How assessment at Ark Acton works
As a school we believe that using frequent cumulative testing is more beneficial than a series of one-off high stakes assessments. We believe that this not only increases retention of subject content but increases validity of teacher judgements about the security of student knowledge and what to do next. However, we know that the assessment only functions formatively when feedback is given. So we have built time into the structure of the school week to enable department to all meet twice a week to analyse student thought and act accordingly. We call these meetings ‘Co-planning meetings.’ Every teacher has these co-planning meetings as part of their overall loadings so they are a core part of the school week.
Principles of co-planning
- For most classrooms assessments, the outcome informs a choice of actions. However, if we want to use diagnostic assessment to tell us whether students have learnt something, we need to be clear what it is we wanted them to learn in the first place – so we must go into each co-planning meeting with a clear view of the desired student outcome we are about to analyse.
- The creation of complex composite tasks such as a History essay are made up of many different components. The purpose of a low-stakes diagnostic quiz is to help us diagnose error and misunderstanding within a particular component; not the composite.
- We therefore need to ask ourselves these questions in every co-planning meeting:
- Should we re-teach that idea or content to the whole class or can we move on?
- What activity should the students do to learn that content?
- Which particular component of the composite have they struggled most with – let’s re-teach that element.
- Do we need to spend time with the students practicing some more similar examples?
- Should we re-do a similar assessment in 5 lessons time?
How co-planning meetings work
One co-planning slot a week is used to isolate and correct common student error from our mastery quizzing.
On the weeks where a quiz has not taken place, this co-planning slot should be used to discuss the impact of that re-teach activity by looking at the refined student work and deciding how far it meets the model. This should then lead into a discussion about the impact of the chosen re-teach technique and any amendments needed to improve its efficacy.
The second co-planning slot each week is used to enable an informed discussion about student error and next steps through looking at the depth and quality of written work in books.
What forms of assessment do we use
|Hourly||Hinge point questions/MCQ/Whiteboards/questioning- designed to ensure a high success rate is achieved before moving on. Misconceptions can be addressed within the lesson as they occur.|
|Daily||Do now’s. Each lesson starts with a five-question recap. This can pick up errors from previous lessons and should interleave in challenging material. Teachers can use the do now’s to revisit errors and explore them as a class when they are corrected.
Circulating with purpose - teacher circulates with pen in hand, checking students' understanding whilst students are working.
|Weekly||Weekly diagnostic- at the discretion of the HOD, dependent on the subject discipline.
Intentional monitoring- planned use of feedback codes during extended practice and subsequent cold-call.
Mastery quizzes- Quizzes on the EEDI platform. This is completed on a bubble sheet and is then scanned in. No teacher marking and summary results easily available showing trends.
Exit tickets- Completed weekly, a summary of the weeks learning that teachers will use to inform their planning.
Sample review- after an extended piece of work teachers will take in a selection of books for the class to look for common misconceptions, errors and successes and will feed this back to students using a whole class feedback sheet or a re-teach in class.
Whole class feedback sheets- taking in a set of class books, reading them through, noting down key misconceptions, areas for re-teach, areas/students to praise and then tasks to move the student on (improve the student not the work).
|Half termly||‘Performance element’- In most subjects this will be a piece of extended writing but this will vary across subjects such as Art or PE. This will be reviewed by the teacher and whole class feedback given. This will be based on the content studied in that half term.|
|Bi-annually,December and July||Extended quiz designed to test key knowledge and identify misconceptions. This will be 50-100 questions depending on the number of lessons a week in the subject.
‘Performance element’- In most subjects this will be a piece of extended writing, but this will vary across subjects such as Art or PE. This will be reviewed by the teacher and whole class feedback given. This will be based on the year’s learning up to this point.
Data from these two forms of assessment will be used to report to parents the % of the taught content that students have mastered and whether they are on track to achieve their target