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Orchard Park High School


Assessment processes at OPHS


A series of INSET days have focused on the role of assessment, and how it fits with curriculum and feedback. Staff worked across and within departments to agree on the ideal structure for assessment and how it works best in each subject.

Our approach differentiates between Assessment and assessment. The former includes pre-public exams (PPEs), extended written exams and extended multiple choice tests, whilst the latter is our in-class checks for understanding, through mini-whiteboards, questioning, circulation and low stakes quizzing.

Assessment at Orchard Park is conducted regularly, according to the curriculum, to give teachers and leaders an accurate picture of student performance and enable course correction. Assessment is centralised in departments, planned before teaching commences, rigorous and enables wider comparison and reflection. Students complete these assessments in formal test conditions and are given feedback on their performance.

Students are supported in their preparation for exams with specific revision materials and subject specific guidance on how to revise in each subject.

Years 7 to 10

Students complete a range of assessments throughout the year. These include formal written exams, pieces of extended writing and extended multiple choice tests. These are taken in formal test conditions. Most are conducted in classrooms, with students at the end of Year 9 taking end of year exams in exam rooms and students at the end of Year 10 also taking PPEs in these settings.

The nature and timing of exams vary according to subject. These are determined by subject leads in discussion with leaders; the main priority when making these decisions is that assessments fit best within the curriculum.

Data is collected and reported to parents three times a year, once at the end of each term. There is no requirement for subjects to conduct a specific exam to meet data deadlines.

Year 11

Students at Orchard Park sit three sets of PPEs before their GCSE exams. These take place at the end of Year 10, towards the end of November, and in late February and early March. These exams are conducted in exam conditions and, where possible, past exam papers are used to support students to be confident in their knowledge of the exam specification.

Students are given specific feedback following their PPEs, which identify gaps in their understanding, and are given steps to take to address these gaps.