Competencies are the way we assess students in Literacy for Life.
We believe that for students to develop they need a holistic approach to their education. They should be ambitious, happy and able to achieve well beyond their potential. The competency framework enables students to be self-critical, allowing them to believe they can improve skills, knowledge and abilities through practice and hard work.
There are ten areas of student development in the competency framework: seven relating to academic development and three relating to how students are growing as people.
Competencies range from Entry Stage to Stage 3, which become more challenging as students progress through the year groups and their learning. Each lesson has at least one competency as part of it and students work to move themselves from Emerging to Advanced across differing stages whilst engaging with content. Student progress towards competencies is rigorously assessed by teachers. This assessment is complemented by regular peer and self-assessment by students. Teachers and students use the competencies to identify strengths and areas of development, refine work and set targets with confidence and accuracy.
These competencies are about improving students’ academic ability and ensuring they are learning both the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Social and Environmental competencies cover all of the Humanities subjects.
Every lesson has an academic competency attached to it and every theme has a spread of academic competencies that students will study. Many of these are then revisited to assess students’ progress as we move through the years.
Unusually the Academy has developed a series of assessments about developing students as people as well as academically. Through this we want to create students who are:
- Happy students, who feel their school and peers support them and want to come to school.
- Healthy students, both mentally and physically.
- Successful students, ambitious for themselves and others.
- Students who have strong aspirations and feel that they are capable of achieving them.
- Students with a sense of decency, respectful of others both within and outside the Academy.
- Students with a sense of pride in their Academy, who want to be involved in all aspects of Academy life.
- Self motivated, inquisitive students, capable of independent study.
- Students who have a joy of learning and a wish to learn.
- Students who believe they can improve their skills and abilities through practice and hard work.
- Students who have strong and resilient coping mechanisms to deal with change.
- Students who are willing to take risks.
- Students who know how to stay safe outside of the Academy.
To facilitate this we have three competency strands:
- Personal Learning competencies assess how well students are able to learn, set goals, revise, concentrate and understand the skills that it takes to be a great learner.
- Personal Social is about learning about yourself, staying safe and healthy eating but also the ability to be respectful and to work well with others.
- Professional Development is all about considering careers for the future and looks at the world of work, how to write a CV and be a confident interviewee.
What does a competency look like?
How are the Competencies used?
Competencies are used in a four key ways:
- To inform curriculum planning and sequencing – so that students accumulate the necessary skills to be successful throughout Key Stage 3 and beyond.
- To provide a common language that enables deeper links across subject disciplines.
- Formative assessment – daily routines enable students to reflect and improve on their learning in and progression in sessions with support.
- Summative assessment – to capture key outputs in a theme, across a term and year and then subsequently personalise the learning for students.
Reporting and Assessment
You will be able to see how students are performing in their competencies through teacher assessments reported three times per year and through discussions at parents’ evenings and marking in students’ books.
In addition, we have examinations in January and in the summer term which show how well students are able to translate their developed skills into an examination setting.