Parent Guide to Assessment

Assessment is a central part of the teaching and learning process at Walton Hall Academy. It is an important feature of the school’s planning arrangements and the monitoring of the progression of individual learners.

It is our moral purpose to do all we can to secure our vision that every child should be equally able to secure outstanding outcomes and reach their full potential.

The aims of assessment at Walton Hall Academy are:

  • To provide learners with clear and appropriate feedback about their specific achievements and their next steps for development.
  • To actively involve learners in the learning process through use of reflection and peer and self-assessment.
  • To ensure that learners are aware of their current and target grades and what they need to do to reach their full potential.
  • To ensure all learners work meets the standard expected (i.e. Pride in Work).
  • To provide a means of evaluating the school’s curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning.
  • To assist progression, learning and continuity throughout the school and between phases through a clear spiral curriculum

Assessment systems and strategies at Walton Hall Academy

In response to changes that include a new National Curriculum and the removal of a national system of levels, we have investigated and subsequently invested in a new whole school assessment system that we refer to it as ‘Walton Steps’. This system has provided us with one assessment continuum that runs from Walton Step 1 to Walton Step 18 and covers all student ability ranges across the academy through to those accessing higher GCSE levels. This systems is effective at identifying small steps of progress across all of the Walton Steps.

Progress and assessments using this framework are recorded on an online system called SOLAR. This software allows us to record and evidence all of our assessment in one place. SOLAR has the flexibility for us to shape our assessment system to align more closely with our teaching. It also enables us to use challenging target setting, progress flightpaths and to undertake data analysis. It’s colour coded system enables teachers to see quickly when a student is underperforming. Quick identification of underperformance means resolutions can be sought promptly through targeted interventions.

We also closely assess student's progress towards their EHCP desired outcomes through our Individual Learner Plans (ILPs). Each term students are set short-term targets that will support progress towards achieving the wider EHC outcomes. Progress against these targets is reviewed termly and shared with parents in order to promote a collaborative approach between parents and school.