We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Dr Thomlinson CofE Middle School. (The school curriculum has been carefully redesigned to give a broad and challenging education. Pupils say they enjoy their work and they value the support they receive from adults Ofsted 2016).
Details of how are we are following the new National Curriculum are detailed below with subject specific information available here.
Life After Levels
Dr Thomlinson’s welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum in 2016 and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents. We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.
We feel our system to assessment and tracking enables our students to make good progress and achieve well. This is because it encourages objective-led target setting. Our approach involves the students much more with their own learning and progression. We use Termly Reports and Assessment Folders to communicate these targets and they are continually monitored and revised.
The langauge our teachers and students use is:
- Developing – working within age related expectations but not yet securely
- Expected – the standard all students in the year group are aiming for
- Mastered – age-related objectives have been achieved and the student is working at a deeper level of understanding and application
We use a traffic light colour system to represent this progression. It is important for students and parents to remember that red is not negative! It simply means this is an area which needs further work and development. Going for gold (or yellow!) is where we expect our children to be by the end of the academic year. Some children may have gained deeper knowledge/skill so they will have reached green.
Reporting to Parents
Our Ofsted inspection in May 2016 commended our assessment and tracking system: ‘The school has recently reviewed the curriculum and developed an effective system for collecting and analysing pupils’ assessment information in partnership with the middle and high schools of the Three Rivers Learning Trust. Staff skilfully employ this new curriculum and assessment system to engage pupils in their learning and regularly review how well they are doing.’
Below, is a sample of some of the fantastic feedback we received from parents about our system:
Can you see how our approach to assessment will support your child in making progress?
- The new system will allow for lower ability children to identify strengths across the curriculum so will hopefully be less demoralising than simply a numerical value.
- It will makes things very clear for both children and parents to see progress and what can be worked on to develop.
- Yes with very detailed learning objectives and by identifying strengths and areas to be improved.
- Yes it will allow pupil specific learning.
- Clear framework ; excellent signposting ; clear links to progress.
- Feedback on next steps very useful to parents and students.
- Yes although it will take some getting used to!
With each termly report, we send parent information to explain the information in the report.