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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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International tests sat by Key Stage 4 pupils

On Wednesday 9 January 2019 a group of our pupils in Year 11 sat two tests and completed a survey as a part of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Pupils in 200 schools in England and over half a million pupils in over 80 countries were chosen to take part in these international assessments. Participating pupils were selected at random to take part in this important study on how education in England compares to that in other countries. The PISA study is used by Governments around the world to plan how to improve education.

These external assessments were administered by a team from NFER and they were supported by our Exams Officers, who were on hand to support our candidates and provide refreshments in between the assessments. Pupils worked independently on laptops provided by NFER in response to personalised questions generated intuitively in response to the initial answers given.

The team from NFER who conduct these assessments in other schools across the country, commended our pupils’ excellent attitude and behaviour and reported that they worked very hard and stayed focused. The lead administrator, who coincidentally started her teaching career at Cirencester Deer Park School, expressed her gratitude: ‘Just to say thank you for taking part in the PISA testing. All the students were brilliant and a credit to the school. Everything seemed to run very smoothly.’ All participating candidates received certificates to confirm they had taken part in these international assessments.

Pupils spoken to afterwards reported that they found the tests ‘okay’ and some confirmed they had ‘enjoyed’ the experience. They were intrigued by some of the questions they had been asked in the survey! Chiquita Henson, Headteacher, said she was very impressed by their positive mindsets. Other staff reported that many pupils who completed the tests talked about their experiences; they showed an interest in why they were invited to do the assessments and are curious about what the outcomes will be. They all definitely rose to the challenge and did themselves, their parents and the school proud.

We are extremely grateful to all of the pupils who embraced this challenge; they demonstrated the resilience and resourcefulness necessary for this kind of assessment, particularly when taken at relatively short notice and without the need for any revision or practice. It is important, however, that they all remember that these online assessments are different to the exams they will all soon be taking.


“It was a good experience that made me think about how great school is. There were bourbon biscuits too!” Charlotte F

“I was really proud to have received a certificate. It is really amazing to be part of an international survey.”  Joshua B

While the pupils will not receive personalised feedback, the results of this international study will be published in December 2019. We look forward to receiving a summary of the findings and a report about our school.

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