Assessment Days

Senior School Assessment 

At Monkton, we think it’s really important that students don’t just leave with good grades, but leave with good learning habits as well. Much research has been done on this, and one way to define these learning attributes is to use the words coined by world-renowned educationalists Profs Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas: Creativity, Collaboration, Confidence, Craftsmanship, Communication, Commitment and Curiosity (often described as the ‘7 Cs’). 

Many senior schools focus their assessment days around academic performance. But Monkton thinks differently, and we want our admissions process to reflect our educational priorities. We, therefore, invite all our applicants for Year 9 entry to an Assessment Day in Year 6 where they will take part in a series of fun and stimulating activities which will give them an opportunity to display their emergent tendencies in the above seven areas. We’re certainly not looking for the finished article in any of these: we are keen to offer places to students at Monkton Senior who are excited about developing these attributes, and so show some evidence of them at this stage.

On the Assessment Days, we will be assessing the 7 areas broadly under these criteria:

  • Creativity: able to entertain left-field ideas as possible sources for making progress; happy to look at linear and nonlinear approaches to problems; imaginative.
  • Collaboration: disagrees and discusses respectfully; sees peers as a resource rather than a threat or a target to make fun of; a team player willing to get involved.
  • Confidence: whatever the level, a belief that improvement is possible and that their ideas deserve as much air time as others; optimistic about finding areas of personal success
  • Craftsmanship: takes pride in performing well - in any areas of school life; striving for excellence, but not perfectionism
  • Communication: skilled at choosing the right tone of discourse, and appropriate times to speak up or to speak less; effective at getting a message across, whatever the audience
  • Commitment: sticks at things in the face of difficulty; sees mistakes as opportunities for learning rather than setbacks; self-regulates
  • Curiosity: willing to try new things and push at the boundaries; delighted by learning for the sake of it; intrinsically motivated 

We also recognise that children develop at different rates and stages, and that families are at different places in their thinking about senior school applications. That’s why we run three Assessment Days each year - one in October, one in February and one in May. Some applicants may join the admissions process after June of Year 6, and so would attend an Assessment Day in Year 7.

It may be that the learning attributes of a few may be more latent, and for those, we would invite them back to take part in a similar Assessment Day in Year 7. We would always give feedback so that the parent, student and their current school are well informed about the areas which we feel the student could usefully work on ahead of the next Assessment Day.