An important part of aiding and nurturing capability is to measure progress. Hence we monitor and track pupil achievement, whilst enabling boys to develop an understanding of their relative strengths and areas for improvement.
As a school, we believe that testing is an important part of this process and we therefore conduct regular assessments throughout the year in all subjects, as well as summative examinations at the end of the school year. To complete our thorough monitoring of progress, we conduct a range of standardised tests to explore potential and to help identify specific learning difficulties that may require additional support.
Assessments are informal opportunities for teachers in a subject area to check understanding and skills, as the delivery of the curriculum progresses throughout the year. From Year 3, the boys also sit formal end-of-year examinations. We recognise that examinations are an integral part of the English education system, used to sum up a pupil’s progress at a transition point, not just by Durston House, but by Senior Schools to which our boys sit entrance examinations. Boys are exposed to them in order to become increasingly familiar with the conditions of such procedures.
Boys and families are informed of the outcomes of the assessments and examinations and the marks are seen in the context of the attainment of the entire cohort. With increasing age, and supported by the teacher, boys are involved in the analysis of their assessments and examinations. They identify areas of strength as well as topics or skills they need to develop further. In cooperation with his teachers and parents, each boy is encouraged, to take more responsibility for his own progress, hence strengthening his capability.