How do we assess your child in KS3?

How do we assess your child’s progress in KS3?

At Wilmslow High School our approach to assessment is to separate:

  • Formative assessment – understanding what a student can do and what they can’t yet do at any particular time
  • from summative assessment – which describes how well a student has learnt the material being taught at the end of a particular unit.

Our formative assessment uses the language of fluency and completeness, explained on the previous page. As we expect all students to achieve complete knowledge of the material they are learning, teachers are constantly assessing their progress toward this. Such assessments may include:

  • Questioning in lessons
  • Live marking of students’ work
  • Quizzes and tests in lessons
  • Quizzes and tests set as homework
  • Practice examination style questions or essays in class or set as homework

Teachers will use this assessment to help them plan lessons and to help them feedback to students about what they need to do next. Such feedback will concentrate on students’ learning gaps and how to close these.

In Key Stage 3, our summative assessment takes the form of two sets of examinations per year for every year group. Every subject will set an examination and these will focus not only on the material taught recently, but also that from previous years. To enable students, parents and teachers to understand the progress that a student is making in a subject over time, we report examination scores using a Standardised Age Score system (which we refer to as S-Scores). On this scoring scale, an average student in the whole of the country will have a score of 100, any score greater than 100 is above average and any score less than 100 is below average. Typically, the average for Wilmslow High School is approximately 105.

When a student joins us in Year 7, we take a combination of their Key Stage 2 SATS scores, their Cognitive Ability Test scores (CATS) and a series of transition test scores for English, mathematics and science and we create a ‘personal best’ baseline. We then expect every student to aim to beat their personal bests in all subsequent examinations. We would expect a student with a baseline of 95 to aim to score higher than this as this will show they are working hard and growing as a learner. We share an examination certificate with parents and carers after each summative assessment window which shows students’ attainment compared to their baseline.

To support us in understanding our students’ progress in Key Stage 3, the students all sit nationally benchmarked progress tests, provided by GL assessments in the summer of Years 7, 8 and 9. They also sit a similar science paper in Year 9. If you have any questions about the use of standardised scores in reporting, you may find this video: of use.