Reports and Performance
Few people would argue that assessing how well Wilmslow High School is performing is simply a matter of statistics. Indeed, one of the best ways is to visit in person either during our Open Evening and Open Day events during October or by means of one of the personal tours provided on a regular basis by members of the PTA. Of course, another perspective is provided by the process of OFSTED Inspections and this happened most recently for Wilmslow High School in April 2011
Nevertheless, information on attainment in public examinations remains very important since it provides an annual, standardised, benchmark against which to measure the school's performance.
In line with the government's publication programme for Achievement and Attainment Tables, Wilmslow High School reports its overall performance in public examinations at the end of each secondary Key Stage. The data reported below can be supplemented by that available on the Department for Education website:
Summary of GCSE Examination Results
|Number of students||291||299||295||297||284|
|Percentage of students achieving 5 + A* - G||92%||93%||92%||97%||95%|
|Percentage of students achieving 5 + A* - C||67%||74%||71%||82%||81%|
|Percentage of students achieving 5 + A* - C including English and mathematics||56%||67%||60%||72%||70%|
|National Average percentage of students achieving 5 + A* - C including English and mathematics||46%||48%||50%||53%||58%|
|Percentage of students achieving 8 A* A||8%||11%||14%||12%||12%|
|Average number of passes per student A* - C||6.2||6.9||6.8||7.9||8.3|
|Average number of passes per student A* - G||8.5||8.5||8.7||9.1||9.9|
|Average points score per student*||358||373||383||430||444|
* Explanation of the GCSE points tariff
Summary of A-Level Examination Results
|Number of students||226||196||212||248||209|
|Number of A2 entries||672||584||645||734||616|
|% of A - E grades||98%||99%||99%||98%||99%|
|% of A*-B grades||51%||57%||67%||58%||69%|
|Average number of passes per student (A2 & AS)||2.9||2.9||3.3||3.2||2.9|
|Average UCAS points score per student at both 'A' level and AS level*||286.9||273.3||319.2||299.6||317.1|
|Average UCAS points score per 'A' level entry*||86.8||90.1||95.7||91.0||96.4|
* Explanation of the UCAS points tariff
How parents find out how their child is performing
Wilmslow High School takes great care in the reporting of student performance and progress to parents because:
- We believe that the education of young people is best promoted through a strong home-school partnership
- We recognise our accountability for the responsibilities with which we have been entrusted
- We understand that parents can most effectively support their children's education if the information we supply is clear, regular and reliable
We currently use three standard communication mechanisms:
- Parents' Evenings
- Formal Written Reports
These occasions for communication are spread throughout the year to enable parents to receive a steady flow of information regarding progress made. Curriculum Team Leaders, Heads of House, Assistant Headteacher (Post-16) and form tutors monitor the progress of individuals via these reports and follow up any causes for concern.
The indicator system is designed to provide parents, staff and students with a "snapshot" view of each student's effort and attainment in all of the subjects they study rather than an in-depth analysis.
Indicator grades consist of a projected attainment grade, and an effort grade:
At Key Stage 3 teachers report the national curriculum level that they anticipate students reaching by the end of the academic year if they continue to progress as they are currently.
At Key Stages 4 and 5 teachers report the GCSE / GCE / BTEC grade that they anticipate students achieving at the end of the course if their current approach to the course is maintained.
The teacher's perception of a student's level of effort is graded on the following scale: G (Good), S (Steady), I (Insufficient), and P (Poor).
These indicators are completed by all staff at the half-way point of the autumn term and just before tutorial day in the spring term. The current dates for these are published on the school calendar.
This is the Student, Teacher agreed Target. We base the discussion on estimated grades generated by the Fischer Family Trust SE "D" model, based on performance at Key Stage 2, and by the CATS psychometric tests normally taken by students in Year 7. STATs should always be challenging but achievable and where a student is clearly achieving beyond their STAT, teachers should revise the target upwards. No fixed dates are set for teachers' discussions with students about targets as it is expected that these discussions form part of the ongoing assessment and learning process throughout the course, however teachers are expected to review the STAT at the time that Indicator grades are recorded. More information about STATs is available here: STATs Info (PDF) | FAQ (PDF).
These indicators are communicated to parents by letter that the students are entrusted to hand-deliver. However, if the pattern of indicators raises significant concerns about the effort and attainment of an individual student then their Form Tutor or Head of House will make follow-up contact with parents and will interview the student.
This system is currently under review with the intention of introducing on-line reporting by October 2010.
Each year group has one parents' subject consultative evening during the year. These are distributed throughout the year to align with key points in the life of each different year group. The current dates for these are published on the school calendar. The students arrange the appointment times with their subject teachers and record them on a booking sheet.
We believe that most benefit is gained from these consultation evenings if parents are accompanied by their son or daughter (in full school uniform). This provides an opportunity for student, parent(s) and subject teacher to have a brief but purposeful discussion regarding progress and targets to further progress. Should a more lengthy discussion be required, parents are invited to make an appointment to meet with the teaching staff affected.
Conscious that students and parents new to Wilmslow High School are likely to appreciate an additional, earlier, opportunity to consult with teaching staff, a Year 7 and new students settling-in evening is held in early October. On this occasion the consultation is held solely with the student's form tutor or another member of the Student Services team.
Formal written reports
Parents receive a comprehensive report on their child each year. The reports from subject teachers comment on achievement, effort, strengths and weaknesses and include actions to be taken for improvement, whereas the form tutor's report is an appreciation of the student's personal development and achievements as well as their general attitude and conduct in school.
Predicted National Curriculum Levels, GCSE or A level grades are included where applicable, while performance in these external examinations is reported by results printouts on the day of publication set by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
Assessment, recording and reporting
Assessment provides information about individual student needs and recognises and rewards the progress and achievements of all students. Reports allow us to celebrate achievement and provide details to assist in planning future learning needs. Assessment, recording and reporting are an important and continuous part of the teaching and learning process:
- They are used to identify areas of weakness in the learning and help in the setting of targets for improvement.
- They advise students and parents where they are in relation to their peers.
- They prepare students for future public examinations.
- They provide information for discussions regarding 'set' allocation and changes.
Each curriculum area has its own assessment and marking policy. Marking is intended to be diagnostic and to help students to improve with subsequent pieces of work.
Apart from the achievement grades given for set work, tests and examinations, reports also show an effort grade using the numbers 1 to 5 and an indication of progress related to targets. These are set against a common set of criteria used across the school and are an important indicator to both students and parents of whether we think the student is working appropriately in order to achieve his or her potential.
Key Stage 3
Target setting is important in all areas of the curriculum and students are made aware of their targets through discussion with teachers, through the marking process and on Tutorial Days with tutors.
An examination week is set aside for each year group. This takes place during June each year to fit in with the work of the whole Key Stage. Examinations are regarded as formal occasions as they inform students and parents of progress made and help prepare the students for the rigour of external examinations at the end of Key Stage 3 and 4 and subsequently for Advanced Level.
The National Tests in English, Mathematics and Science are taken in Year 9 during May and students' individual results are provided for parents. The results for this year are published with the examination results in this prospectus. Teacher assessments in other subjects in the National Curriculum are also sent to parents at the end of Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
Students' work at Key Stage 4 is marked against GCSE criteria with attainment grades from A* - U. The 1 - 5 effort grades are set against the same criteria. Work is marked regularly and constructive feedback provided to students. All work is assessed against the levels expected by the examination boards. This gives students a clear view of where they are with respect to their anticipated GCSE results.
As well as tests throughout the year, formal examinations are set towards the end of Year 10, both of these contributing to the information needed for movement between sets.
Mock GCSE examinations are set in December of Year 11 and take in the same conditions as those which apply to the final examinations the following summer. The timing of the mock examinations is intended to provide students and teachers with time to act on any weaknesses.
Students' progress is closely monitored and support is provided by subject teachers and Heads of House. Students may receive additional guidance from a personal mentor should they experience difficulties in Years 10 or 11.
Key Stage 5
When students enter the Sixth Form, they are advised what their optimum level of achievement at 'A' level should be, based on the points which they have scored at GCSE (using the ALIS programme) and our prior experience of working with young people in a challenging educational environment. Throughout the students' time in the Sixth Form, progress, attitude to study and academic achievement are measured and monitored. There is regular feedback to both students and parents, so that each student knows at any point whether he or she is on target.
Throughout the two years there is a structured monitoring programme for the students. Monitoring forms are completed by subject staff each half term, and individual review meetings take place with the form tutor, who works with them to help them meet their academic and other targets. Achievement grades are compared with target grades determined at the beginning of the course.
Work throughout the course is assessed against AS and A2 examination criteria, using grades A - U. Although there are sessions of study leave time frequently, study leave is agreed with the individual student due to the complex structure of AS/A2 examinations, which vary from one student to another and from one course to another. The Sixth Form Team and Sixth Form Tutors monitor closely the achievement of students conscious of the workload issue for many individuals.