Assessment For Secondary

Unlike educational systems in many other countries, the British curriculum has only two formal assessment points: the end of Year 11 (IGCSE) exams, and the end of Year 13 (A-Level) exams. A thorough process has been put in place to ensure that our students are able to store and then retrieve information under the pressure of exam conditions at the end of these two year courses.

Mock exams take place at the end of Year 10, November of Year 11 and February of Year 11 for our iGCSE students, in each case replicating the conditions that students will face in exam diet in May/June of Year 11. This includes the setting of past paper questions and the use of examiners’ mark schemes and grade boundaries. The same then happens at the end of Year 12, and November and February of Year 13 with our A-Level students.

Although these mock exams take place in formal conditions, it is worth remembering that they are just part of the process of getting students ready for their final exams. The results of these mock exams do not count towards anything.

At the end of years 7 to 10, it is mandated by SPEA that students take GLs to measure their attainment and progress during the year. We prepare students for these tests, but students do not receive individual results. The overall cohort results are used by SPEA as part of the inspection process.

We also get asked occasionally for our students to participate in international tests. The results of these tests allow the standards in the UAE to be measured against other countries. The most famous of these tests is PISA. Students are advised that there is no need to revise for this kind of test.

Teachers are, of course, assessing students all the time, whether that be through

questioning in class, homework assignments, low stakes quizzes or end of topic tests. Teachers use all these forms of assessment to inform the planning of future lessons to ensure that all student needs are met as well as to form judgements that you will find on reports.

Please don’t wait for formal reports or Parent-Teacher Conferences if you have any concerns, and do get in touch with your child’s tutor.

However, we do have reporting points throughout the year when you will formally receive information on your child’s performance in each subject. You will receive a more detailed explanation of our reporting system at the time of publication.

CAT4 Test

At the beginning of the year, students take a CAT4 test. There is nothing that students can or need to do to prepare for this test. The results give teachers information about individual strengths and weaknesses in areas such as literacy and numeracy that then help them to plan lessons accordingly.

CAT4 results also give us an indication of what grades students of similar ability go on to achieve on average in their iGCSE and A Level exams. However, we believe that our students should aim to achieve beyond the average and therefore at various points across the year, we ask teachers to give an indication ofthe current attainment level of the students.

They will form this grade taking into account all we know about a child. It will not be on the basis of one test, but rather on the basis of all information gathered in class, in tests and in homework across the year to date. This information is used to set aspirational targets from years 7 to 11 and as part of our target-setting process at the start of Year 12.

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