What is Value-Added in Education?
Every school has a personality, a heartbeat and that certain something that makes them tick. No two schools, regardless of location or whether they are state or independent, are the same. From the extra-curricular activities they provide to their inspection ratings and overall exam results with schools such as Rendcomb College, in particular, also take into account value-added in education. The term value-added is a more in-depth look at how great the outcomes are for each individual pupil’s performance - as well as the school as a whole - which can be measured on top of statistics such as exams.
What is it?
Value-added measures are used to look at how far a student has come in their educational journey and how much of an impact the school has assisted in their progression. This added analysis comes in the form of student’s achievements that have been reached through additional development, learning and overall experience beyond what is expected academically. From key stage one, if a student started school and was measured against similar students in age, their level of progression throughout the years would differ from their peers. Understandably, some children will be performing better in class whilst others would take a little more time to get to where individual teachers would like them to be. To improve test scores, we empathise in the knowledge that improving a pupil’s achievements isn’t just down to their academic abilities but their learning environment too. This can range from after-school activities to the quality of teaching and what resources are available in terms of technology, literacy on offer and facilities. This is where value-added education comes into play, especially when one school has more impressive achievement levels than another.
How does it work?
Value-added is a measure to evaluate progress. New pupils will be provided with an estimated score based on the average for their age. This will then be revised during the course of the academic year depending on their achievements and involvement in school life. It acts as a fair tool that looks at an individual’s progression rather than how the school performances are in exams as a whole. Value-added takes into account how far a student has come and also how effective teaching and driving improvements have helped a student along the way.
What are the benefits of value-added education?
Parents who are searching for the right school for their child, will often put time into researching how well they perform with the aspirations of their children thriving there. If a school for example is academically selective, you’ll find high levels of progression as they’ll come out on top as being one of the ‘best’ based on results. This school would then likely be more popular for applications than others thanks to the level of support and measures teachers put in place to help students further in the long run. For school leaders, it also gives a greater insight into what is working well and what could be put in place to improve for the future.
The Rendcomb College Approach
Value-added is a practice that has been in place for well over 30 years, and at Rendcomb College our approach to it is a very positive one. It allows us to monitor over time the progression of students in each of their studies and how best we can bring in extra factors. This can range from better facilities to best practices shared by departments that have showcased impressive results. We want our pupils to be well-rounded individuals both academically but also enable them to follow their passions.
Each pupil shines in their own way and our bespoke approach to education and pastoral activities assists with this. From Brainy Break-time sessions for all pupils, to targets for year groups preparing for public exams, we also have a dedicated team of learning support teachers too. As for school leavers who are looking for their next step in education we provide an Oxbridge preparation programme, along with EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) and leadership opportunities too. We pioneer fantastic teachers who are experts in their field and invest in our curriculum for academic success across the board.
Listed in The Good Schools Guide, Shortlisted in the Independent Schools of the Year 2021 Awards, accredited as Excellence in Education by The Independent Association of Prep Schools, and most recently awarded double Excellent status by The Independent Schools Inspectorate, Rendcomb College is proud of the value that we add to the lives of our students.