School news September 2017

Students in a class taking an exam

School news September 2017

New school uniform

Students returning to school this September had a pleasant surprise as they were issued with new school blazers and jumpers. Students joining for the first time were pleased and impressed with the smart, comfortable and up-to-date look.

The soft grey blazer gives a calm and reassuring presence around the buildings, as students make their way from class to class. The uniform gives the school a new identity: businesslike and orderly, and ready to get down to work.


New year, new assessments

Starting this September, students of all ages undertake an external assessment supplied by the University of Durham. The test, which covers key stages 3, 4 and 5 tests vocabulary, maths and non-verbal reasoning with strict time limits. The answers are sent directly from laptop to the University, where likely future attainment is measured against a national statistical database. The assessment is provided by Durham Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) and divided into age groups:

  • MidYIS for Key Stage 3 (years 7-9);
  • Yellis for Key Stage 4 age 14-16 (years 10 and 11); and
  • Alis for A Levels (years 12 and 13).

The test results make predictions about likely future performance and grades achieved in public exams by using historical data from all around the country. It will give both teachers and students a clear idea of learning targets as well as showing where students have made significant learning progress when they exceed the prediction. This will also give evidence of how Bales adds value to students’ learning.

Key stage 3 test for Durham University CEM score

Key stage 3 assessment for Durham University Yellis score




Back for more A Levels

Margo did very well in her A Levels last summer took up a place at Birkbeck College, University of London to read for a BA History degree.

Her degree studies take place in the evenings and she is keen to boost the number and breadth of subjects she can study later at university, so Margo has decided to come back to Bales to study for 3 more A Levels, and possibly transfer to another university or degree.

Margo plans to study for A levels in Maths, chemistry and biology, believing that the success she has already found at Bales can be repeated. This will boost her A level tally to seven. The photo shows her already hard at work in the chemistry lab, conducting and writing up a practical experiment.

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