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Assessment, marking, feedback and reporting policy

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

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