In Key Stage Three, this year was also a year of tremendous curricular innovation, with the introduction of Cambridge Checkpoints Exams in Term 2 in Years 6 and 8, where we are pleased to report the results in all core subjects (English, Maths and Science), Year 6 and Year 8, were on target/as expected, as a whole, despite having only one year to prepare for the exams. We are evaluating our areas of strength, as well as areas where there is still room for improvement, and putting in Action Plans, extra staff training, and innovations to help pupils achieve even better in future.
At BSC, we follow also follow the usual UK national curriculum tests (formerly known as “SATs”) in the final term in Years 6-8. The Cambridge Checkpoints tests are monitored by the British Council, just like the IGCSE exams, and they are marked externally by accredited Cambridge markers while the national tests are marked by our own teachers. Since the Cambridge exams took place early on, this year in late April, time was very tight to prepare our pupils for the tests, especially as, in the case of Year 8, it is a two-year course, and, for Year 6, it is a test revising work done for the previous several years, especially concerning the number of Science topics. As a result, Key Stage 3 pupils started a week earlier and came in three extra days in the mid-year vacation to do some extra revision days. As Headteacher, I attended the revision days and entered many classes in all subjects and was impressed at how quickly our pupils and teaching staff, including teachers, supply teachers and co-teachers, had pulled together to prepare for the forthcoming examinations. Very useful Cambridge staff training sessions were also held in March during a weekend to give teachers more in-depth knowledge about the Checkpoints curricula and examinations.