At Island School we believe that formative assessment is an essential and fundamental part of all classroom practice. We also believe that the ultimate aim of formative assessment is to enable students to manage their own learning and to be independent and reflective thinkers.
Many if not all of the school aims are supported by ongoing and effective formative assessment and while an important part of assessment involves a certain amount of “testing”, we understand that “you do not make a plant grow by measuring it”.
So we subscribe to the view that formative assessment is a rigorous form of nurturing that seeks to develop in students a capability to take ownership and control of their own progress.
Accurate and purposeful summative assessment is necessary, especially when results of such assessments are used formatively.
At Island School…
- students become increasingly more reflective about their own performance, growing capability and the ways in which they learn as they move up through the school
- good assessment practice is derived from scrupulous attention to students’ progress and social development. Teachers and students work together on raising achievement and the development of the student as a whole person.
- assessment focuses on the education of the whole person and supports them to become lifelong learners.
- the quality of assessment has significant impact on attitudes to learning and on levels of attainment. It does this by stimulating and challenging students to learn effectively and by providing opportunities for pupils to take risks, to become inquiring, and knowledgeable, creative and caring people.
- students are encouraged to demonstrate their understanding in different ways
- teachers focus on how to improve the learning of individual students and use assessment to plan approaches to teaching and learning for individuals, sub-groups, classes and whole year groups.
- strategies and techniques for assessment are varied to meet individual learning needs.
- teaching methods actively involve students in analysis, discussion, experimentation and critical thinking
- written or oral assessment on student’s work provides both clear evaluation of level of achievement and sensible advice that leaves students with manageable action points and time to reflect on what they have learnt and what they need to do to progress.
- target-setting focuses on specific, relevant and achievable goals.
- carefully planned collaborative learning supports students progress and understanding..
- pupils’ progress is improved by thorough ongoing monitoring and support, based on informed dialogue among subject and pastoral staff about students’ academic and social progress and their attitudes, behaviour and personal development.
- students of all ages appreciate and understand the importance of teachers showing them how to move on to the next stage of achievement and value discussion about their progress with their tutor.
- the parents value well-written, personalised school reports, commenting on academic and social development. They also appreciate regular, informal consultation over and above that provided at conventional parents’ evenings.
- well-kept diaries are carefully monitored (Y7 & 8) and are a valuable means of communication between students, parents and teachers.