each department, usually when students reach the end of a specific topic or scheme. Assessments may be written, practical, or a combination, depending on the subject concerned and are generally assessed against National Curriculum, GCSE, or A Level criteria, as appropriate. Students are informed of their mark, and clear advice is given about how to improve, usually in the form of a target.
Internal examinations are scheduled for years 7-11 in the form of an “exam week”. These are spread across the academic year to avoid clashes with external examinations and are usually carried out in lessons. Examinations are designed to give students a flavour of the examination process and help prepare them for external examinations at Key Stage 4. As such they will incorporate knowledge from throughout the year. For students in year 11, the examination week is usually in November and is an opportunity for mock examinations to be carried out. All students will provided with an exam timetable and topic lists of potential material to revise for.
External Assessment takes place for students studying GCSE, A Level and vocational qualifications. Students are prepared for these assessments by their teachers and are given guidance about how to improve their work in order to meet – or exceed – their target grade.