Assessment at The Bridge Centre
Assessment at Bridge is used as an integral part of our planning and directly informs our practice. This supports our curriculum development and allows us to meet the individual needs of our learners by creating bespoke pathways for development. Therefore, ensuring that our learners have the skills and qualifications to either return to a mainstream setting, move on to a specialist setting or to go on and access suitable post 16 provision.
Our underlying principle is to use assessment to make sure each student is appropriately guided and supported to achieve and progress. We carefully track our learners’ development ensuring that everyone is clear about the next steps required to move on. At Bridge we recognise the uniqueness of what development can look like and what form it may take so we seek milestones in both academic and personal development from the moment our learners join us:
On Induction students are given an initial assessment using the McSherry Doyle Reintegration Scale. This provides a baseline that gives an indication as to how prepared the learner is for mainstream education. We then personalise our interventions to help the learner in key areas highlighted for development.
Alongside this, learners also take assessments in English and Maths providing an academic baseline and informing key starting points and areas of intervention to close gaps in both knowledge and skill. We then track a learner’s development and meet their individual needs through marking milestones rather than setting overarching targets. This is fundamental to our approach as we believe personal and academic milestones are supported, developed and progressed in tandem through our individualised mentoring and pastoral approach.
Our expectations are extremely high and we believe all students can succeed if they have the right environment surrounding them.
2. On-going Subject Assessment
We make no qualms about focussing on English and Maths. We understand that this is the currency that is required for our learners to have the opportunity to be successful in their future lives. Due to exceptional teaching in these areas, all learners have the opportunity to take GCSEs in English, English Lit, Maths and Statistics. Verbal and written feedback are given consistently – this provides the bulk of our on-going assessment information. Work being tailored to individual start points, with targeted, precision teaching taking place to ensure progress is sustained.
The same process applies to our more creative and vocational subjects. Assessment is on-going with regular ‘next steps’ feedback occurring during the lesson. Our focus on ‘formative feedback’ allows for us to really ‘get to the heart’ of learning and to move forward at a good pace.
3. Ongoing Personal Character Assessment
One of our core beliefs is that ‘good individuals’ will succeed and gain good results. Therefore, part of our ethos is to embed the key character traits of effort, resilience, responsibility and consideration into all aspects of school life so that students can relate their success to the key traits. There is no initial character assessment but each week students earn rewards for demonstrating the character traits. These rewards are tracked and inform our mentoring and intervention programmes.
4. Re-integration Readiness (McSherry Doyle Scale)
We use this data every term to establish student readiness to return to a mainstream setting. The data forms part of a conversation with different stakeholders and provides valuable evidence as to whether we think a reintegration placement will be successful. We also use the data on our end of placement reports to School.