Assessment and Feedback

Overview of our Assessment and Feedback Policyclick here to view the complete policy

At John Willmott School we recognise that effective feedback is one of the most powerful tools in enhancing student achievement (Hattie in Ainsworth & Viegut 2006).  As a result, all students have an entitlement to receive regular feedback.

Our provision is a coherent and carefully sequenced (knowledge engaged) curriculum based on the principles of cognitive science. There is a focus on the development of literacy and the application of acquired knowledge to ensure children access the curriculum at a depth to ensure an enduring understanding in discrete subject areas.

At Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9), our aim is to provide meaningful opportunities for assessment and feedback, which equip our students to know, remember and do more. To achieve our aim, teachers are required to have an understanding of the age-related knowledge and skills that a child should have learnt at a point in their schooling. It is the goal, in our schools, for all children to be working to at least the age-related expectation, and for many to be demonstrating mastery for each unit of work.

Collaborative working across the trust will enable teachers to consider the age-related learning for each unit of work. Teachers reference current and prior performance of students across the ATLP when deciding on this. Through the design of our subject ‘Know’ (conceptual understanding) and ‘Show’ (procedural understanding) charts, teachers have a reference point of the age-related expectation for a unit of work, which will equip them to provide informed feedback to a student on how they might improve their work further. The Know and Show chart below illustrates an example of the criteria for a Year 7 PE unit of work, on the ‘badminton’. 

Termly assessments with teacher feedback

Each term, the entire content of the ‘Know and Show’ chart will be assessed through a teacher marked assessment. These assessments are designed to reflect the expected content in the chart, and assessment literacy is considered to ensure that assessments are fair and equitable, e.g., students will be given the same amount of time and materials to revise from, and the conditions in which the assessment is conducted will be consistent across different classes.

In addition, it is our belief that mastery of a curriculum is more than a breadth of learning at any given point in time, but instead mastery is having the depth of learning to recall and then apply knowledge and skills over time. For this reason, a minimum of 25% of the assessment covers content from previous units of work taught that academic year, ensuring assessments are more linear than modular, and developing the cognitive load of our students.    

When assessing, the teacher will also consider the age-related criteria (ARCs) in the chart. Each student will receive feedback on their attainment in comparison to the ARCs. The four bands of attainment represented by the ARCs are shown below:

Mastered:              Working above the age-related expectations

Established:           Working at age related expectation

Developing:           Working towards age related expectation

Emerging:              Below age related expectation end points.

Intentional Monitoring

Lessons begin with a ‘Do It Now’ a tool for consolidating memory, knowledge and brief self-assessment. Teacher exposition then outlines the learning and how it fits into the curriculum (the why), this exposition is chunked with opportunities for questioning and checking pupils’ understanding.  This phase is supported by high quality modelling of what is expected of the pupils. Lessons then include independent practice with a suitable level of challenge for the pupils and teachers circulating the classroom, intentionally monitoring for pupils understanding and providing targeted support. Pupils are supported according to the needs of the moment as well as according to teacher knowledge of every child.

Marking code

Summative Assessment weeks

Two summative assessment windows are calendared for each year group in an academic year (assessment weeks). This is a week where the entire school are completing assessments following an exam timetable.  The purpose of this is to ensure that summative assessment is high profile for all students and complete ‘real’ exam papers.  The vision of assessment week is shared with both students and parents following a parental meeting in October, where resources to revise are provided through knowledge organisers and recall activities.  The exam timetable is shared with parents and students at this time.  Students are assessed on the knowledge and skills for the entire unit.  This process is repeated in July.  Following the assessment weeks teachers are able to use the information to adapt teaching and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

Use of assessment data

To achieve expected progress over five years, curriculums are planned to ensure students make age related progress.

  • Heads of Faculty, Subject Leaders, Heads of Year should work where necessary with class teachers in reviewing the data at different stages throughout the year in order to inform future teaching and learning. 
  • There are two summative assessment points within the academic year where students complete summative assessments in all subjects. This is used in conjunction with formative assessments to produce data.

It is the responsibility of the classroom teachers to ensure that the assessment data that they generate informs future planning, intervention and evaluations. Interventions should be put into place as a result of these analyses in order to ensure that all students are supported to make further progress.


It is fundamental to student progress that parents/carers are involved in the process of their child’s learning. Part of this process is the reporting, at various stages throughout the year, of a child’s attitude to learning, and progress towards their targets.

It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to report to parents/carers their child’s progress (KS3)/attainment (KS4) at specified review points in the year.