Last night, via Twitter, I read Tom Sherrington‘s post about the formative use of summative assessment and that jolted me into thinking more carefully about how I was going to use the results from the Assessment Point tests. The Y12 tests did a pretty good job at splitting the pack – scores ranged from 8/30 to 27/30 – but it seems a bit daft to have that knowledge in a spreadsheet but do nothing with it. After all, why find out if someone’s underperforming if you’re not going to do anything about it?
I am fairly ambivalent about the use of re-tests, but I get the impression that several of our underperformers did little to no revision, and I want to get the message across that this is unacceptable – in the linear world we need students to be building a solid foundation, and that means that they need to be consolidating their knowledge properly right from the beginning. This time, the ‘pass’ mark was 15, a mere 50% (which is a D in the current BUSS3 paper) so everyone getting 15 or lower will be coming back at break time next week for a “chat” and a re-test.
Longer term, I think I’ll put the “pass mark” up a bit each time: that should encourage everyone to raise their game. There’s a danger that our weakest students will spend their lives in a cycle of test-and-re-test hell, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with high expectations, provided we’re giving them support rather than leaving them to flounder. At least regular tests will help to keep the content fresh!