Our Approach to Assessment

Assessment in Lessons

Assessment is an important element of effective teaching. Without it teachers are unable to identify, and respond to, what students know and struggle with. Assessment of understanding therefore needs to happen every day and in every lesson in order to move teaching on. At Trinity, this takes the form of low-stakes, ‘in-the-moment’ opportunities as a lesson progresses – for example a ‘Do Now’ quiz at the start of a lesson, targeted verbal questioning, listening in on structured discussions between students and reading what students have written in their books or on mini whiteboards following a written activity. Teachers then respond to what they have noticed in a timely and efficient way. 

However, this form of assessment alone isn’t enough as it doesn’t provide a good enough understanding of what students have learnt over a long period of time. To assess this, we use more formal moments to assess long-term learning – in the form of Assessment Weeks.

Assessment Weeks

Towards the end of every large term (Autumn, Spring and Summer), students in Years 7 to 10 sit assessments across all of their subjects in a week-long period of time (Year 10 assessments start a few days earlier than the published dates below). These assessments are designed to give a gauge of understanding of curriculum content taught across a long period of time – and includes material taught months or even years before. Students are prepared thoroughly towards their assessments and questions are designed carefully to allow meaningful inferences to be drawn – including a heavy use of multiple choice questioning where appropriate. After marking, teachers are given time in the form of a half day INSET to analyse student outcomes and plan their responses. This often includes identifying students who need more help, explicit reteaching to correct common misconceptions, responding to question-level analysis (QLA) data and longer term curriculum modifications. 

Students and parents receive assessment scores in reports published at the end of each full term. This academic year, assessment weeks are planned for:

  • Monday 27th November to Friday 1st December 2023
  • Monday 11th March to Friday 15th March 2024
  • Monday 24th June to Friday 28th June 2024 

Year 11 Mocks

Year 11 students sit two sets of mocks in GCSE-style conditions to help them prepare for the actual exams at the end of Year 11. These are planned for:

  • Monday 13th November to Friday 24th November 2023
  • Monday 26th February to Friday 8th March 2024

Feedback on Assessments

We feedback about assessments directly to students in lessons. We also publish reports to parents in the final week of the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms. We supplement this with a series of teacher-parent meetings. This year, these are held on:

  • Tuesday 3rd October: Year 7 Meet the Tutor Afternoon.
  • Wednesday 10th January: Year 11 Parents’ Evening. An opportunity to meet all subject teachers to discuss preparations for, and progress towards, GCSEs.
  • Wednesday 17th and Wednesday 24th January: Year 10 Parents’ Afternoons. An opportunity to meet tutors and representatives from English, maths and science.
  • Thursday 8th and Wednesday 21st February: Year 9 Parents’ Afternoon. An opportunity to meet subject teachers and discuss option choices.
  • Wednesday 28th February and Wednesday 6 March: Year 8 Parents’ Afternoon. An opportunity to meet tutors and representatives from English, maths and science.

GL Progress and Reading Tests

As a school, we have bought into an assessment package that allows us to benchmark the performance of students against a national cohort in English, maths, science, reading and spelling. This package – provided by GL Assessment – allows us to compare our students against thousands of other students who have previously sat the same assessments. Further details can be found on the ‘Impact’ page of the website.