This last week has been reassessment week here at Accelerate Learning in Rose Hill/Carshalton. We run an assessment week once a term, usually the week before or the week after half term. We believe in reassessing our students and then giving feedback to both the students and their parents. Research from 2016 has shown that giving regular feedback to students improves their academic achievement, as well as increasing self-regulated learning behaviours and academic self efficacy, meaning that it helps them to achieve their own goals.
(Brown, Peterson and Yao, 2016). Reassessment also helps our tutors to know where the children and young people still have gaps in their knowledge or ability and therefore enables us to further tailor the tuition to their needs. This is the most prominent reason why, when all our students start, we give them an assessment so that our private tutors can individualise their tuition. But it also gives the student a chance to see where they are and to set themselves their own targets, be that to go up a grade or to improve on a particular topic within the subject.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 students are assessed using Puma and Pira tests. With these we are able to produce reports for each child showing not only how they compare to the national average, but also how they have improved from the last assessment they did. Key Stage 3 students are given a SATs paper, depending on which year they are in. We have access to a large amount of past SATs papers in English, Maths and Science. Although Year 9 SATs are no longer in operation, we find the questions given in past papers are a useful tool in assessing our students’ abilities.
Students in Years 10 and 11 are given GCSE papers from the exam board they will be taking their GCSEs in. We find this to be an effective way to prepare students for the GCSE exams as they are able to get used to the format of the exams as well as the timing pressures. This seems to be the most common issue students face and these assessments are good practise for improving on their speed without hindering the quality of their work.
There is a maximum of 2 weeks between assessment and feedback, with the majority of students given feedback the following week.
Whatever the outcome of the assessment, be they level 9 or level 1, we will always work towards the common goal of improving the students’ abilities and knowledge and really put them on a pathway to success!
Brown, G. T., Peterson, E. R., & Yao, E. S. (2016). Student conceptions of feedback: Impact on self-regulation, self-efficacy,
and academic achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(4), 606-629.