Assessment at Smithdon High School
At Smithdon High School we regularly check on our students' learning and progress in order to identify gaps and offer support where necessary. Primarily this is achieved in lesson time, using targeted questioning and starter retrieval activities, such as quizzes, in every single lesson.
In KS3 a variety of assessment methods are used in order to provide a professional judgement on the students' work in relation to KS3 expectations. These may take the form of end of 'topic' tests, health checks or extended writing tasks alongside independent work in books, retrieval and verbal responses. This judgement is reported to parents along with student AtL (Attitude to Learning) grades at key points in the year. We participate in the WNAT annual formal assessments, which support our internal judgements and are part of the cross-Trust moderation process. The schedule (along with exact dates for these) can be found on the Smithdon Calendar. The majority of these assessments at KS3 take place in the classroom during lesson times.
At GCSE, tests and extended writing tasks in books, alongside retrieval and verbal responses take place in lessons. In January of Year 10 students sit their first tests at GCSE level, mostly taking place in classrooms except for those who have been identified as needing supportive additional Access Arrangements. At the end of Year 10, the students complete their first set of formal mock examinations in order to establish a working GCSE grade. Further mock examinations and Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs) take place in the Autumn and Spring terms of Year 11 to inform progress, next steps and intervention support, before assessment concludes with the official GCSE examinations beginning from April.
Advice and guidance on how to prepare for assessments in all Year groups is regularly provided, with additional information for parents available via the school's website and in letters home preceding each assessment period.