Facilitating Progress

At Halliford School, we facilitate our students’ progress in the following ways

  • Through quality first teaching
  • By regularly monitoring and reviewing progress
  • Through our reward system
  • By providing additional learning support for students with identified learning needs

Quality First Teaching

Quality First Teaching is universal at Halliford School. All teachers are expected to deliver a series of lessons which:

  • are well planned with differentiated outcomes
  • accommodate different learning styles
  • engage pupils and encourage involvement
  • demonstrate different levels of questioning
  • provide the opportunity for praise, constructive criticism and pupil feedback
  • encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning
  • allow measurement of progress and attainment

In addition, teachers:

  • understand the individual child
  • communicate well with parents and carers
  • promote independent learning

From within the whole School ethos of Quality First Teaching extends the platform on which we can build a Graduated Response to individual learning needs.

Monitoring Pupil Progress

The School uses five methods for monitoring pupil progress:

  • Baseline testing
  • Regular teacher assessment and marking
  • Target setting for pupils
  • Reports cards to focus on particular areas of performance
  • Summative termly reports

Form Tutor

The Form Tutor has a central role to play in making the monitoring system work effectively as they are the central storehouse for information on a particular pupil. They are best placed to identify patterns and to pick up whether the pupils need assistance or not.

Target Setting

Target setting is designed to encourage pupil progress by giving each pupil realistic, achievable targets to work towards. Subject targets are set by individual subject teachers initially based upon what they have learnt about their pupils, but from Year 9 the targets are decided in conjunction with the indicators gained from the MidYIS and Alis tests.

Assessment - Grade Reviews

Grades reviews are staff meetings conducted once or twice a term depending upon parents’ evenings. The reviews have two main purposes: firstly, to provide a summative assessment of the effort and achievement of individual pupils; secondly, to provide a whole staff forum where the progress made by pupils can be discussed, their difficulties identified and action plans agreed when necessary.

Encouraging Progress

Pupil progress is encouraged and rewarded both formally and informally at Halliford. Informal encouragement will vary from teacher to teacher and situation to situation but is likely to include positive comments on written work, an encouraging note in the work diary and a friendly conversation. In addition to the active use of assessment for learning, formal encouragement and reward are based on a system of commendations, benes and merits designed to reward and encourage effort and improvement at every level of achievement. The fact that there are far more pages in the homework diary for the earning of merits than those for censures reflects the nurturing and encouraging ethos of the School.

Assessment for Learning

Assessment for learning is a central part of the whole school marking policy, and if used properly, it also plays a significant part in encouraging pupil progress. Effort is always encouraged, and positive advice is given, especially when a pupil is clearly struggling with a particular subject or topic.

Baseline Testing

Pupils are tested in English Language, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning upon applying to join Halliford. This allows for their subsequent progress to be monitored as well as the relative progress of individual subject departments to be assessed.

Pupils are again tested in Years 9 and 12 using MidYIS and Alis tests developed by the Centre of Evaluation and Monitoring. Whilst the performance indicators achieved on these occasions are just one indicator, they do give useful objective data against which to assess a pupil’s performance.

Heads of Department use the data to analyse the performance of their departments while the Director of Studies conducts a whole school analysis. The results of these analyses are used to inform the academic development plans of both the School as a whole and individual departments as well as to inform the targets set and assistance given to individual pupils.

Monitoring Progress

The academic ethos of Halliford is based on the idea that high standards and improvements in pupil performances are more likely to be achieved within an environment that is nurturing, encouraging and supportive while at the same time setting challenges. The able and independent will relish the challenges while aware that support is available when they run into difficulty. The less able and less independent, and/or those who require Learning Support, make better progress and gain in confidence with the active assistance of the staff. To ensure that the challenges and support are accurately targeted, an effective system for monitoring and assessing pupil progress is in place. To ensure pupils respond positively to the teaching received, they are given praise and encouragement for the effort and progress that they make at whatever academic level they are operating. This may range from encouraging remarks and praise given by a subject teacher to public acknowledgement of their success.

Merits

Merits are awarded to encourage and reward both positive behaviour as well as academic achievement. For academic achievement, they are usually given for taking a more positive approach to studying or for the emergence of improved efforts.

Benes

Benes are awarded to pupils when they have produced a particularly splendid piece of work. Those awarded a Bene receive a signed certificate from the Headmaster which is presented in a whole School Assembly. A Bene also counts as four merits towards the Inter-House Merit Shield. Benes are intended to enable teachers to reward pupils, of whatever level of ability, who produce a piece of work which is a significant improvement on what has gone before. They are also intended to provide teachers with a means of encouraging those whose efforts are somewhat uneven which prevents them from gaining commendations. Pupils who gather six or more Benes receive a prize at Speech Day.

Commendations

Commendations are awarded at three levels at the regular staff grades reviews. Their award is based on the effort grades achieved by pupils at the reviews. The names of those awarded commendations are read out in a whole School Assembly by the Deputy Headmaster. The Headmaster also writes congratulatory letters to all parents whose children have been commended.

  • Starred Commendations are awarded to pupils who gain mainly grade 1s for effort and no grade lower than a 2
  • Commendations are awarded to pupils whose effort grades are mainly 1s and 2s with no grade lower than a 3
  • Tutor’s Commendations are awarded to encourage a member of the tutor group who has made a significant improvement but has just missed out on gaining a full commendation

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