Keeping track keeps motivation

1st July 2005 at 01:00
In my RE department we have developed a system to record assessments so that pupils can follow their own progress throughout the year. We use the Essex agreed syllabus levels but these relate broadly to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority levels.

In key stage 3, each pupil is given a chart which includes spaces for their school-determined target minimum level, the level for each piece of work and, importantly, spaces for them to write what they did right in the assessment and what they could have done to improve their work. We have found that this system is extremely motivating and allows pupils to track their own progress easily. We are trying to ensure that every child is assessed termly on AT1 and AT2 to give a clear picture of their progress.

For GCSE students, we have followed exactly the same basics but base the assessment around the GCSE marks and mark scheme. Our full course GCSE pupils take practice exams regularly and they complete their chart after it has been marked and given back. In Year 10 we sometimes allow the pupils to have this assessment chart in front of them while doing practice papers and they have to tick off when they have met their targets on the paper they are doing. We have found that their grades rapidly improve.

When it comes to report writing, we usually take the average of the assessment levels to report to parents. This is because assessment for AT1 and AT2 in KS3 can be significantly different and pupils vary in performance depending on the assessment skills needed.

We have found this system has motivated our pupils and makes assessment personalised and available for all to see, including parents and other teachers. It also makes report writing easy.

We are developing a way to record their assessment levels centrally so we can track their progress from Year 7 through to GCSE. Ideally this would include tracking from primary level too.

Dawn Cox

Head of RE, Sir Charles Lucas Arts College, Essex

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