Our assessment system is based around the EHCP. Pupils are assessed against their own personal learning goals. Our holistic approach to assessment measures and celebrates progress in all areas of a child’s development and is done in full collaboration with pupils, families and other professionals. It allows us to focus on developing those aspects of learning that will have the biggest impact on a child’s life. Pupils work towards learning goals in: communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social and emotional well-being, physical and sensory development and independence. All areas of development are given equal worth which acknowledges the interdependence of the different aspects of learning.
We work hard on getting the learning goals right for our pupils; they must be meaningful, challenging and achievable. They must be sufficiently open-ended to allow pupils opportunity to practice new skills and apply them to different contexts. Pastoral teachers draft the short-term targets with the support of therapists, specialist teachers, other professional and occasionally families. They are checked and refined by senior leaders before being added to the child’s Learning Map.
Evidence of progress made towards pupil targets is recorded on Earwig where it is linked to their short-term targets. Paper-based evidence may also be recorded in pupil books. Pupil progress meetings take place at the beginning and end of each semester between pastoral teachers and Heads of Department. These are used to moderate teacher judgments about pupil progress through professional discussions around what has been observed.
Teachers are also given opportunities to moderate each others’ assessments in teacher meetings dedicated to this purpose which take place throughout the year. We also arrange for pastoral teachers to moderate externally with other special schools. All staff working in class are supported to be reflective in their practice to ensure their assessment of achievement and progress is accurate.
Our assessment systems must also allow for unintended learning outcomes. These are celebrated through certificates and awards.
All pupils in Key Stage 4 have the opportunity to gain a range of accreditation and qualifications. These are primarily at Entry Level, although, where appropriate, some pupils may be supported to achieve higher level qualifications including GCSEs.
Our pupils are often very motivated by these accreditations and qualifications and take pride in their achievements which are formerly celebrated at the end of Year 11 in the Leavers’ Assembly. Working towards accreditation also provides pupils with the opportunity to experience working under controlled conditions as well as practice at key life skills such as working towards deadlines and organisation and presentation skills.
These accreditation and qualifications that are primarily offered at the academy include OCR Life and Living Skills, Trinity Arts Award, AQA Unit Awards, ASDAN Personal Development Programmes and Preparing for Adulthood Programmes.
Accreditation varies from year to year as it reflects the Programmes of Study in any one year. These vary to match the pupils’ strengths and interests but we set a standard which all pupils aspire to. We call this our ‘Aspirational Portfolio’. Gaining this demonstrates that a pupil has demonstrated skills and competencies in a broad range of curriculum areas. Accreditation and qualifications also offer another way of demonstrating the linear or lateral progress our pupils make between Years 10 and 11. They may move from an Entry 2 to an Entry 3 qualification or may expand the range of accreditation they achieve.
Established and Early Learners
|Number of pupils||Literacy Communication||Numeracy||Science||Arts||PD||PDP||Careers||Life Skills||Progress by level or award Y10-Y11|
|5||80% (4)||100% (5)||100% (5)||100% (5)||100% (5)||100% (5)||100% (5)||100% (5)||100% (5)|
|Number of pupils||Literacy|
|Numeracy||Arts||PD||Learning Skills||Life Skills||Progress by level or award Y10-Y11|
|7||100% (7)||100% (7)||100% (7)||86% (6)||100% (7)||100% (7)||100% (7)|