Assessment at Sheffield Park Academy

Types of Assessment

We carry out two types of assessment at Sheffield Park Academy:

  • Formative assessment is regular monitoring of student understanding in lessons and home learning, with regular feedback, to develop student knowledge. This includes:
    • Book marking through whole class feedback
    • In class-activities aimed at developing skills fluency
    • Live marking and feedback from teachers in lessons
    • Student self and peer assessment against model answers or markschemes
  • Summative assessment is formal testing – whether topic tests in classrooms or more formal mock examinations.

Aims of Assessment

Through formative and summative assessment, we aim to develop our core student value of knowledge. We aim to give students determination to reflect on their work and successes and improve. We aim to give our students ambition to continually develop. We aim to give students the knowledge they need to become Sheffield’s influential young leaders of tomorrow.

Formative assessments supports this by continually reinforcing student knowledge and fluency in core subject skills as they progress through the curriculum.

Summative assessment aims to

  • Enable teachers, students and parents to regularly track student progress
  • To inform:
    • Setting
    • Tiering at GCSE
    • Qualification and options pathways at the KS3/KS4 and KS4/KS5 transitions
    • How teachers plan and adapt their lessons to be appropriate for their groups and individuals within the groups
  • Give an opportunity to embed knowledge through the “curve of forgetting” by revisiting knowledge in revision lessons prior to testing
  • Give students defined actions to improve following summative assessment
  • To link to continual formative assessment, including through whole class feedback on topic tests
  • Enable appropriate targeting of support and intervention

Formative assessment

We aim to have formative assessment as a continuous part of our classroom practice.

We structure lessons using a framework of a retrieval starter, then an I do, We do, You do process.

In the retrieval starter, the teacher will give short factual questions on prior learning. This is an opportunity for teachers to formatively assess prior knowledge, and for students to revisit prior material. We aim for regular review of prior material to promote long term retention, in line with the principles of the “curve of forgetting”.

In the I do phase, the teacher expertly models new subject material.

In the We do phase, the teacher then undertakes formative assessment to check class understanding. This is usually carried out by whole class questioning using whiteboards, or more targeted questioning of individual students. Teachers may use a range of “assessment for learning” techniques here to gauge student understanding.

In the You do phase, students complete independent work. Teachers purposefully circulate and “live mark” books during this lesson phase. This is an opportunity for teachers to identify and correct misconceptions.

Teachers also complete regular “whole class feedback” sheets to their groups, giving them formative feedback on the work in their books. Typically, a student will receive whole class feedback every 2 weeks in core subjects, and every 3 weeks in non-core subjects.

We also aim to use summative assessment to support formative learning – please see the section below.

Summative Assessment Schedule

We carry out three formal summative assessment points throughout the year, once per term.

The schedule of these assessment points is shown below. For more detailed information on individual subjects, please see the relevant headings under the “Assessment” tabs.

Assessment Point

Year Group

Summative Testing

1 (Christmas Term)


Subject topic tests


Subject topic tests


Subject topic tests


Subject topic tests


Pre-Public Exams – November Mocks

2 (Easter Term)


Subject topic tests

Maths and English – Midyear Exams


Subject topic tests

Maths and English – Midyear Exams


Subject topic tests

Maths and English – Midyear Exams


Subject topic tests

Maths and English – Midyear Exams


Pre-Public Exams – March Mocks

3 (Summer Term)


KS3 End of Year Exams


KS3 End of Year Exams


KS3 End of Year Exams


Y10 End of Year Mock Exams


Public Exams - GCSE Summer Exams


We offer our students at Sheffield Park a range of academic and vocational subjects. In vocational subjects, how student progress is assessed may involve a range of practical activities as well as written tests. For subject specific information, see the “Assessment” tab on the school website.

Target setting

We set student targets at the beginning of Year 7 as students enter the school, to enable tracking of how students are progressing relative to their starting point.

We base these on data from primary school (KS2). We also conduct additional testing such as reading age tests (NGRT) to refine these targets.

Targets are designed as a minimum to check students are making expected progress, not a ceiling or a limit to what our students can achieve. Targets are reviewed periodically as student performance may change during their time in school.

We use the target setting programmes from the Fisher Family Trust to define our targets. We aim for students to perform as a minimum in line with how students do at the top 20% of schools in the country.

In year-admissions or those without KS2 data will be given suitable baseline testing to generate targets.

Reporting of Summative Assessment

We aim to update parents regularly with assessment results.

Follow each assessment point, a report card will be emailed out to parents with summative assessment grades.

These grades are “age related grades” and represent an estimated performance in the GCSE or BTEC final exams if a student performs at an equivalent position in their cohort. They do not represent actual GCSE exam performance – for example, a Year 7 student receiving a grade 5 would not be expecting to perform at the same standard as a Year 11 student receiving a grade 5 in the final exams. However, the Year 7 student would be performing at an equivalent position in their cohort, and if they continued to sustain this performance throughout school, would be expected to achieve this grade in their final qualifications.

The report emailed out will be in the following format:

On the report, targets and grades are shown. Colours are used to illustrate how students are performing relative to their target.

Blue – over target by at least one grade – performing above age-related expectations

Green – on target – at age related expectations

Amber – below target by 1 grade – below age related expectations

Red – below target by more than 1 grade – significantly below age related expectations

Effort grades are also given. These are given by class teachers to indicate how hard students are working in each subject. These are:

1 – Outstanding

2 – Good

3 – Requires Improvement

4 – Poor

If a student receives an effort grade of a 4, this will be followed up by both the class teacher and the Head of Year to identify issues in the relevant subject.

Rank order

We use our summative assessment to produce a “rank order” for some subjects. This aims to motivate students to attain at the absolute highest level possible and aims to foster a health sense of competition.

We produce a rank order for English and Maths at KS3 and in Year 10, and for English, Maths, Science, French, Geography and History in Year 11.

Students in the top 50% rank of the whole year group will receive an additional letter with their report cards above.

Setting students

We use our summative assessment to inform student setting.

Students will be set at the start of the year in each subject by Heads of Department based on their end of year testing. Heads of department use students rank order to inform their setting.

Small changes to class sets will take place for students with significant changes in attainment in a defined window after each assessment point.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we do not reset students outside of these defined windows.

Incoming Year 7 students are set on their KS2 data from their primary school. They will then be reset after assessment point 1 based on their attainment and ranks in each subject.

How we use summative assessment to support formative assessment

At Sheffield Park Academy we regard it as essential that summative assessment is used to support formative learning: “age related grades” are not an end in themselves.

Prior to any summative assessment, teachers will deliver appropriate revision lessons. This provides an opportunity to revisit prior content and embed knowledge through the “curve of forgetting”. Typically a teacher would also use this as an opportunity to give whole class feedback on books to their groups.

Following summative assessment, teachers will deliver feedback. Students will receive whole class feedback sheets on key misconceptions from the test, and be set tasks to fill these gaps in knowledge.

Students will also complete a progress section on the whole class feedback sheet, reflecting on their progress versus their target, and setting actions that will enable them to progress further.

Students in Year 11 will also receive additional bespoke feedback, based on question level analysis of their mock/pre-public examinations.

If a student is below target in an examination year (typically Year 11 or Year 13), they will expected to attend the relevant subject intervention.


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