Teaching, Learning and Assessment
How we assess students is a major focus for all our work at Hampton High. Teachers plan units of work and lessons around what it is we want our students to be able to demonstrate. This knowledge, understanding and skills, focus comes from our sense of what we think students will engage in and enjoy. It is also fully aligned to the specifications of the GCSE curriculums.
Every lesson is planned to have a clear and demonstrable outcome. At key stage 3 these are tracked by the use of the Learning Journey. The Learning Journey (LJ) is a tool that both staff and students use as an overview for each unit of work in the subjects studied. Some LJs may last three weeks, some six, depending on the unit of work being studied. The LJ enables us to share the big question or ‘what's the point?’ of the unit of work with the learners. It then guides the development of knowledge, understanding and skills over the course of this unit, highlighting any key language used and it signposts the assessment opportunities that students will engage in to demonstrate their progress.
The LJs clearly show what skills and understanding students need to be able to demonstrate to show they are making good progress.
Teachers indicate a ‘working towards’ target for each student at the start of the unit. These targets are exceptional performance, mastery, securing, progressing and launching and are set using a number of factors. Teachers will look at student KS2 data - this is ultimately what is used by the DfE to project later performance.
For example, a student achieving scores close to 120 in their KS2 SATs will be projected to achieves 8s and 9s at GCSE, and would be set a target of exceptional performance. A student achieving 90 may be projected to achieve 3’s and would be targeted to work at the launching band. Obviously we appreciate students lives are not so linear and we appreciate students may develop and excel at different rates. Should a student make better than expected progress then this will be reflected in their future targets. Teachers will also use their knowledge of the students themselves to set these targets looking at the complexity of the unit and how students perform in assessments.
We plan in as many opportunities as possible to assess students both formally - through tests and assessments, and informally, through questioning in class, homeworks and class work. By using the LJ together we hope that students are always clear about where they are on this journey and that they are also clear about their next steps.
The knowledge, understanding and skill development that we build in to the LJs reflect the demands of the GCSEs right from day one. Staff work with the GCSE specifications and work backwards to Year 7 to ensure we are developing key skills right from the start.
We regularly engage in student voice and work scrutinies to ensure these LJs are understood and are being used effectively. We constantly refine these in light of this student input as well as our assessment data. Staff may redesign their lessons because of current events, new research or good practice we have seen in other schools.
All our learning journeys are shared with parents on our website so that students and parents can discuss these at home and so that parents are fully aware of the work we teach at school and how they can support with this at home.
Staff will use the LJ alongside formal and informal assessments to enter data for each student at the end of each term. Teachers indicate whether students are meeting or exceeding these targets or if they are falling below these expectations.