Pennthorpe monitors every child’s progress closely through a planned programme of assessment, analysis and action. We monitor every child as an individual and do not wish them to feel unnecessary pressure or failure. Informal teacher assessment continues throughout the year and these include assessing pupils against learning objectives taught. The information gauged assists us in keeping parents informed and also helps us monitor the effectiveness of our own teaching. We do give clear information to parents through formal written reports, parents’ consultation meetings, Data Cards and half termly Effort and Attainment grades.
All pupils are assessed annually using Progress Tests in English, Maths and Science. We also administer CAT tests (Cognitive Abilities Test). These tests assess pupils’ reasoning (thinking) abilities in key areas that support educational development and academic attainment and ability. The standardized tests provide reliable pictures of children’s attainment or in the case of CAT, different aspects of ability, across an age range and help us track the progress of individual students. Over time this becomes an invaluable record of how our children have achieved and progressed both as a cohort and when measured against pupils nationally. Other standardized tests are taken in spelling and reading. These are administered in September and May to monitor and track pupil progress throughout the year.
In the Upper School full written reports, which give details of a child’s academic and social progress, are given at the end of an academic year in Years 5 – 7 and at the end of the Autumn term in Year 8. As well as this Core Subject written reports are given at the end of the Autumn term in Years 5 to 7. Progress Data Cards are also sent home which detail outcomes of internal standardized tests in Maths, English and Science in the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.
In addition, parents are also given half termly Effort and Attainment grades. The grades are compiled after a great deal of discussion by the various members of staff. The Effort grades are discussed with the children at an appropriate level and they are encouraged to articulate their opinions and how they feel they can strive for greater improvement the following term. It is important to stress that a child’s attitude to learning is just as important as their attainment as without a reasonable level of effort, progress is not made and children will effectively not succeed in fulfilling their individual potential.
Parents are always warmly invited and encouraged to talk with staff on a regular basis and as a school we operate an ‘open door’ policy where parents can speak with staff whenever they feel the need.
Quality formal consultations, where progress will be shared and learning celebrated, take place once a year. This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s targets and progress in a more detailed manner.