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Types of Assessment

We carry out two types of assessment at DACA:

Formative assessment is regular monitoring of student understanding in lessons and home learning, with regular feedback, to develop student knowledge. This includes:

  • Book marking through whole class feedback
  • In class-activities aimed at developing skills fluency
  • Live marking and feedback from teachers in lessons
  • Student self and peer assessment against model answers or markschemes

Summative assessment is formal testing – whether topic tests in classrooms or more formal mock examinations.

Aims of Assessment

Through formative and summative assessment, we aim to develop our core student value of knowledge. We aim to give students determination to reflect on their work and successes and improve. We aim to give our students ambition to continually develop. We aim to give students the knowledge they need to become Darwen’s influential young leaders of tomorrow.

Formative assessments supports this by continually reinforcing student knowledge and fluency in core subject skills as they progress through the curriculum.

Summative assessment aims to

  • Enable teachers, students and parents to regularly track student progress
  • To inform:
    • Setting
    • Tiering at GCSE
    • Qualification and options pathways at the KS3/KS4 and KS4/KS5 transitions
    • How teachers plan and adapt their lessons to be appropriate for their groups and individuals within the groups
  • Give an opportunity to embed knowledge through the “curve of forgetting” by revisiting knowledge in revision lessons prior to testing
  • Give students defined actions to improve following summative assessment
  • To link to continual formative assessment, including through whole class feedback on topic tests
  • Enable appropriate targeting of support and intervention

Formative assessment

We aim to have formative assessment as a continuous part of our classroom practice.

We structure lessons using a framework of a retrieval starter, then an I do, We do, You do process.

In the retrieval starter, the teacher will give short factual questions on prior learning. This is an opportunity for teachers to formatively assess prior knowledge, and for students to revisit prior material. We aim for regular review of prior material to promote long term retention, in line with the principles of the “curve of forgetting”.

In the I do phase, the teacher expertly models new subject material.

In the We do phase, the teacher then undertakes formative assessment to check class understanding. This is usually carried out by whole class questioning using whiteboards, or more targeted questioning of individual students. Teachers may use a range of “assessment for learning” techniques here to gauge student understanding.

In the You do phase, students complete independent work. Teachers purposefully circulate and “live mark” books during this lesson phase. This is an opportunity for teachers to identify and correct misconceptions.

Teachers also complete regular “whole class feedback” sheets to their groups, giving them formative feedback on the work in their books. Typically, a student will receive whole class feedback every 2 weeks in core subjects, and every 3 weeks in non-core subjects.

We also aim to use summative assessment to support formative learning – please see the section below.

Summative Assessment Schedule

We carry out three formal summative assessment points throughout the year, once per term.