On Friday 16 January, the Norton Knatchbull School in Ashford, Kent welcomed Damian Green MP for a visit to see how the school provides an outstanding all-round education for its students using a robust programme of assessments to support teaching and learning. The visit was organised in conjunction with GL Assessment, the largest publisher of formative assessments to UK schools and also the provider of the Kent Test.
The Norton Knatchbull School, founded in the 17th century, is a grammar school with academy status; it admits boys at secondary level and accepts girls at Sixth Form. The extensive academic and creative curriculum the school offers at post-16 level makes it an attractive choice for learners across the Cluster and beyond. The school has recently expanded to six forms of entry in Year 7 to meet growing demand in the community and provide equality of opportunity to boys of selective ability in the area. It has also embarked on an ambitious building programme to improve and expand the facilities of the school. Mr Green visited the school, based in his constituency of Ashford, in order to understand how formative assessments can help schools to maximise the academic achievement of pupils throughout their education.
The Norton Knatchbull School has worked with GL Assessment to create a strategic assessment programme for use throughout the school. As well as using the Kent Test for admissions, the school also uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) to help teachers understand the potential of their students and to tailor the support they are given.
Used by over 50% of UK secondary schools, CAT measures the main types of reasoning ability that are known to make a difference to learning and achievement. CAT results also include statistically reliable indicators for a student’s future results at the end of GCSE or A level, helping teachers to set achievable but challenging targets and identify quickly if progress has halted. Mr Green was eager to understand how these assessments have helped the school achieve the best results possible for its students.
Damian Green MP commented:
“I know how much Norton Knatchbull maintains high academic standards, and I was delighted to learn how they use the most modern assessment methods to help pupils continue to reach these standards. Tests that can help teachers know what their students need, are really useful in allowing children to reach their full potential.”
Susanne Staab, Headteacher of the Norton Knatchbull School, commented:
“Our data systems have been praised by both OFSTED and other organisations promoting excellence in achievement, such as PIXL. The range of data we use, including GL Assessment data, allows us to triangulate judgements on pupil performance, and to intervene swiftly with students at all levels to help them reach their potential.”
Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Assessment, commented:
“GL Assessment has supported the Norton Knatchbull School’s assessment programme for many years, helping it to create a comprehensive assessment programme that measures students by their potential, not just prior attainment. It was a pleasure to see the successes of the school with Mr Green.”
For photographs of the visit or further information, please contact:
Danielle Morgan, Head of Communications, GL Assessment
Tel: 020 8996 3632 / 07740 393448
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