This brings me onto the subject of children visiting schools for what is sometimes known as an assessment.
Many families who come to meet us say they are worried about the assessment process. They tell us of experiences where children as young as three are subject to taking formal exams and being ‘interrogated’ in a formal interview.
At The Aquila School we will not be taking this approach. When we meet children, we want to be sure that we can meet their needs – but we do this in an informal stress- free way. Depending on the age or developmental stage of the children we talk to them about their interests and learning – let them take part in some play date activities and for older children we ask them to do some mental maths and some writing. These simple activities in a relaxed environment allow children to show their very best. As a school – we will be tracking the progress using assessment for learning – which means that teachers will look carefully at what children have learnt today to plan what they need to learn tomorrow. Just as we do not feel a formal entrance test is appropriate in deciding whether a child can start school – we do not feel that a formal test is an appropriate way to assess learning in a primary school. I think this may need further exploration in a future blog!