We have just introduced a very exciting new curriculum across the school, designed to identify exactly what is being learnt every lesson, alongside what pupils should be achieving depending on their individual ability. In every class the ‘Core’ success criteria sets out what every pupil will learn, whilst the ‘Support’ targets those who may have understanding / knowledge gaps that could limit progress. ‘Challenge’ success criteria are designed to really extend our most able. This curriculum framework is published on our website at the start of each term for every subject for your information. Following the work that has gone into framing learning across the school, our teachers have used their creativity and professional skill to plan excellent engaging lessons that our fantastic pupils enjoy immensely, making outstanding progress across the forthcoming school year.
In the Senior School the academic curriculum has been extended, including Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught as separate subjects from year 9, a greater emphasis on languages and at GCSE more time to study the subjects pupils have chosen for their options.
Assessment, Marking and Reporting
We have introduced a completely new approach to assessment, marking and reporting at Finborough. Our simple standardised approach is easy to understand with a significant focus on what pupils need to do to improve and make best progress.
Percentages are to be used for all assessed work in the Prep and Senior School.
Pupil’s work is marked every week in all subjects. Our green (for growth) marking has a major emphasis on identifying how improvements can be made. When marked work is retuned each week, pupils will be given sufficient time to really engage with comments to enable improvements to be made both retrospectively and going forward as appropriate.
Following the withdrawal of National Curriculum levels, in the Prep School percentages are used as the academic summative assessment in reports.
In the Senior School GCSE grades are used as the academic summative assessment al for all year groups in reports. As we are amidst government driven qualification changes Legacy (A*-G) or new (9-1) grades are used or a combination of both depending on the cohort (more detail will follow with the first interim reports issued later this term).
Summative assessments are formally recorded six times during each school year, every half term. Pupils receive three reports, two interim (short) reports relating to the preceding term using the most recent summative academic assessment and ‘Learnability’ rating. In addition they will receive a comprehensive full report that will also use the most recent summative academic assessment and ‘Learnability’ rating but will relate to the whole school year.
At the start of the school year or on taking up a place at Finborough pupils are set target percentages in all subjects derived from baseline assessments and prior attainment. At every summative assessment point academic attainment is directly compared with the target set. Meeting the target will be categorised as ‘good’ progress, exceeding the target as ‘excellent’ progress. Whilst a pupil may not meet or exceed their target right from the start of the academic year, in the unlikely event they fall 20% or more below target in term one, 15% in term two and 10% in term three it will be a cause for concern as they will be making significantly less progress than expected and a ‘recovery’ plan is required including a meeting with parents and weekly tracking and review of improvement actions until the gap has been closed.
We have significantly overhauled the reporting and parents evening schedule, to provide you the best possible opportunity to engage with and support your child’s achievement and progress, providing clarity regarding exactly what they need to do to improve further.
Pupils sit formal tailored examinations across the range of their curriculum in the summer term of years 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 (Linear A Levels). Students in the final year of GCSE or A levels (Linear), usually years 11 and 13 take mock examinations in all their subjects in the penultimate week of the autumn term. There is also an option of a second mock examination in the penultimate week of the spring term if appropriate.
‘Learnability’ is a descriptor-based assessment of pupils’ learning behaviour used alongside summative academic assessments in every subject. There are five ‘Learnability’ ratings: Unacceptable (U), Bronze (B), Silver (S), Gold (G) and Platinum (P). Assessment of ‘Learnability’ is a complete fit approach. A pupil can only achieve a rating if they ‘fit’ every descriptor for the rating. This will set both high expectations for learning behaviour alongside identifications of deficits to allow focused improvement actions. The descriptors for each ‘Learnability’ rating are attached to this letter for your information and future reference. In all reports Learnability will be recorded alongside the academic achievement percentage / grade.