Student progression and achievement is closely monitored and tracked by the assessment cycle within the academic calendar. The assessments allow teachers to keep track of each students’ progress against their target or predicted grades. This also assists teachers in forward planning of their lesson taking into account individual students’ needs. We also take into account additional educational needs such as exam concessions, specific learning difficulties and English as a second language. All students are given both summative and formative feedback throughout the course of the year to allow them to identify areas where improvement is needed and the steps required for such improvement. All students in the GCSE years are also given Access tests to assess literacy and numeracy skills; this allows us to identify any students whose performance falls below national expected levels. In such cases, we will discuss the outcome and potential remedies with parents. Other students, in the older years, may also be referred for these tests if their subject teachers have concerns.
At Regent Independent College we recognise that each student has a unique educational journey. After a short period of time, to allow students to settle in to their new environment we conduct our baseline test. This enables our teachers to ascertain the level or grade of subject knowledge and understanding in each subject being studied. This very much forms the starting point in their journey with us. The base line test is used to help teachers plan their lessons, provide a measure to give students target grades and also when they leave they can see how far they have progressed.
Students are given homework for each subject which they study at the College. Homework helps consolidate, develop and extend what has been learnt in the classroom and is an excellent indicator of a student’s understanding, or lack thereof, of the topic taught. The amount and frequency of set homework varies according to year group. Students in the higher years may be given homework less frequently but that which they are given demands a significantly greater amount of time and independent study. The content, or nature of the homework, will of course vary according to the subject. Students are also encouraged to do as much independent work as possible, this is most important when students move into the AS and A2 years where they are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
As part of our on-going assessment and as part of our effort to ensure students are adjusted to strict assessment conditions, students undergo Progress Tests at intermittent intervals throughout the academic year. These Progress Tests ensure that students revise and consolidate their learning frequently. This in turn ensures that students start the revision process earlier, meaning there is not too much to cope with at the end of the academic year, and of course, the repetition helps students learn more thoroughly. It also helps us identify when students are struggling so that we can provide the appropriate help and helps us discover which topics or subject areas need more work.
As the final part of our assessment programme all students sit two mock examinations during the course of the academic year to assess the all content learnt over the course of the academic year to that point in time. The students are provided with a bona-fide examination paper and the mock takes place in the same stringent conditions that the public exams will. It allows students to get a real sense of the pressure that they will be placed under due to the timed conditions and the replication of the conditions of the exam hall. We take a thorough overview of the results received, identifying any students whose results indicate a possible lack of preparedness and providing extra support accordingly.