Assessing the young people within our school is vital to ensure they are progressing appropriately and meeting the high expectations set.
Pupils’ work is marked and assessed on a regular basis in line with the Whole School Policies on Assessment and Marking.
All pupils from EYFS to Year 6 undertake computer based tests within the first few weeks of the new academic year. The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University (CEM) is one of the largest independent providers of educational assessment and monitoring systems in the world, and the largest provider of computer-adaptive assessments outside the United States. Used in over 50 countries, their assessments measure the potential of over 1 million children and young people between the ages of 3-19 every year.
Computer-adaptive assessments fit perfectly into a philosophy that seeks to assess each child as an individual, and they overcome some of the shortcomings of traditional methods.
These assessments generally begin with reasonably easy questions and then use the child's responses to decide whether to progress to more challenging questions or to back off to easier ones. This means that the assessment is tailored to a child's ability. Each individual is challenged at a level which is appropriate to them, resulting in an experience which is motivating and enjoyable.
There are no scripts to mark so teachers can access feedback quickly. This personalised assessment of each child gives a full profile of their strengths and areas to focus upon, which can be used to inform teaching and learning.
The system can help teachers identify an individual’s strengths and areas for development, spot high fliers or those who may need additional support. The information is also used to inform decisions such as target setting.
PIPS (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools) is a standardised assessment system that is designed to monitor pupils’ educational progress throughout the Primary phase. PIPS provides an annual assessment of attainment in the core curriculum areas of reading and mathematics. In addition there is an assessment of developed abilities, which may be regarded as a measure of each child’s academic potential. Comparison of academic attainment with academic potential, and also with previous academic performance, allows teachers to build a powerful profile of individual progress for every child throughout the Primary phase.
InCAS is a diagnostic, computer-adaptive assessment tool used by Gosfield to inform personalised learning. Computer-adaptive assessments are still a fairly new concept and they have numerous benefits over traditional pencil and paper assessments. Pupils take part in a personalised assessment, which tailors the level of difficulty of each question depending on how the pupil performed on the last one. As a result it’s a more enjoyable and engaging experience. It’s also more reliable and feedback is more detailed.
For Years 7 - 9 at Gosfield we use MidYIS, the Middle Years Information System, which provides new and innovative baseline tests widely used in the UK. Feedback includes predictions for external examinations. These tests are computer-based and adapt with each question to suit the ability of the pupil taking the test.
The MidYIS Tests are primarily designed to be taken when our pupils enter the senior school and are available for Year 7, 8 or 9.The tests are designed to measure, as far as possible, ability and aptitude for learning rather than achievement. MidYIS is not an IQ Test as it is designed to provide a measure of ‘typical’ performance so that teachers can judge how much ‘effort’ will be required to take pupils to external examinations.
The tests are comprised of Vocabulary, Maths, Non-verbal and Skills sections. All sections contribute to an overall measure of ability that strongly predicts subsequent achievement. Test results can be used to identify our pupils’ strengths and weaknesses, inform teaching and learning, identify gifted and more able pupils and help us to cater for pupils with special educational needs.
Years 10 and 11
We also use Yellis (Year 11 Information System). This is a value-added monitoring system that provides performance indicators for pupils studying towards their GCSEs in Years 10 and 11. The results from this baseline test are reported together with detailed GCSE predictions for each pupil. Tests are very similar to the MidYIS tests and include Vocabulary, Maths and Non-verbal sections.
Year 12 and 13
The Advanced Level Information System (ALIS) provides performance indicators for our post-16 students. ALIS uses GCSE data and its own alternative baseline tests as measures of ability. This enables ALIS to provide predictive data and value-added analyses specific for each of our students and each specific subject they study at A-level.