Assessment and Target Setting
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning at Coppice Academy. It provides a framework for identifying, monitoring and communicating students’ attainment and progress, identifying areas for further development and setting challenging targets.
Students at Coppice Academy are assessed on a daily, lesson by lesson basis; progress is also checked at the end of each term. Targets are set for the end of each year and key stage with some students undertaking tests and exams during the academic year (this is determined by the students’ individual pathways). The school uses its own assessment system created by subject specialist staff, Coppice Progress Steps.
What are Coppice Progress Steps?
Coppice Progress Steps framework has been developed by subject specialist staff at Coppice Academy with our learners at the forefront of this process. It is designed to be on one continuum and to be simpler for parents to understand the progress of a child.
The framework has been developed in line with the original P levels, Equals life skills framework and National Curriculum to support students in acquiring skills for life and achieving accreditation outcomes through individualised learning pathways. The use of this framework ensures that we are able to challenge every child, regardless of ability (from P1i to P18). Cognition level / Age appropriated learning are mapped into the scale as the Government wants parents to know the cognitive age a child is working at. It utilises a software company called SOLAR to record the assessment data online. We record lesson evidence to check our staff are correct with their judgements and hold regular moderation meetings as part of our quality assurance to ensure consistency throughout each subject and across the whole school.
From Year 10 onwards students begin nationally accredited qualifications in all subjects. Our current suite of qualifications includes GCSE, Gateway, NCFE, Entry Level Certificate, Functional Skills and ASDAN all of which have their own grading systems. We therefore measure attainment, track progress and set targets using the appropriate qualification grades.
We receive end of Key Stage 2 assessment data from our feeder primary schools. Experience shows us that, for various reasons (poor retention of knowledge and skills over the summer break, anxiety over the move to a new school, a high level of one-to-one support in primary school etc.) a significant minority of students do not perform at their reported level when they arrive with us. Whilst we acknowledge that the reported end of Key Stage 2 data will be used in the Department of Education’s KS2-KS4 progress measure, it would be doing students a disservice to stick rigidly to unrealistic end of Year 6 assessments when setting our own progress targets as the discrepancy would be compounded year on year as we set increasingly more unachievable targets.
We therefore carry out our own selection of assessments during the first few weeks of Year 7. In the first instance students undertake the following assessments:
accredited English and maths assessments – this includes a reading, spelling and maths age for all students
assessments in individual subjects
The outcomes of these assessments are then triangulated with the reported end of KS2 data and students are assigned a Coppice Progress Step for each subject. If there is a significant difference between reported KS2 attainment and our assessments then subject leaders (English and maths), form teachers and the SENCO are all consulted as part of the benchmarking process.
Students who join us post-Year 7 are benchmarked in a similar way.
Accurate assessment and analysis of year-on-year progress allows us to generate challenging and aspirational targets, which show what we expect our students to attain. Comparing current attainment against targets allows us to measure the impact of teaching and learning and intervene when necessary to support learning.
Two groups of whole school targets are set for every student:
5-year accreditation targets for English, maths, science and computing are set. The 5-year target is then broken down into our year-on-year and termly targets. These are reviewed at the end of Y9. (Adapted accreditation targets are set for students who join post Year 7 to consider the time between their start date and end of Key Stage 4)
Year-on-year (ie. September – July) targets for all subjects, broken down into termly targets.
Challenging annual targets are set with the aim for students to reach their projected key stage expectation.
Using the Coppice Progress Steps within the Solar progress tracking system, we are able to projects where a child should be, dependent on age and start point. This helps teachers, students and parents understand what we expect of our students to ensure outstanding progress.
Once set, targets are reviewed three times a year by the Data and Assessment Lead Teacher, in consultation with subject leaders. If a student is consistently exceeding their initial target we consider them to have an accelerated growth capacity and their targets will be adjusted upwards. If a student is not meeting their expected target then an intervention programme is put in place in the first instance, targets are very rarely downgraded.
We expect every student to progress from their benchmarked starting point at the beginning of Year 7 by a minimum of one Coppice Progress Step per academic year. We consider this to be good progress. Any student making more than one Coppice Progress Step per academic year would be making outstanding progress.
Expected progress in Years 10 & 11
As explained above Key Stage 4 targets are set in line with the grading system used for the qualification being followed eg. GCSE subjects use grades or 1-9, Entry Level Certificate subjects use levels 1-3, etc.
At the start of Year 10 a student’s end of Year 9 Coppice Steps are converted to start of KS4 equivalent accreditation/grades which are appropriate for the students.
We recognise that our targets have a lower expectation of progress than is expected of mainstream students but the very nature of our students’ learning needs means that their retention of knowledge and acquisition of skills is well below the national average and more curriculum time is needed to embed knowledge and consolidate learning. However we have every confidence that for the reasons outlined above our targets are aspirational and challenging.
Subject leaders are responsible for moderating and recording assessment data within their subject area. Regular curriculum meetings provide a forum for sharing, discussing and moderating assessments.
Attainment data is recorded, tracked and monitored across the whole school using Solar tracking, with data updated and analysed termly. The targets of students who are consistently exceeding their targets will be reviewed at this point and intervention plans will be put in place for those who are not achieving expected progress. A full analysis of the progress of all students is undertaken termly, detailing any planned interventions.
Please click here for our Mapping of Coppice Steps against Cognitive Age and other frameworks