Desirable but impossible

I am increasingly convinced that one the biggest problems we face in schools is a belief that because something is desirable it must be possible. I think we see this particularly when it comes to assessment, tracking and reporting. What do we want! I can completely understand that everyone would like to know what grade…

Meaningful Assessment

  Assessment is a complex beast that once seemed so simple. When I started teaching we assessed in KS3 by getting pupils to produce a piece of extended writing at the end of the topic and assessed that against national curriculum level descriptors. This created a whole host of problems. The level descriptors were never…

Best of the Week 02.06.17

There are a huge number of wonderful blogs out there, packed full of practical advice and intriguing debates. The only issue is that they can be very ephemeral. Something wonderful is written but can be quickly forgotten. To try and combat this I thought I would try to pin down some of the blog posts…

What do they know?

I wrote recently about the mess that I felt our department’s assessment system was in. Since the introduction of the new specification at GCSE, and the removal of National Curriculum levels at KS3, I feel we have lost sight of what we are assessing for. I may be speaking too soon, but I think I…

How do we assess?

Every year, at about this time, I start dreaming about all the things I’ll get done during Term 6 when my exam classes have gone. With both Year 13 and Year 11 heading off I should actually get a reasonable amount of time to get stuck in to something and this year is a biggie.…

Effective Feedback Policy

I have been busy working on our progress criteria for Life After Levels (you can see the thinking behind it and a first draft here) and this in turn has started me thinking about how we will assess pupils work and give feedback. At the moment marking tends to focus on key assessment pieces. Every…