Setting in Core Subjects
At the Chalfonts Community College, setting is currently used in core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science.
In English, Years 7-9 students are taught in ‘mixed-ability’ groups as we believe this is more conducive to student engagement and progress. Following the completion of ‘End of Year’ exams in Year 9, students are sorted into an accelerated group, three mixed-middle ability groups, and a support group. This allows those students who are meeting and/or exceeding their already high targets to be pushed further and for those students who are finding English particularly challenging to have specialised teaching in a much smaller class. We also feel the mixed-ability structure is appropriate given that tiers are no longer used in English at GCSE.
In Maths and Science, students are taught in sets from Year 7 through to the end of Year 11. Baseline assessment are completed and utilised alongside KS2 data to establish the sets. Sets are reviewed following the completion of summative assessments throughout the year, in line with the ‘Set Changes’ policy outlined below. This does mean that students may move up and/or down sets as they progress through their time at the College. We also feel that this approach is appropriate as both subjects continue to be tiered with Foundation and Higher paper examinations. As such, teachers in Years 9-11 can tailor the content more accurately to the tier of paper each pupil is likely to be entered for. Final decisions about tier of entry are not made until January of Year 11 following the completion of mock exams.