Letter to Year 12 Parents – Assessments & Progress

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Re: Year 12 Assessment and tracking of progress

I am writing to update you about decisions on formal assessments we have made to support your young person in their progress in the first year of their courses.

Our original assessment plan for the academic year was to have 5 key assessment points throughout the year,
where fuller examination papers are sat in A Level subjects with a different rhythm taking place appropriate for
unit competition in the vocational courses.

These dates scheduled were:

Data Capture 1 14th – 18th September
Data Capture 2 16th – 20th November
Data Capture 3 1st – 5th February
Data Capture 4 10th – 14th May
Data capture 5 21st – 25th June – Year 12 assessment

We have taken the decision to remove Data Capture 4 from the assessment plan in the week of the 10th May. Our approach in lesson planning since returning from lockdown has been focused on consolidation of learning
to ensure that students are building confidence in knowledge retrieval. Staff are marking work regularly and providing feedback, and students should understand where there are gaps in knowledge and understanding that need to be addressed in their self directed study. It is not uncommon for lessons in all subjects to have regular ‘low stakes’ tests where staff are testing students on key vocabulary, processes or concepts through
quick fire tests or quizzes to develop this confidence and highlight the importance of this information. We feel this is the right approach to support our students.

If any subject teachers have a concern about the progress of any student then we have a clear process that an action plan is initiated with the student to prioritise areas to work on – and parents are informed to provide
support from home and to ensure you are informed. If over time the gaps are not closing then this process will become more formal and we may request a meeting so we can formulate a more detailed plan to help close gaps in performance. If you have not been contacted, then your son / daughter is working well currently and not showing a drop in their performance. Staff may also request support for a student with our learning mentor who can support and guide improvements in all areas of our curriculum.

We are very aware that most Year 12 students have not sat any formal exams for their GCSEs, and with further disruption because of COVID we have decided to start preparations towards the Year 12 end of year
assessments earlier. Starting this week, students are being provided with guidance from their tutors in their Life Skills session to support their revision and exam preparation (plus there will be a reminder that a little bit of pressure can spark productivity but that stress should never be overwhelming). Support is at hand from tutors and our pastoral lead, and resources will be available in the Information Classroom in Google.

Staff will increasingly focus in the summer term on revision preparation for the summer assessments, including practice on timing, managing workload and preparing for full A Level papers. The Year 12 assessment week will follow an assessment timetable where lessons will be suspended during the week, allowing for a real ‘practice’ experience for students that was missed last summer. The assessment week will include assessments in most of the vocational subjects as well, with the exception of Creative media and Software Development where external exams are not applicable in the courses, so the timetable will continue in these courses only. Art and Photography assessments will take place in the week of the 28th June.

The assessment timetable will be planned and issued before the May half term. Results will be issued in the week of 5th July and reports including working at grades will be shared with parents. The results will be
discussed individually with students and all students will then be provided with very clear guidance of next steps including summer tasks to support a really successful start for year 2 of the courses. Students will be
enrolled into Year 13 on Friday 9th July and will be able to discuss any further support they feel would be useful to help their progress. Parents are welcome to attend these meetings with students.

If you have any specific questions you would like to address please can you message the appropriate Faculty Leader who will be able to respond and assist you.

Rich Eno – Head of Creative reno@salisbury6c.ac.uk
Dr Sally Tye – Head of Humanities stye@salisbury6c.ac.uk
Kirsty White – Head of STEM kiwhite@salisbury6c.ac.uk

Yours sincerely

Mrs L Henderson
Vice Principal
email: lhenderson@salisbury6c.ac.uk