Published on: 01 Jul 2016

Using assessments to drive academic rigour and reduce teacher workload

Nic Dakin MP, visits St. Bede’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, Scunthorpe

Friday 1 July 2016 - St. Bede’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, Scunthorpe has today welcomed Nic Dakin MP, a former head teacher and constituency MP for Scunthorpe.  Mr Dakin was keen to see how the school provides an 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 leading provider of formative assessments to UK schools.

St Bede’s is a Catholic secondary academy, with 700 students aged 11 – 18. At St Bede’s, emphasis is placed on the individual. Each student is encouraged to develop their talents to the full so that they leave school happy, confident and well-adjusted young adults fully equipped to succeed in today’s society. Education of the ‘whole’ child is of prime importance. St Bede’s aim is to motivate and empower young people so that they realise their full potential and develop in all areas.

St. Bede’s has worked with GL Assessment to create a strategic assessment programme which starts as soon as students join the school in Year 7. Mr Dakin was particularly interested to understand how the use of ‘smart data’ from these assessments can help to reduce teacher workload. After meeting the school’s senior leadership team, the local MP toured the school and met students, seeing first-hand how properly applied assessments can improve academic attainment as well as easing the workload of teachers.

Nic Dakin MP commented:

“I know how well St. Bede’s maintains high academic standards, and I was delighted to learn how they use the most modern assessment methods to help their students. Assessments that can help teachers understand their students’ needs are really useful in allowing children to reach their full potential, and the ‘smart data’ that they produce can actually help reduce the burden faced by teachers. This has rightly become a key issue facing the teaching profession and I hope that some of what St. Bede’s have implemented in this regard can be replicated elsewhere.”

Michelle Travers, Head Teacher of St. Bede’s School, commented:

"When students join St Bede's our aim is to make the transition as least stressful as possible, therefore we have refined our testing with the help of GL Assessment.  This has resulted in assessment being sharper, quicker and the workload for staff less, due to the use of digital assessment.  As a result pupils, especially in Year 7 have settled into school quicker and are making greater progress than seen in previous years."

Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Assessment, commented:

“GL Assessment has worked with St. Bede’s to create a comprehensive assessment programme that provides a robust starting point for teaching and learning, as well as very useful insights that teachers can share with parents. It was a pleasure to see the successes of the school with Mr Dakin.”

- Ends –

Notes to the Editor

About St. Bede’s School

St Bede’s is a Catholic secondary academy, with 700 students aged 11 – 18.

About GL Assessment

GL Assessment (known internationally as GL Education) is the leading provider of benchmarking, formative and diagnostic assessments to UK schools and has a growing presence in British, bilingual and international schools in over 100 countries worldwide.

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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