Skip to content



The function of assessment is to ensure that every student is working to their full potential, to identify under-achievement and to promote the quality of teaching and learning. Furthermore, assessment has the potential to contribute to the development of a student’s positive self-image and feelings of success through assessment for learning, which encourages further study. Assessment in its broadest terms can make a significant contribution to the raising of standards by providing:

  • An improved focus on the quality of teaching and learning and monitoring student progress
  • Greater clarity of objectives and expectations in the classroom
  • Clearer understanding of school standards in relation to national standards
  • Assist the student as a learner, through providing positive and constructive feedback
  • Better appreciation among parents of how they may support their children’s learning

Assessment can take place formally or informally, as a terminal event or continuously. It is an on-going process. Classwork, homework and coursework in written, practical or oral form can be assessed. Assessment is considered under the following headings in this policy:

  • Teaching, marking and setting targets
  • Using data
  • Recording assessment information
  • Monitoring and supporting progress
  • Involving students
  • Communicating with parents
  • Managing assessment

Teaching, Marking and Setting Targets

Effective practice means:

  • Ensuring pupils know what they are supposed to be learning, comparing their present performance with their previous performance and how they can improve.  This often necessitates diagnostic and formative comments in books.
  • Regularly stating strengths and setting targets in written and/or verbal feedback to pupils and providing mechanisms to check that these targets are met.
  • Using a range of assessment methods confidently and appropriately, for example observing pupils, asking questions, listening, assessing written work, administering tests.
  • Relating a student’s performance to KS3 attainment grades, (I)GCSE, A level or IB grade criteria, where appropriate to identify progress and enables students to reach higher standards
  • Giving students the opportunity to identify and understand their preferred learning styles in different subject areas.
  • Giving students the opportunity to engage in assessment for learning activities so involving them in the process.
  • Summing up a student’s progress so far, in order to inform all interested parties (summative assessment).

Marking has a fundamental role in helping staff reward excellence, diagnose difficulties and indicate how to improve the teaching and learning process. There will be variation in the marking of work between subjects but each department has a policy that reflects the principles of the Box Hill assessment, marking, feedback and reporting policy. See Annexes 1 and 2.  Effective marking practice means:

  • Providing feedback to pupils about their work promptly and regularly, including both oral and written feedback where appropriate. However marking must be manageable with some pieces marked in depth developmentally and others checked and ticked for satisfactory completion.
  • Focusing the response on the learning objectives and criteria for success.
  • Stating achievements and specific targets for further improvement and ensuring that students understand these and have time to reflect on comments and targets during lessons.
  • Incorporating self-assessment and self-evaluation procedures within schemes of work and peer assessment where appropriate.
  • Contributing to the development of the basic skills of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Monitoring the quality and consistency of marking within and between departments.
  • Providing written feedback every 2/3 weeks. Oral feedback should be evidenced wherever possible. Provision for detailed developmental feedback should be made at least monthly. In the case of a long project, it is important that it is regularly monitored and marked by the teacher unless exam board rules forbid this.

Using Data

Students are offered a place on the basis of our entrance tests in English and Mathematics. We also obtain Key Stage 2 results in English and Mathematics for students where this information is available. This information is available to staff from a central base. In addition CABT baseline testing is used for students at strategic points – on entry for Years 7, 8 and 9 and in Years 10 and 12. This provides staff with a statistical assessment of each student from the beginning of the school year that can be considered alongside departmental assessments. Data is circulated to each Department. All of this information can be used to:

  • Place students within teaching groups or group them within as class during the start of the year and plan work at an appropriate level of difficulty for each student from the start of the year.
  • Give a profile of the range and ability within a group.
  • Identify the exceptionally able or those who might struggle.
  • Inform intervention and support strategies.
  • Find relative weaknesses within the subject, both for cohorts of students and individual, to inform curriculum planning for the new academic year.
  • Compare the profiles of achievement with the baseline to give a notion of value added.
  • Identify students who are gifted, have special educational needs or those learning English as an additional language, early in their school career. This matter is dealt with fully in the Special Educational Needs policy.
  • Identify least effective aspects of teaching by analysing performance of classes, which are then addressed through professional development.
  • MIdYIS, Yellis and ALIS data is available and must be used as a benchmark for value added analysis.

Recording Assessment Information

To record evidence of achievements, departments can use a wide range of styles and formats. Individual teachers must keep a detailed mark book to record class work, homework, tests, predicted grades and examination results. Departments should operate recording systems which:

  • Record students’ significant achievements on the basis of agreed criteria.
  • Use records from previous teachers to plan work and to measure achievement.
  • Keep evidence (e.g. in files/exercise books) in line with a defined departmental system.
  • Use records and evidence to sustain a shared understanding of criteria (e.g. departmental portfolio).
  • Heads of department, working with members of their department, are responsible for developing appropriate methods of recording pupils’ attainment and of storing coursework, in line with departmental practice on assessment.
  • The attainments of an individual student must be readily available at Box Hill for both pastoral and academic purposes. Appropriate information must also be made available when he/she transfers to another school/college.
  • Achievements in public examinations will be recorded and collated to be available as required by legislation.
  • Store and use records in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Monitoring and supporting progress

  • Academic and pastoral staff should work co operatively to share and use information effectively
  • Target setting is part of the wider school system for checking the progress of students and ensure they have the support they need
  • Students’ progress is regularly and systematically monitored, with all assessments carefully scrutinized by Heads of Year and tutors have a key role in discussing the overall progress with students in their groups using mentor and half termly assessment grades.

Involving Students

  • All students should be taught and encouraged to use their planner and the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) systematically to keep themselves organized. These planners should be carefully monitored so that they form an important link between the students, subject teachers, tutors and parents and house staff.
  • Subject teachers should regularly provide students with opportunities to reflect and talk about their learning and progress and to make meaningful self-assessments at appropriate points in the course.
  • Students should have regular opportunities to discuss progress and personal development with their tutor and house staff to raise their aspirations (at KS4 and 5 fortnightly with their mentor grades and all year groups with half termly assessment grades).

Communication with Parents

  • A strong partnership with parents, based on regular communication helps students to achieve their best.
  • Parents should be encouraged to support their child’s learning (e.g. checking prep by means of the VLE; checking and signing their child’s planner).
  • The school provides regular opportunities for informal and formal parental communication.
  • Formal reports to parents should be clear, consistent and comprehensive. The academic calendar lays down the schedule for reports and assessments.

Managing Assessment

  • Assessment should enable departments to match the curriculum offered to the needs of the students, recognizing the range of abilities in each class.
  • Classrooms should be welcoming and supportive to students and styles of learning should be varied and provide for productive exchange and discussion.
  • Opportunities and funding for professional development and training in line with school development will be provided for all colleagues to enable them to be aware of current assessment issues and methodology. Administrative staff will be used to improve the efficiency, where possible of assessment procedures.

Grading Criteria and Reports

  • Reports should be written according to the schedule outlined in the annually updated academic calendar.
  • Assessments should be entered according to the schedule outlined in the annually updated academic calendar.
  • Criteria for Attainment and Effort grades should be applied as set out below.
  • Content for reports should follow the standards set out below.

Assessment and Reporting

Academic Standards and Grading Criteria Box Hill School

All assessments and reports are entered into Class Act, which is linked with ISAMS. The grading criteria which operate are indicated below. Heads of Department should ensure that consistency prevails within each department and that assessments/reports for students in shared groups are discussed departmentally. At all key stages the assessment criteria should be linked to the departmental marking policies. Those in turn should take account of the standards established by the external examination groups revealed their mark schemes at Key Stages 4 and 5. At Key Stage 3 assessments and reports are linked to the Key Stage 3 subject specific assessment grids used across a department and delineated in the Departmental Handbooks under Assessment Standards.

Assessments should not represent a surprise to the student. The standards that apply to departmental marking and to assessment for learning exercises should help the student identify the levels they are reaching, through their connection to the Assessment and Reporting standards. A subject teacher has the responsibility to ensure that pupils record their assessment grades for their subject in their academic planners. Targets for future should be set in relation to the grades and recorded in the planner.

Grading Criteria of Effort at all Key Stages with the exception of IB students:


1     Excellent Effort Consistently

2     Good Effort Consistently

3     Variable effort

4     Inadequate effort

5     Total lack of effort

See Annex 3

Grading Criteria for Reports and Assessment for IB


  • Attainment is identified on the scale below; Attainment grades indicate achievement in relation to IB standards as indicated below. Note that Grade 7 occurs with a far more limited frequency than an A at A level.

 IB grade 7 (exceptional standard of work)

 IB grade 6

 IB grade 5

 IB grade 4

 IB grade 3 (just below passing standard)

 IB grades 2 and 1 (significantly below passing standard)

  • Grades 7- 1 work of a standard likely to produce the equivalent IB grades indicated above at the end of Year 13 if the current standard is maintained.

Effort grades for IB student:

A    Excellent Effort Consistently

B     Good Effort Consistently

C     Variable effort

D    Inadequate effort

E     Total lack of effort

 Grading criteria for reports and assessment at AS/A2 level:


  • Attainment is identified on the scale A, B, C, D, E, U
  • Attainment grades indicate achievement in relation to AS/A2 level standards
  • Grades A-E represent work of a standard likely to produce a similar AS/A2 level grade at the end of Y12/13 if the current standard is maintained
  • Grade U warns of attainment below that likely to produce a pass AS/A2 level grade

Grading Criteria for Reports and Assessment at Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
 Criteria for Reports and Assessment at Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)


  • Attainment is identified on the scale A, B, C, D, E, U
  • Attainment grades indicate achievement in relation to (I)GCSE standards
  • Grades A-E represent work of a standard likely to produce a similar (I)GCSE grade at the end of Y11 if the current standard is maintained.
  • Grade U warns of attainment below that likely to produce a passing (I)GCSE grade.

Grading Criteria for Reports and Assessment at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)


  • Attainment is identified on a scale of A-E and link to the departmentally devised Key Stage 3 assessment grids, which outline the necessary standards in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills required to attain A-E for each subject. This, where possible, is linked to the standards outlined for the subject in the national curriculum.

A   Consistently High Standard

B    Generally Good

C    Satisfactory

D   Below Expected Standard

E    Well below Expected Standard.


It is the responsibility of each HOD to make sure that the Course notes are consistent within their subject areas and to follow the guidance below:

The course notes should simply state the topics covered during the term and should be standardised. In the case of Years 10 & 11 reports please indicate the GCSE or IGCSE Title, Board and Syllabus number.

All staff should follow these standards:

Please make sure that your reports conform to the following standards so that reports are developmental in nature and are consistent with the assessment profile of each student over the term:


It is expected that reports at this level will indicate:

      Areas of strength and progress over the term (skills, knowledge, understanding)

      Areas for development over the next term

      Explicit reference to the quality of work in class (written, oral etc)

      Explicit reference to quality of homework, if this is an issue

      Attainment – current and anticipated – the CABT data should be used to assist here                         


It is expected that reports at this level will indicate:

      Areas of strength and progress over the term (skills, knowledge, understanding)

      Areas for development over the next term

      Explicit reference to the quality of work in class (written, oral etc)

      Explicit reference to quality of homework

      Attainment – current (be realistic) and an indication of the target minimum grade   

      which should be embedded in the body of the report. The CABT data should be used

      to assist here.

YEAR 11: As above but note when writing reports post-Mock examinations the following should apply:


Areas of strength and progress indicated in the mock examination (skills, knowledge, understanding).

Attainment: Please explicitly state what you predict the student might achieve (a grade in the body of the report) given the performance in the mock, attainment in coursework and given that the student fulfils qualifying criteria, (the report must specify action the student should take to achieve that grade). NB use CABT data to help you.

Areas for development from now until the summer GCSE examinations.

Explicit reference to the quality of work in class (written, oral etc).

Explicit reference to quality of coursework to date (if relevant) and homework.


Years 12 and 13:

It is expected that reports at this level will indicate:

      Areas of strength and progress over the term (skills, knowledge, understanding)

      Areas for development over the next term

      Actions required by the student before the examinations

      Explicit reference to the quality of work in class (written, oral etc)

      Explicit reference to quality of homework, if this is an issue

      Attainment – current and an indication of what you expect the student to achieve

      overall in their IB examinations at the end of the course. This must be explicitly stated in the body of the report.

Tutors should make sure their reports conform to these standards:

Tutors –should comment specifically on the overall picture in terms of academic

performance and suggest areas to work on next term to improve performance.

Also Tutors should make sure there is an accurate summary of all the activities the student

has undertaken this term at Box Hill – Activities, Sport – teams represented, Duke of

Edinburgh, Round Square, Music, Drama and anything else that is notable within the

Box Hill community.

It is essential that this is accurate. The tutor has a responsibility to check the report for obvious errors such as names wrong or spelling mistakes.  If there is a report (e.g. a subject) missing, the tutor should inform the subject teacher of the omission by email.


 In common good practice, marking:

  • Accentuates attainment positively (and avoids spoiling the appearance of the student’s work).
  • Should be in line with Box Hill examination grade criteria, although there should be flexibility to reflect individual departmental requirements and assignments. The mark schemes must enable students to understand their individual attainment.
  • Is specific, accurate and fair and supported by standardisation.
  • Is clearly identified to students in advance as primarily either for a formal assessment or developmental in purpose.
  • Is applied to work that is both regularly set and promptly returned to pupils.
  • Is dated on the work and initialled by the teacher.
  • Includes, where practicable, guided self-marking to encourage reflection on what contributes to successful learning.
  • Supports where possible the development of key skills.
  • Is applied where appropriate to oral work and the mark should be recorded.


The department is committed to regular monitoring and assessment of pupil’s progress. It is department policy to help students progress by writing positive comments and setting goals for improvement on their work. However, where appropriate, the department also recognises the need to criticise pupils if their work shows lack of effort.

In addition to issuing reports the department will:

  • Set tasks which conform to the requirements of the schemes of work and are designed to assess pupils in relation to National Curriculum or to the examination syllabus being followed.
  • At Key Stages 3 (Years 7 – 9) marks will be awarded out of 10 for prep and 25 for project work.

Marks to be recorded in teacher planner

  • Pupils following the GCSE course in Geography will have their work marked out of 20 in accordance with the criteria set by the board. Mark will be converted later into grades – A to G
  • Pupils following IB courses in Geography will have their essays and document work marked out of 25 in accordance with the criteria laid down by the board.
  • Pupils following courses leading to GCSE or IB examinations will be tested at the completion of each unit of the course, using questions from past papers. This work will form the basis of assessment for such pupils.
  • Learning strategies such as group work can be assessed on the basis of effort and participation.

General points

  • Spelling corrections “generally” only to subject specific vocabulary.

Merits generously awarded for good work in class as well as homework

 All pupils are to be monitored constantly

 Homework Policy

The department follows the school policy on setting homework tasks.

  • The homework timetable is followed as closely as possible, although there may be situations where this may not be appropriate.
  • Staff to instruct pupils to write their homework tasks in their planners. If the pupil is without planner then he/she is to write in the back of work file/book.
  • A range of tasks can be set e.g. written work, research, revision etc.
  • Staff need to encourage pupils to see them before a lesson begins if they were unable to complete the task. This will hopefully start to instill a sense of responsibility for their work.
  • Staff are encouraged to keep a record of those not completing home tasks so that there is evidence to present on parents evening.
  • For pupils who are persistent offenders at not completing homework, follow the school discipline procedures.


It is recognised that 2-5% of young people may be categorised as gifted in the sense of possessing exceptional ability in most or many areas of experience. Up to a further 10% may be exceptionally talented in only certain specific areas. Box Hill School aims to provide for the individual needs of all students. Therefore, it is important that the needs of Gifted and Talented students should be recognised and strategies developed for their identification and support. It is critical to recognise the existence of all round exceptional ability but we also acknowledge the greater number of students who are gifted in specific areas.

There should be flexible provision for students requiring enrichment and support in order to achieve their full potential and raise their aspirations and attainment by developing their:

  • Ability to learn
  • Range of knowledge
  • Core skills such as problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Specific talents

A variety of processes will enable individual Gifted and Talented students to be identified.

The curriculum will take into account the needs of Gifted and Talented students through differentiation, extension, enrichment and acceleration, making use of all available expertise. The pastoral needs of Gifted and Talented students will be recognised and supported by the school.

Identification of the cohort of Gifted and Talented students

The identification of Gifted and Talented students is not an easy task. A variety of methods should be employed which can give reasonable information collectively.

The school may take advantage of information about students from a variety of sources:

  • Teacher recommendation- Heads of Department and Heads of Year
  • Parents
  • Peers
  • Primary or Preparatory school recommendation2
  • Records of achievement
  • Formal tests – Cognitive Ability Tests
  • Records of national curriculum attainment levels
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Team activities
  • Screening information

General checklists of the characteristics of gifted students will be used to support staff referral

  • The subject-specific checklists will be used to identify students
  • A differentiated curriculum will enable students to demonstrate their abilities

The two main identification strategies are likely to be screening and staff referral. Identified students should be known to all their teachers and their progress monitored.

The school updates a gifted and talented register for each key stage annually which is available on the shared area in the monitoring folder.


The central aim of Box Hill School is to provide all of our students with educational experiences and opportunities which will enable them to discover and fulfil their   own potential. All programmes of work will have opportunities for enrichment and extension activities. Differentiation will be built into our curriculum planning:

  • Differentiation by outcome. Students may respond at very different levels to the same initial stimulus.
  • Differentiation by task. Some materials or activities will be accessible to only the most able students.
  • Differentiation by pace. Gifted and Talented students need the facility to proceed at a greater speed. There will be a commitment to developing extension and enrichment materials which:
  • Allow individuality of response
  • Encourage creativity and imagination
  • Satisfy developmental stage rather than chronological age
  • Stress process rather than content

Detention Policy

Despite the commitment to good behaviour and conscientious academic work that is expected from all pupils, it is recognised that there will occasionally be a need for staff to detain pupils in one of the following ways:

  1. A Lunchtime Detention – (supervised by staff) – Monday to Friday – ICT room 1

For pupils who have not done a homework properly, or for some other poor aspect of their work, including misbehaviour in the classroom.  It will operate from 12.35pm – 1.05pm. Students will be expected to work in silence.

Staff are not encouraged to put large numbers of students in Lunchtime Detention. If a large group of students have failed in some way, staff take responsibility for running their own detention.  (See below).

The lunchtime detention is for both disciplinary and academic matters, and represents an intermediate level of punishment.  Front desk will note staff placing into detention and reason.  The ISC have a separate detention.

  1. Break

Pupils may be kept behind over break for 15 minutes by the teacher for poor work or behaviour.

  1. Head of Department/Faculty Detention

These may be held by the department.  Failure to produce homework or poor quality work may lead to this and parents should be notified.

  1. Deputy’s Detention – One hour on Friday after school (supervised by SLT rota)

This will only be for more serious offences, generally disciplinary, or missing another detention (or lessons) and are only given by a Head of Year or Faculty after consultation with the Deputy Headmaster. Notice will be given to parents with 24 hours’ notice.  A pupil will not normally be permitted to have more than three DH detentions. If more than three are given, the pupil will then be placed in ‘In-School Suspension.’

  1. Absenteeism detention

This detention runs concurrently with the Deputy’s detention (above).  However, it is for any student who deliberately misses either a classroom lesson or an activity without following correct channels. Notice will be given to parents with 24 hours’ notice.  A pupil will not normally be permitted to have more than three absenteeism detentions. If more than three are given, the pupil will then be placed in ‘In-School Suspension.’

  1. Saturday SLT Detentions – 11am – collected from reception Dalewood

Students may be detailed on a Saturday or INSET day. Full school uniform must be worn when attending detention. Letters will always be sent home for this type of detention and normally one week’s notice will be given of the arrangement at least.

  1. 6th Form detention

It is understood that as maturing adults 6th formers should often be treated as such and not often placed in detention.  Nevertheless there will be times when a detention is a suitable punishment for a 6th former.  In this instance the 6th former will be in Room 14 from 3.15pm.  JA takes this detention.

  1. In-School Suspension – (supervised by staff)

Over a period of one or two days, a pupil will be kept, away from all other pupils, throughout the day, under the supervision of The Head of Pastoral Care. This form of detention has the following intention: where possible, to avoid having to cause a pupil to be suspended out of school, whilst at the same time giving a very firm warning that serious breaches of discipline cannot be tolerated. Pupils placed in In-School suspension should realise that they are in danger of extremely serious consequences, should they fail to correct the type of behaviour they were responsible for.

  1. Full Suspension (Exclusion from school)

After two such in-school suspensions, in a given year, a full out-of-school suspension or exclusion would occur for a period of days decided by HM.

Parents/carers will be required to ensure supervision. Repetitions of this could lead to permanent exclusion.

It should be stated that the object of pastoral and disciplinary policy is NOT to be excluding pupils, where possible.

Note: other forms of detention are operated by individual departments or faculties. In addition, HM, the Deputy Head and Year Heads may place pupils under special detention and performance-monitoring arrangements.

Learning Environment (Display) Policy

 At Box Hill School, we recognise that the learning environment plays an important part in celebrating and enhancing a student’s learning.  Visual displays reflect and influence the climate of the individual classrooms and the ethos of the school as a whole.  They create a stimulating and educational environment that reflects the range of learning across the school.

Aims : 

  • To ensure that displays in school consistently inform, celebrate and enhance learning.
  • To create a stimulating, vibrant and thought provoking learning environment.


  • To nurture pride in and respect for children’s learning
  • To raise the self-esteem of pupils
  • To inform and share learning with others
  • To celebrate achievement across all ability levels
  • To illustrate standards and expectations of learning and achievement
  • To ask questions to provoke thinking and encourage learning
  • To provoke the interest of visitors to the school

GuidelinesThe main focus for all displays should be children’s learning

Variety of Display

 There should be a variety of types of display within school and classrooms including;

  • Informative displays,
  • Interactive displays,
  • 3 Dimensional displays
  • Photographic displays
  • Table displays
  • Work-in-progress displays
  • Temporary Displays with current topic of general interest –e.g festivals, World Cup etc.
  • Child lead displays where children have taken a lead role in the display, for example pupils planning and putting up work

Specific displays

There are specific displays that should be visible in classrooms.  These include: learning walls, knowledge harvests, subject goals, personal goals, photographs / comments.  Many of these are interactive and should be used as teaching tools.

Display guidelines

Wall displays should:

  • Reflect the same effort and high standards that are expected from the children
  • Be thought about when teachers are planning
  • Be clearly labeled with a title, learning intention, and where children’s learning is displayed it should be accompanied by a learning comment or statement from the child.
  • Be on boards which are backed
  • Display labels in a variety of styles e.g. computer, handwritten, cursive, capitals, children’s writing – where appropriate.
  • Be as interactive as possible
  • Have borders to complete the display
  • Show Mounted work with wall staples or Blu-Tack type stickies – not drawing pins
  • All children’s work should be backed
  • Be cohesive and uncluttered
  • Display all levels of learning regardless of ability level

Not all classroom displays need to be child generated.  Some (but not all boards in any one classroom) can be informative or adult-led displays that stimulate thought, but they should support learning.  

Appendix 1 has suggestions and further guidelines to aid learning-focused displays.


Corridor displays should be changed termly by the end of the 3rd week of each term.

Classroom displays should be changed as appropriate depending on the curriculum, but a minimum of three times a year.


Backing paper and border should be kept centrally by department.

 Monitoring and Evaluation :

SLT and in the first instance, HoDs, will monitor displays and provide feedback where appropriate.

They will monitor each half term and keep a photographic record of displays in order to share good practice.

The school acknowledges the lack of display space in many classrooms that might make displaying all core subjects impossible at any one time.

 Roles and responsibilities 

It is the responsibility of the HoDs to ensure that policy is adhered to and that display is monitored.

Teachers are responsible for all displays in their classroom if it is a room in which they have the most teaching time, and an appropriate corridor or area as agreed with SLT and HoDs.  It is expected that teachers would be responsible for one corridor display board each.

Corridor displays that are not the responsibility of a class teacher must have a clearly identified member of staff who is responsible for them.  For example, The D of E board, School Council board, etc.

Coverage and frequency

Items such as photographs of a country (eg MFL), Volcanoes (eg Geography), Bayeux Tapestry (eg History) etc could also be put up and will normally form semi – permanent displays in classrooms. These should be kept in good condition where possible, and trimmed and mounted as necessary.

Materials and methods

Only Blu-tak should be used on walls as they may be damaged by pins or staples.

Where appropriate, 3D materials and textiles should be used to add interest and help to enhance classrooms and display areas.

Selection and position

As wide a range of pupils as possible should have their work represented and shown to its best advantage at some time during the school year.

Classroom and shared area displays should reflect the international make up of the school. They should be appealing and varied and relevant to the work being carried out in class.

Work showing a range of techniques and media (including digital and 3D), work in progress, as well as finished work could all form part of displays. It is often worthwhile to display drafts, sketches, plans and evidence of processes involved (photographs, diagrams, etc.) alongside pieces of finished work.

Care should be taken to ensure that work is visible to the intended audience, e.g. if for children, it should be at a height and position where they can see it.


Work should be displayed in a variety of ways. This depends on the nature of the work to be displayed, and should enhance its appearance.

Careful consideration should be given to how the work is mounted, the choice of background colour and texture and the use of text for providing information.

Backgrounds and borders need to be chosen carefully to blend or contrast but not distract the viewer from the work.

Mounts should be evenly spaced and trimmed straight. (Where possible, mounts and borders may be recycled, to save time and materials).

Where appropriate, pupils should be encouraged to mount and display their own work, and to develop their presentation skills, although it is important to ensure there is a balance where adult direction is given.

Titles and headings

Lettering must be clear and easy to read. Ideally, the lettering style should match the subject matter: i.e. computer printed, cutout letters or individually hand produced.

Labels must be grammatically correct and accurately spelt – it is important to provide a good role model.

Where appropriate, dual language headings and labels could be included.

 Special Needs Policy

The nature of our subject is such that topics are generally accessible to all pupils, whatever their ability.

  • If any pupil asks for spelling, staff will immediately supply verbal and written. This is essential for the larger numbers of dyslexics and some ESL pupils that we teach.
  • Subject specific vocabulary is regularly written up and tested (this may be verbal).
  • All written materials are read aloud in class for pupils in Years 7 to 9. Above this level it is done according to the level of the material and the needs of the group.
  • Consideration of pupils particular problems are taken into account when collecting and marking homework. Allowance is made for     spelling, presentation and organisation as appropriate.
  • The use of laptops and pair or group work is encouraged.

 IT in the Geography Department

It is school as well as department policy that Geography students should become proficient and capable uses of IT equipment. This is due to the fact that in years 10-13 majority of the work that the student is required to produce must be in an IT format.

Using ICT in geography

Geography provides a rich and varied context for the use of new technologies to enhance both learning in the subject and to reinforce existing IT skills. IT can help pupils investigate, organise, edit and present geographical information in many different ways. In geography, IT can help pupils to:

  • enhance geographical knowledge and improve geographical enquiry skills
  • develop graphical, statistical and spatial analysis skills
  • develop mapping skills
  • experience alternative images of people, places and environments and how environments change
  • simulate or model geographical systems and environments
  • communicate with other pupils in contrasting localities by email,webcams and video conferencing
  • improve the appearance of work by enhancing presentation
  • increase awareness of the impact of ICT in the changing world.

Policy on Differentiation

The Geography Department aims to support a policy of differentiation in a number of ways:

  1. By outcome: the same task will be accomplished at differing levels of expertise and this applied to all work done both at home and in the classroom and to all years.
  2. Through the encouragement of flexible learning approaches, for instance imaginative and creative work, the production of newspaper headlines and reports, posters, cartoon story boards, role-play, community of enquiry etc to cater for all ability ranges and styles of learning, and also challenge the more able.
  3. Through purposely teaching the concepts and methods of the geography so that students are aware of the processes involved in ‘doing’ geography, how to apply those skills across topics and how to develop those skills further. As a result they should be able to access the highest assessment levels in examinations.
  4. Through use of structured activities (card sorts, group work) within class to help prepare students for written work. This has a dual purpose of providing support for the less able and challenging the more able to think analytically and make connections between ideas.
  5. Through providing suggested frameworks to help students structure answers, especially extended writing, assessments and exam questions.
  6. Through self-supported study. Students should be encouraged to use Library facilities, departmental resources and the internet (with guidance) to extend their knowledge and understanding. As students progress through the school, they should be encouraged and guided to take increasingly more responsibility for the organisation of their own material. They should be given guidance on how to organise their information to bring out the crucial issues of the topics studied and to stress the salient points.
  7. By supporting students who are /have applied to study Geography or allied disciplines at university. This support should take the form of extended recommended reading using undergraduate resources, discussion of the major concepts of geography, and where appropriate further essay writing.
  8. By supporting students who patently face difficulties with the subject. This should take the form of one-to-one sessions at lunch time or after school. Opportunity should especially be made available for in-depth reviews of examination papers where students have failed to perform to expectation.

Equal Opportunities

The Geography Department is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity and aims to provide a working and learning environment which is free from unfair discrimination and which will enable staff and students to fulfill their personal potential.

We believe that the diversity of our community is an essential part of its value and enriches research, studying and learning experiences.

Policy on Staff absence

If a member of the Geography department is absent for whatever reason they will always endeavour wherever possible to leave detailed lesson cover information for the school to use. The Head of the Geography Department takes responsibility for ensuring that cover information is gathered and where possible creates the cover information himself using the departmental schemes of work and liaison with the absent member of staff if possible. Moreover he will liaise with the Deputy Head Academic and his Secretary who operate the school staff absence and lesson cover system. The Head of Geography uses the following system in the case of geography staff absence;

  1. A member of the Geography department will endeavour to teach a cover geography lesson whenever possible. The department believes in the benefits of having a subject specialist available particularly or KS4 & KS5 teaching.
  2. Members of the Geography department are fully aware that it is their duty to provide cover information whenever possible (excluding sudden or serious illness). This is to be e-mailed to the HOD/Deputy Head or delivered to school.
  3. Where it is impossible to have a subject specialist teaching a cover geography lesson, the department accepts that a non-specialist will be required to do it, but will support them in terms of explaining key points/issues relevant to the lesson. The cover teacher can expect set lists, seating plans where appropriate, detailed lesson information, etc.
  4. Exercise books should be collected in if requested and feedback on class behaviour should be requested.

Policy on Pupil absence

  1. The teacher will be aware of a pupil absence due to their attendance records kept in their registers/planners
  2. On return from absence the member of staff will provide missed work information and support the pupil in order for them to catch up effectively.
  3. The Department believes that teacher discretion should be used at Key Stage 3 if there is concern about short-term stress on the pupil as they return to school with a significant work deficit. However, with reference to Key Stages 4 & 5 it is vital that all missed work is caught up with and that the pupil has the option of seeking individual teacher support in order to do this effectively. It is up to individual teacher professional judgment to decide the time frame for catching up. It is the teacher’s responsibility to check that this has been achieved.








%d bloggers like this: