Assessment

Assessment at Icknield

Assessment is part of the learning journey. And as with most journeys, it helps to know where you are going, why you want to go there and how you plan to get there. It’s also important to know where you are before you begin the journey!

At Icknield assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning.  Our aim is for students to know precisely how well they are doing and what the next steps for improvement are.  Accurate and robust assessment is crucial to support learning and at Icknield:

  • Is underpinned by the belief that all learners have the potential to achieve and that effort, resilience and practice are essential for success.
  • Promotes a clear understanding of the standards required for and criteria upon which assessments will be made.
  • Actively involve learners, engaging them in decision making, motivating them to take responsibility for their learning including further improvements and preparing them for life.
  • Focuses on learning through regular conversations, purposeful interventions and interactions that actively promote self and peer evaluation and reflection.
  • Utilises a variety of approaches, appropriate for learners, the nature of the activity and the context in which their learning is taking place.
  • Reaches beyond knowledge and understanding to include skills, attitudes and capabilities.
  • Is constructive and task-related, in order to develop learners’ confidence and self-esteem and to minimise potentially negative effects.
  • Generates feedback for both learners and teachers that inspires improvement and indicates how this can be realised.
  • Results in consistent, accurate information that is meaningful and useful for pupils, parents, teachers, school leaders and governors.

Assessment Reform

Years 7 and 8

From September 2014 the Government ceased the expectation and requirement to assess students National Curriculum Levels. All schools are now expected to implement their own assessment system to best suit their own circumstances and requirements.

At Icknield we have considered many differing systems to ensure assessment continues to meet the needs our stakeholders and importantly fully supports our relentless ambition to improve achievement.

From September 2015 we have decided to continue using the existing levelling system for our Year 8 students. We believe to change our assessment procedures for this year group could be potentially disruptive to learning as both parents and students are midway through a system using the familiar language of levels and have existing achievement levels and targets already in this format.

Students joining Icknield in Year 7 from September 2015 will, however, be assessed without levels.

and the School has chosen to adapt and use the Growth and Threshold assessment model developed by Durrington High School (Department of Education innovation winners 2014). In this model assessment is based on progress made, so celebrates effort of all students, with differing starting points. Parents and students will receive formative feedback about strengths and areas for improvement and progress is judged in relation to national expectations. Further details on this revised assessment procedure will be shared with parents during the autumn term and there will be a parental guidance evening held at the school.

GCSE Reform

Ofqual have confirmed the following important changes to assessment of the new GCSEs:

  • The introduction of a new grading scale, using the numbers 1–9, with 9 being the top level. Where performance is below the minimum required to be awarded a GCSE level, students will be given a U.
  • The use of two tiers of entry will only apply in subjects ‘where untiered papers will not allow students at the lower end of the ability range to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, or will not stretch the most able’.  Maths will continue to be tiered, with the foundation tier covering grades 1–5 and the higher tier covering grades 4–9.
  • All examinations will normally be taken in May and June of the same year.
  • The first examinations for the new GCSEs in English and maths will be taken in summer 2017.
  • The first examinations for the new GCSEs in the sciences, geography, history, languages, art and design, citizenship studies, computer science, dance, design and technology, drama, music, physical education and religious studies will be taken in summer 2018
  • Assessment will be by external exam only, except where non-exam assessment is the only way to provide valid assessment of the skills required.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar will continue to be assessed within English literature, geography and history, as well as English language.
  • For students sitting exams in 2017, the new numbering system will apply for English language, English literature and maths. Other GCSEs will still be graded A*-C.
  • In 2018, the new 1-9 numbering system will apply to sciences, geography, history, languages, art and design, citizenship studies, computer science, dance, design and technology, drama, music, physical education and religious studies.

What will your child be doing?

Year 11 2015-16 (Silver)

  • ‘Old’ style GCSE for all subjects. Grades will all be letters A*-G.
  • Examination year: 2016.

Year 10 2015-16 (Green)

  • ‘New’ style GCSE for English and Maths. Grades will be numbers for phase 1 subjects.
  • ‘Old’ style GCSE for all other subjects. Grades will be letters A*-G for the ‘old’ GCSE.
  • Examination year: 2017.

Year 9 2015-16 (Red)

  • ‘New’ style GCSE for phase 1 & phase 2 subjects. Grades will be numbers for phase 1 & phase 2 subjects.
  • ‘Old’ style GCSE for all other subjects. Grades will be letters A*-G for the ‘old’ GCSE.
  • Examination year: 2018.

Year 7 and 8 2015-16 (Blue and Yellow)

  • ‘New’ style GCSE for ‘phase 1, phase 2 & phase 3’ subjects. Grades will all be numbers.
  • No students will be taking ‘old’ style GCSEs in this cohort.
  • Examination year: 2019 onwards.

Changes to exams can be very complicated for all concerned. There are many places that you can get further information from. We have listed these below:

Further information can be found at: