During the course of all lessons at Larkmead, teachers regularly review, assess and record students’ progress. This may take the form of comments and discussions in class, as well as comments in exercise books. In this way parents should be able to see how students are progressing. In addition, students will be involved in self and peer assessment to encourage them to engage with their learning and understand how to make progress. If teachers are particularly pleased with or concerned about any aspect of a student’s work they may contact home, and we would urge parents to let the school know if they have concerns.
Alongside the ongoing assessment, we have a tracking system that allows us to send home a tracking report either two or three times a year. Using the information we have about each individual’s prior attainment, and about how well similar students performed, we are able to set targets for the end of each Key Stage. During each tracking round, teachers record an assessment to say how well students are doing, which is compared to the expected level for the individual. At KS3, this is reported as the student either making Above expected progress, Expected progress or Below expected progress. At KS4, target grades are given and students are reported as being on or off target. Students can be given a red or yellow card for their attitude to learning, both in and beyond their lessons, and these warnings let everyone know of any concerns.
Alongside the tracking system there is at least one Parent Teacher Consultation Evening (PTCE) for each year group, where parents and students will have the opportunity to meet subject teachers and discuss progress. In Years 10 and 11, there are also Target Setting Days, where parents can have longer meetings with tutors to discuss progress and to set demanding and supportive targets with students. As well as the Year team and subject teachers, there are always at least two senior members of staff available for you to consult. Appointments are scheduled for five minutes, so if you have a more complex matter to discuss it is helpful if you make a further appointment for another occasion, since if your appointment over runs it has a knock-on effect on other parents.
Students also have the chance to discuss their progress with their form tutor throughout the year. If you do have anxieties at other times, please do not hesitate to contact the school straight away. Difficulties tackled as soon as they occur are more easily solved than those which are left and, consequently, grow. If the concerns are subject specific, please contact the subject teacher, but more general concerns should be addressed to your child’s Tutor.