The overall curriculum design places an emphasis on the steady development of skills towards an agreed level of competency or mastery: for Newcastle Academy this is English Literature and English Language GCSE. This is mapped over a significant period of time from Year 7 through to Year 11, with students being given repeated opportunities to demonstrate their skills, developing in sophistication and in a range of contexts.
Students in Year 7 and Year 8 have a totally of 7 lessons per fortnight. For specific topics taught see the English Curriculum Overview Document. GCSE Assessment Objectives used throughout both key stages and developed gradually so that learners are able to secure key knowledge before progressing the skill level to secure more confident, competent and sophisticated responses. This means that for the reading objectives, Year 7 has a greater emphasis on AO1 skills which are to select, retrieve interpret and infer; developing into Year 8 and 9 with more frequent coverage of AOs 2,3 and 4 which are to analyse, compare and critically evaluate.
The English Faculty prepare all students for both English Language and English Literature GCSEs. Both subjects are assessed by 100% examination with 2 exams taking place for each subject and using the AQA specification. In Year 9 the students receive 8 hours of teaching per fortnight and in Years 10 and 11 the students receive 9 hours of teaching per fortnight.
Learners develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well. Where relevant, this is reflected in results from national tests and examinations that meet government expectations, or in the qualifications obtained
Learners are ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. Where relevant, they gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension.
For each Assessment Objective in English Language/English there is a ‘mini- map’ reflecting the different levels of competency in that particular skill. Individual assessments are marked using these ‘mini -maps’, with marks then being transferred to the main Assessment Map to be tracked and monitored. With each level attained with each skill, teachers then make a judgement as to how that skill level equates to a grade using the most recent information and grade boundaries from the exam board.
The English Literature assesses all of the objectives at the same time and therefore needs to be monitored by set text and question. Therefore, data for English literature can only be collected once students have started studying and are being assessed on the set texts.
Student notes and preparation tasks may be in books or on ipads. In Year 7 and 8 all students’ assessments will be in exercise books. In Years 9, 10 and 11, the majority of assessments are in the students’ exercise books, the only exceptions being when the students participate in WTMs and PPEs
Assessment maps are regularly used by teachers in their assessment of students’ work during lessons. These assessment maps are used to track the progress of subject specific skills, providing students with clear next steps.
As can be seen, this process is best undertaken via individual learning conversations with students. As part of this a target setting process is undertaken whereby next steps for improvement are agreed.
Not only does this process highlight GCSE/BTEC skills throughout Y7-11, it also clearly maps out what a student needs to do to improve. Teachers will use this information to plan subsequent lessons and assessments. This approach to assessment and feedback is a common one across all subject areas, providing a consistent pattern for students.
Standardisation is completed before each data collection week and follows this process: