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Our Wessex family of schools


Teaching for Mastery

‘A commitment that virtually ALL students can learn all important academic knowledge to a level of excellence if…

  • allowed the right amount of time to learn;
  • provided with the appropriate conditions to learn.’

Our Core Expectations

At The Purbeck School, curriculum and assessment will…

  • be based on our high expectations for all students.
  • be based on developing the key knowledge and skills required for success at the end of Y11.
  • be based on regular formative assessment that identifies students strengths and weaknesses, identifies where appropriate strategic intervention is required and allows all students to grow and be successful.
  • involve periodic summative assessments to support the regular formative feedback.
  • have consistent principles to be used across all subjects, but the flexibility to be suitable for all subjects.
  • be simple and easy to understand – for teachers, parents and students.

CURRICULUM: The Learning Journey

Each subject area has identified the core knowledge and skills that students will need to master in order to achieve long term success. The knowledge and skills should link to the National Curriculum programme of study. Each subject has used this to plan backwards with the curriculum for Y7 – Y11. They have also taken into account what students should already know and be able to apply from the KS1 and KS2 Primary National Curriculum.

We have scaffolded student progress towards excellence through our ‘thresholds’. These stepping stones will support teachers plan for progression and focus assessments on the key knowledge and skills. By giving regular tailored feedback on what needs mastering, students gain valuable insight on how to progress with their learning.

Thresholds - the knowledge and skills a student needs to aquire to be: Excellence / Secure / Developing / Establishing

This learning journey highlights that the ‘Secure’ threshold represents the national expected standard in order for a student to progress from KS2 Level 4/Scaled Score 100 to GCSE Grade 5.

Graph showing expected learning journey across each threshold, from KS2 to GCSE

Diagram showing old and new style GCSE grade equivalents

Tracking Student Achievement and Progress

Using this learning journey, each student is assigned aspirational target grades based on their prior attainment and their potential. The Purbeck School regularly tracks and monitors every student’s achievements in order to recognise success and instigate rewards, but also to implement relevant intervention, when necessary, should concerns come to light. Once a term, The Purbeck School will report home vital information regarding each student.

In each year group, teachers regularly use formative assessment in their classrooms to identify strengths and gaps in learning. As required, they will intervene and address those gaps. Each teacher will track and monitor every student’s progress over the term. This is reported home in the form of a Progress statement. Judgements will balance different sources of evidence, e.g. classwork, bookwork, the results of any assignments or mock exams, any other records of student performance over the course of study, and not just one source.

Progress statements for students workingat, towards, and below their target grades

To support students develop in each subject, their teachers will assign one or two knowledge and skills descriptors as next steps that your child needs to work on.

The attitude to learning and effort a student puts into their study in lessons and at home is crucial to long term success. Teachers will assess this using a Respect Aspiration Perseverance (RAP) score. These are the qualities that we aim for all students at The Purbeck School to achieve – these are the fundamental expectations within lessons and around the school. We will report home whether each student Always, Often, Sometimes or Rarely displays these qualities.


Image depicting descriptors of schools ethos - Kindness, Aspiration and Perseverance