Assessment and Reporting is an integral part of the cycle of effective teaching and learning. Assessment is a regular feature of all courses and is used by teachers to monitor and record student performance and to provide appropriate support and feedback.
In the Broad General Education from S1 to S3, most assessment of pupil progress is built into normal class teaching. End of unit tests or assessments are used to assess strengths and weaknesses in a pupil’s learning and are used to structure the pupil’s work. Successful completion of a core unit will lead to extension work, whereas difficulties or weaknesses diagnosed in an end of unit test can be tackled in other revision units. These assessments are also based on various elements or skills which are central to a subject e.g. reading, writing, talking and listening in English. Assessment and reporting is linked to Curriculum for Excellence guidelines.
Reports to parents are therefore based upon this form of assessment and in S1, S2 and S3 full ‘cheque-book’ reports give information on pupil progress and ‘next steps’ according to the differing elements or skills appropriate to that subject. In addition, there are opportunities for teaching and Guidance staff to comment on effort, conduct and attitude to work.
At the end of S2 and S3, these reports will be used by pupils and parents to help make choices in order to personalise each pupil’s curriculum .
In the Senior Phase, S4 to S6, the regular, continuous ‘diagnostic’ assessment does continue as part of the normal classroom process. However, as a result of most courses in S4 to S6 leading to national certification, formal school examinations are built into the school programme including ‘preliminary’ examinations which are used as a ‘trial run’ for the actual SQA examinations. These prelims also provide the evidence for estimate grades.
The format of reports for years S4 to S6 are similar to those used in S1 to S3, i.e. cheque-book style reports with separate pages for each subject to report on skill/content and attitude to school work. Each year group will receive one full cheque-book report per session. Where there is felt to be a gap between parents’ meetings and the full report, an interim report giving a brief summary of progress and attainment is issued to parents.
In addition, Guidance staff continually monitor pupil progress and attitude to work and will make speedy contact with parents if difficulties arise. Equally, parents are, of course, invited to contact the school at any time to make an appointment to discuss a pupil’s progress, attitude or conduct.