Testing, Testing...Testing, Testing


Often I am asked by prospective parents what it is that we strive to instil in our pupils whilst they are with us. What does an HCJS pupil look like? 

The answer is straight forward – ish! We hope that children at HCJS learn: 

•    to love school 
•    to love learning 
•    that they are responsible for themselves and for others 
•    to be comfortable in their own skin 

Essentially, we are about happy and flourishing children

Of course a large part of what we do takes place in the classroom, and each child's progress within our classroom curriculum is vital.

In what follows, Mrs Claire Roberts, our Director of Studies, outlines our approach to testing each child's progress


Chris Wright, Head of the Junior School, February 2018


Testing, Testing...Testing, Testing 

Barely a week goes by when there isn't an item in the news about league tables, school exams, pupils' stress – all of them linked to testing.  

So, if so much negativity surrounds testing, why do it?  

Demands to test children come from different sources: the government, headteachers, governors and parents themselves. 

Are they all really asking us to keep testing our children more frequently and in a variety of ways?  

No. What they want to know is:  

•    Are the children making progress?  
•    Are the children doing as well as they can? 

So can we test for this without causing undue stress to the children?  And can we focus upon the children's progress in the classroom without compromising their wider development and their self-esteem?  

At HCJS we believe we can.  

We don't need to meet any hurdles; we don't need to get any children to jump through any hoops; and we certainly don't need to bang a square peg into a round hole.  

We want every child to make progress from their starting point to the day they move onto the Senior School.  

So we test to ensure this is the case. We use baseline assessments and ability tests to gauge each child's potential and we test each child's achievements to ensure he or she is making progress relative to his or her ability and relative to his or her previous attainment. Each child is an individual and it is his or her individual progress in which we are interested, not in comparison to peers or cohorts or even to national statistics.  

We ensure those underachieving come to do themselves justice, we investigate barriers to learning, we stretch those at the top and we seek out the 'invisible' child to ensure they are not left behind.  

It is these factors to which we hold ourselves to account and it is the progress and achievement of each individual in which we take pride.  

Mrs Claire Roberts, HCJS Director of Studies, February 2018 

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