The Stephen Longfellow Academy is an integral part of The GORSE Academies Trust, and as such benefits from its strong relationship with The Morley, Farnley and Ruth Gorse Academies, all of which are OFSTED Outstanding academies. The assessment policies used at TSLA are similar to those used at our partner schools, and as such we are confident that we will reap the benefits of their experience in the area of student assessment and tracking.
The unique status of TSLA within the Trust, as an Alternative Provision free-school established in 2017, means that assessment has had to be tailored to the unique contexts of each student who joins us. We are data-rich and make use of behavioural and attitudinal assessments alongside the more orthodox academic assessments deployed in our mainstream academies. This fabric is woven into our web-based assessment platform, TRACKLE. It presents students’ progress through the academy as a timeline, showing very clearly how pastoral interventions are leading to significant improvements in the quality of academic work.
Academic progress is measured from a baseline assessment conducted in all subjects during the first 7 weeks of a student’s time with us. Baselines are extremely important in judging the current grade a student is working at. As with all TGAT academies, we use a 9-1 grading system augmented by an a-d system for sub-grade 1 attainment. For many, they will be some way from the expectation indicated by their Key Stage 2 levels or scaled scores due to the problems they have experienced in mainstream schools. Our teachers and curriculum leaders aim to grade the students based upon a mixture of formative and summative assessment, making full use of moderation with trust partners in order to arrive at an accurate picture.
We make use of FFT Aspire in order to establish what we call our MEG Target (Minimum Expected Grade). This is the FFT50 target. This academic target for the end of the year in Years 7 to 9 and end of key stage in Years 10 and 11, may in some cases be high and since we want to develop targets that can be used meaningfully with students, teachers then produce a Personalised Target Grade (PTG). This is a realistic and achievable target that will be sued during assessment point meetings and in discussions with students. In effect it is a milestone they can reach as we steer them towards exceptional progress.
Throughout the academic year, students are assessed at 3 Assessment Points (APs). Students are also judged against a matrix in terms of their Attitudes to Education Level (ATEL). This is then used to prescribe an Attitude to Education Focus (ATEF), which is in effect, a SMART target. Teachers then discuss the current grade and ATEF with students in order to support them make academic progress in lessons and to continue to support their personal development.
|Formative and Summative assessments
|Formative and Summative assessments (including Mocks and Masters)
Strategic Clarity, Operational Excellence and Partnership Work
The Stephen Longfellow Academy has a depth of expertise in its practitioners and we have been able to support our students in Years 1 and 2 to produce exceptionally strong GCSE and BTEC results, providing the very best opportunities for them to progress to Post-16 study and apprenticeships.
These endeavours have been strengthened by the partnership work that takes place throughout the year and encompasses all professionals. The close partnership work established through Assessment Rubric Meetings and Core Binding Meetings within the Trust, and our 3-19 Partnership Meetings ensures that Curriculum Leaders can share and disseminate materials used throughout the Trust. This allows us to make meaningful comparisons about the progress made on these tasks. Assessment is more formally conducted using tests and exams that have been developed collaboratively within the trust. During the academic year, students in all subjects will sit an end of year Masters examination. Also, in subjects where curriculum alignment is straightforward, they will also sit an Interim examination. These exams are standardised during Assessment Rubric Meetings, in order to set grade boundaries and ensure that alignment of teaching schemes has taken place. Following examinations, samples are moderated by Curriculum Leaders from across the Trust in order to ensure the quality of marking and accuracy of assessment. By benchmarking our students to those in Outstanding academies including The Morley, Farnley and Ruth Gorse Academies we can encourage the highest levels of expectation in our students, and to ensure their aspirations are matched.