Last week Mrs Handford ran a Humanities trip to introduce all of Year 7 to the subjects of Geography, History and RE. The visit to Lanhydrock involved students visiting the house, grounds and church to develop their enquiry and questioning skills. As they toured the house students has the opportunity to look at and hold artifacts. A couple of students asked to play the piano in the library (which led to a singalong with other students) – much enjoyed by the staff and other visitors. There were very positive comments from the members of the public on the students behaviour and smart uniform. The afternoon visit to Restormel Castle was to allow students to see a Norman Motte and Bailey Castle – they will undertake History work on the building of castles later in the term. It also supports their work in Geography on describing the environment. More than anything the trip was to allow students the chance to get to know each other a little more as they settle into their teaching groups.
Mrs Hudson, our Teaching Team Leader for Mathematics, has been running an evening Yr 7 Maths Family Learning Programme. Parents and students have attended special evening lessons to learn a variety of essential maths skills and crucially parents are equipped with the knowledge of how to best support their children in Mathematics.
Mrs Hudson has now completed the course and we are very proud of everyone who has attended.
See below our first cohort receiving their certificates from Mr Challis.
We are pleased to announce all of our Y11 students have been subscribed to an online revision resource called Tassomai. All Y11 parents are invited to an information session on Wednesday 22 March. 6:00 – 6:30 pm. The session will cover the main features of the resource and how to best support your son/daughter in science preparation in the run up to the exam season.
Tassomai makes learning and revising for GCSE Science as effective and as straightforward as possible. Users can see the revision topics they need to work through, they can see how they are getting on so far, and they can see what they should do next.
Tassomai organises a daily routine, prioritising each topic and subject based on progress so far and time remaining (ie. the date of the exam). Simply log in regularly and complete the assignments at the top of the list. The mission is simple – keep the pace of progress up to the speed prescribed – a task that requires a few minutes attention each day.
Tassomai gives targeted and intelligent guidance through the entire syllabus – courses are tailored for all exam boards and to the current (2017) and new (2018) specifications.
Reporting Progress at Key Stage 3 ‘Life without Levels’
As you may be aware, the use of National Curriculum levels as a means of tracking and reporting student progress was discontinued by the Department for Education last year. The system of using 4a, 4b etc for the allocation of end of year target levels and assessment grades is now no longer a requirement. This has coincided with the development of the new, more skills based, National Curriculum in Key Stages 3 and 4.
There has been much published about the limitations of the old levels system. Primarily there has been concern that levels have placed too much emphasis on achieving a certain level and not the development of the key knowledge and skills within the subject. An assessment system should not only give an accurate snapshot of achievement, but more importantly show students clearly what they need to do to progress.
Secondary education is now seen more as a continuous journey towards GCSE success from Year 7 to 11, rather than a separate Key Stage 3 and 4 with an arbitrary boundary at the end of Year 9. The so called ‘Life without Levels’ has allowed schools the independence to develop their schemes of learning and assessment systems to match their learners’ needs without the constraints of the levels system.
At The Roseland Academy we have been working hard over the Autumn term to develop our schemes of learning and assessments in Years 7, 8 and 9. From this half term (Spring1), there will be a new format to the way attainment and progress is reported.
To Listen to Dr Tim Oates, Chair of the Expert Panel responsible for the recent review of the National Curriculum, explaining the limitations of the old levels system, please watch the link below.
Target Grades and School Performance Indicators
Previously, the government has used a student’s English and Mathematics Year 6 SATs grades as a predictor to estimate what GCSE grades they should achieve as a minimum ‘expected progress’. These were then used to produce target grades for each student in each subject. Under this system, students could have been viewed to have achieved or not achieved their expected progress through their time at secondary school and this was used as a measure of school performance. However the risk in this system was that students who under performed on their SATs stood the risk of target grades that did not provide enough challenge. Additionally for students who achieved lower SATs grades, allocating and sharing lower GCSE target grades could risk demotivating them from believing that higher grades could be achieved.
From 2016, Progress 8 is now used as the main performance indicator of school performance. In a nutshell the Government looks at a student’s Y6 SATs in English and Maths and their GCSE grades in 8 core subjects. If the student achieves the national average, they get a Progress 8 score of 0, if they achieve 1 grade above the national average they get a +1 score etc. The entire year group is averaged to give the school score which is reported in the league tables. In 2016 The Roseland Academy achieved the highest in Cornwall, with +0.52.
The advantage of this system is there is no minimum expected progress, the system expects and rewards the maximum progress from each student irrespective of starting point.
At The Roseland Academy we use this data to set challenging targets to flightpath our students at least one whole GCSE grade above what we estimate to be the national average. Target grades are now continually reviewed in light of national trends, and may be updated to ensure we have the right data to track all students irrespective of ability, to achieve in the top percentiles nationally.
Assessing Skills and Knowledge (ASK)
Our use of National Curriculum levels is being replaced and improved by our own bespoke system called ASK. This assessment system with our updated schemes of learning, enriches the curriculum with GCSE level skills and knowledge from Year 7. It will provide assessments grades that are clearly linked to the level of skill and knowledge developed by the student and shows clearly what the student needs to do to develop further.
On completion of a module of work, a student’s skills and knowledge will be teacher assessed using ASK and awarded one of the following grades :
ASK assesses the increasing complexity in a student’s understanding of the subject and is based around the well documented SOLO and Bloom’s taxonomy, both models that describes levels of increasing complexity in student’s understanding of subjects.
Here are some of the ASK descriptors that a teacher may use in determining the grade achieved by a student in a particular module of work:
Each module of learning will have a student friendly ASK document which shows clearly the skills and knowledge required. This also shows what is needed to progress.
All students will continually be encouraged to progress towards Mastering, with these skills and knowledge being on a level with higher GCSE grades.
below is an example of an ASK document for a Y8 Science unit:
These documents are under production for each module of learning. They may be used in a variety of ways and break down the unit to allow the student to see clearly what they need to do next to progress.
ASK documents will shortly be available on our website to view for all modules in Y7, Y8 and Y9.
In addition to ongoing ASK assessments, each year group will have an examination week in which each subject will be formally assessed. The grades from these assessments will allow us to assess overall progress in relation to individual target grades. The dates for these assessment weeks are:
- Year 7 July 2017
- Year 8 July 2017
- Year 9 March 2017
The student data sheets, which previously reported national curriculum levels, have been updated over the Autumn term and from this half term (Spring1) we will report ASK for each of the subjects studied. The first ASK descriptors are currently being collected and the new data sheet will be released shortly. Behaviour for Learning grades will continue to be reported on the data sheets.
The target for all of our students will be to aim their skills and knowledge towards Mastering. Internally we will track students by comparing their starting point SATs grades to their current ASK grades and therefore determine whether students are progressing in line with their peers of similar starting points. This tracking will direct further intervention or support if necessary.
On Tuesday 24th January four Year 9 students from The Roseland attended an inspirational ceramics workshop at Truro School, led by artist Russell O’Connor. Students from various local secondary schools came together for this event and, under Russell’s instruction, constructed 3D boats from slabs of terracotta clay, based on Cornish fishing boats. Each student was able to create their own unique design, complete with distinctive details such as buoys, anchors, portholes and mussells, painted with coloured slips. The workshop forms part of a wider programme of art activities in the run up to this years’ Combined Truro Schools Art Exhibition, where the resultant artwork will be displayed. The exhibition will take place at the Lander Gallery, Lemon Street, Truro in March 2017 – more details to follow soon! The theme for this years’ exhibition is contemporary art in Cornwall, with the title “You Are Here”.
Mrs Hudson, our Teaching Team Leader for Mathematics, has been running a Yr 7 Maths Family Learning Programme. Parents and students are invited into special evening lessons to learn a variety of essential maths skills and crucially parents are equipped with the knowledge of how to best support their children in Mathematics. – Mrs Hudson is now half way through our 10 week course and she reports Mums Dads and students are all working hard!
Congratulations and well done to the Parents and Students who are enrolled on the course.
This week we are pleased to announce the launch of our weekly Computer Coding Club!
But what exactly is coding? Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your browser, your OS, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and this website – they’re all made with code.
Here’s a simple example of code, written in the Python language:
print 'Hello, world!'
Many coding tutorials use that command as their very first example, because it’s one of the simplest examples of code you can have – it ‘prints’ (displays) the text ‘Hello, world!’ onto the screen.
If you want to find out more, then maybe our weekly Coding Club is for you! All Welcome ask Mr White for details.
This week we launched an exciting new initiative for one of our MAT students at Tregony Primary School. Miss Sophie Capron of The Roseland’s Design, Performance and Technology Department will be visiting weekly to deliver an exciting programme of practical Textiles and Design Technology lessons. Accompanied by some very capable student helpers, Miss Capron taught a range of practical textiles skills. She reported a wonderful response from the students and was impressed by their thirst for learning new skills. We look forward to this project developing over the next term.
Many thanks to Miss Capron and her helpers for this fantastic project!
We are proud to announce that in the recently released Department of Education school league tables, we are top of Cornwall for the Progress 8 score, achieving a figure of 0.53. This measure compares students’ best 8 GCSE/BTEC grades against the national average. This figure is exceptionally high and puts the 2016 performance of The Roseland Academy students within the top 10% of schools nationally.
This fantastic achievement is testament to the dedication of our hard working staff, our high standards, and our wonderful students – we are very proud of all of them!
To see the 2016 schools performance tables click here