Assessment at TQEA


The curriculum is the progression model. Students have made progress if they have learned the intended curriculum. Teachers ought therefore to be teaching to the curriculum and not to the test.


With this in mind, it is important that we respond to the important curriculum changes and the focus upon solid quality first teaching with a secure and rigorous assessment strategy which is fit for purpose.



Formative assessment

Formative assessment is a form of assessment which helps capture what students do and don’t know, and allows us to address these gaps. We want each formative assessment to be designed with these questions in mind:

  • What will this tell me about what students know/don’t know about x?
  • What will I do to address these gaps?
    • Immediately (in the moment)
    • Short/medium term (in the sequence of lessons)
    • Long-term (in the curriculum design)
  • When will I check this again?

What questions should be at the forefront of our thinking around formative assessment?

  1. How do we check for understanding in this subject?
  2. Is there an understanding, among teachers, of where common misconceptions occur, and planning teaching and learning accordingly?
  3. What does ‘practice’ look like in your subject? Is there enough time to practice and therefore embed knowledge and skills?


In every lesson, students begin with a quick ‘Do Now’. This is a low stakes quiz that tests prior knowledge and allows gaps in knowledge to be plugged. From the start of 2021-2022, TQEA has introduced Knowledge Organiers across all subjects. These are to be used by students to revise from and test themselves independently for low stakes/high impact quizzing. TQEA also adopts a ‘Cold Calling’ approach to questioning where appropriate. Questioning is the ‘bread-and-butter’ of formative assessment of lessons, differentiated according to the students’ ability. From September 2021, TQEA is developing a ‘Live Feedback’ system of feedback where students get immediate feedback and instantly respond to their feedback in green pen to demonstrate an improvement of their learning. This is in collaboration with other traditional forms of feedback including TQEA’s successfully embedded Whole Class Feedback sheets.






Summative Assessment


KS3 (Years 7-9)

In the EIF (2019), Ofsted will be highly critical of any efforts to link KS3 assessment to GCSE mark schemes, target grades, flightpaths, Progress 8 etc. These are utterly meaningless and a serious distraction from a proper focus on progress at KS3.


Rigorous summative assessment is needed to provide valid and reliable information about how well students in our academies have learned the curriculum that we are teaching them. Summative assessments create data and information which has shared and consistent meaning. These assessments need to be taken in standardised conditions, they should sample from increasingly large domains of knowledge (including appropriately selected prior learning). These assessments act as a culminating performance, which include at least some complex, extended questions that draw on a range of knowledge indirectly.


Each assessment is marked and the raw score converted into a % score. This can then be shared with the students, alongside the year group average for that academy. It will not be meaningful to make any other comparisons (e.g. between different academies or different subjects). Inspired by Daisy Christodoulou’s Comparative Judgment, this means that students can compare their performance within each subject against everyone else in their year group. If an assessment is very difficult, the year group average may be lower and this allows for those discrepancies.


Staff will be asked for assessment information 3 times per year. Anything more regular than this will not provide meaningful data about how well students have learned the curriculum.


Summative assessments should sample from an increasingly large domain of knowledge. Sampling from the whole domain means we are drawing from curricula content from beyond what has been most recently been taught – term by term and year by year. For example, for Year 7 summative assessments, year 7 students in Test 2 would be assessed on what they did in both Autumn Term and Easter Term (see diagram below). It is therefore possible that students may perform less well in Test 2 and this should be explained to all students, and this is why the year group average is so important.


It would not necessarily be realistic to expect a student to gain a greater percentage in each assessment as they move from Test 1 to Test 2 to Test 3, because (i) the domain of the test has increased each time (students have learned new material); (ii) prior knowledge is tested & still secure; (iii) the complexity of the questions has increased. So maintaining a percentage of 80% across all three tests could still show that a student has made progress.
















On entry Y7 students will complete the GL assessment until accurate SATs can be returned. GL progress tests in English, Maths and Science will take place.


Reading assessments will take place at the start of each year for Y7-10.

Any subject baseline tests can be determined at academy level.


Students are set targets based of FFT 5 (outstanding) or FFT 20 (Good).

Students will then be placed in expected bands:-

Band 1 – Entry

Band 2 – Grade 1-3

Band 3 – Grade 4 -6

Band 4 – Grade 7–9


Student progress is reported to parents as: Above target, On target, Working towards target & Causing concern.

Reporting will also describe: a student’s assessment percentage, percentage range for the band, descriptor of the band relating to potential GCSE performance & reading age.



Year 10 and 11 Mocks

Mocks take place in June in Y10, November of Y11 & February/March of Y11.

In May of Y11 a predicted end grade will be reported.

Mocks always take place in the exam hall used for the summer.

A full suite of subjects must be taken in each examination series.


Progress Review
PR 1 – December
PR 2 – March
PR 3 – May
PR 4 – July










At TQEA subject teams will need to meet after assessments to standardise and hold professional discussions about standards, teaching and misconceptions. This shapes the form of a curriculum review as well.


Ks4 Reporting:-

Child’s end of Ks4 target, the current grade (Dec, Mar, July) and predicted end grade (July, Dec, Mar).




It can be tempting to apply predicted grades to these percentages (a child achieving 80% + is likely to achieve a grade ** in their GCSEs for example) but it would not be sensible to do this and it doesn’t give us valid data so we will resist the urge to do it.


What will the TQEA model for summative assessment look like from September 2021?

Our assessment model will be ambitious and thorough. It has been developed as part of a world class curriculum and is an integral part and not simply an add-on.


From September 2021, in Year 7 and 8:

  1. There will be three summative assessments completed by students each year in each subject.
  2. Summative assessments will be set by Subject Areas.
  3. Each summative assessment will use a variety of question types appropriate to the subject to assess the whole domain.
  4. The aim is for all students to rise above a minimum curriculum threshold. The curriculum is designed in a way to reinforce the knowledge base of those who fall beneath this threshold.
  5. There is no ‘expected progress’ from baseline. The curriculum is the yardstick against which students are assessed.