Assessments and Examinations

Assessment and tracking progress

The aims of assessment at Dawlish Community College are:

  • to inform students about their current level of attainment, their predicted level of attainment and how they can improve their work or skills to reach or exceed this target level
  • to inform parents about the levels of progress that their child is achieving and to work together with parents to ensure that their child is fully supported
  • to enable staff at the college to provide lessons which are well suited to the students needs while identifying underperformance at an early stage in order to provide interventions to support the learner

Students at Dawlish Community College will undergo a number of both formative and summative assessments. During the course of a year, students will have their attainment (either Key Stage 3 level or GCSE grade) and their attitude to learning assessed on an approximately six week schedule. This information is used to produce both interim and full reports, which go home to parents. This means that a parent will receive information on their child’s progress every term.

In each report a student will have an estimated minimum target for every subject. This information is generated by an external body called the Fischer Family Trust, which produces the same information for the Government and OfSTED, the school inspection service. The target Key Stage 3 level or GCSE grade takes into account a student’s prior achievement, such as Key Stage 2 results as well as other elements such as their gender, whether the child receives free schoool meals and postcode. It should be noted that these are minimum grades. For September 2015 a new ‘Life After Levels’ assessment system will be in place for assessment at Key Stage 3.

Staff will also talk to students about their minimum grades and progress during the year, perhaps through subject discussions, tutor discussions or mentoring.

The school also has an Assessment Policy for the marking of books. Key features involve the marking of homework at least every three weeks, concentrating on giving formative comments rather than just grades and marking in green pen which has been shown to encourage students to read comments. If you have any concerns about marking please feel free to contact either your child’s tutor through the student’s homework diary or your child’s Key Stage Manager or Learning Manager.

Duplicate copies of reports

If you are a parent or carer requiring a duplicate copy of reports please let the College know so that we can make sure that letters are sent to all those entitled to receive them.


Parents’ reporting evenings

Parents’ reporting evenings are held on specific days throughout the year when parents are invited to come to the college with their son or daughter to review their child’s report. This also provides the opportunity not only to discuss the progress made but any particular problems which may have arisen and which can best be discussed with the staff concerned. Any more detailed queries should form the basis of another appointment to be arranged because Report Evenings only cater for short appointments.

Dates of parents’ reporting evening for the current academic year can be found in the calendar and on the Key Dates page.


Examinations and qualifications



Year 11 students who have reached the required standard of achievement and effort are entered for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). The majority of students take GCSE examinations in this way.

In certain subjects a decision must be made about which level of examination is appropriate for each student. This decision, as well as the decision whether or not to enter a student for the GCSE, is made by the appropriate team leader in consultation with the subject teacher. In making this decision, careful consideration is given to the standard achieved in mock examinations and also to the coursework and continuous assessment completed during Years 10 and 11.

Information regarding examination entry is sent home to parents at the end of January and a period is then allowed for parents to come to college to discuss any difficulties with the appropriate staff.


Online resources