Assessment, Target-setting & Reporting 2016-17

 

Introduction

From September 2016, Higham Lane School will be adopting a new assessment system. Reforms in assessment methods at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 have informed Higham Lane School's new assessment system.

Coupled with a new rigorous National Curriculum in 2014, the Government is raising the expectation of the standard of GCSE qualifications, aligning the UK with the best education systems in the world. In response Higham Lane School has worked extremely hard to update its target-setting, assessment and reporting procedures so students work to realise their potential and make exceptional progress.

The website article and accompanying paper sets out Higham Lane School's reforms, helping parents and carers to better understand and make sense of your child's academic progress.

Background to changes - Key Stages:

Key Stage 2:

From July 2016, students in Year 6 will have their reading, writing (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) amd mathematics assessed through tests and teacher assessments. Each student will receive these test as a Scaled Score. This score will between 80 - 120, with 100 being the 'expected standard' nationally. A student's scaled score replaces Numercial National Curriculum levels and alphabetical sub-levels (e.g. 4b, 6c).

Key Stage 3:

Numerical National Curriculum levels and alphabetical sub-levels (e.g. 5c) are no longer used as measure of student progress, when assessing students work in Key Stage 3. Schools have been given the autonomy to develop a more bespoke and rigorous assessment system that fits with their own needs.

Key Stage 4:

Traditional GCSE grades of A*-G have been replaced with numerical grades (9-1) with grade 9 being the highest grade. The Department for Education will now consider a 'good pass' at GCSE to be a Grade 5. This is now the 'Expected Standard' for students to achieve. In line with our high expectation of students, Higham Lane School will adopt the expectation that all students will achieve or exceed the expected standard.

Qualifications are also becoming linear. This means that students will not sit modules and will be examined at the end of Year 11 for 100% of their qualification. Controlled Assessments (coursework) will be removed in most subjects.

Assessment at Higham Lane School from September 2016

From September 2016, Higham Lane School will set challenging progress targets for individual students, in all students at Key Stage 3 and 4, based on prior achievement at Key Stage 2 (Scaled scores for Year 7 from September 2016 onwards).

All students will receive their end of Key Stage 4 Expected Standard and Challenge target grades (9-1). The emphasis is on the on-going journey throughout their five years of study in Key Stages 3 and 4.

In Key Stage 3 (Years 7&8) students will be assessed termly and parents, carers and students will be informed of progress in relation to the students' end of Key Stage 4 Expected Standard and Challenge target grades (9-1). Their progress will be reported using a statement that indicates how well a student is achieving in relation to their Expected Standard target grade at that given assessment point in the academic year - this will be an indication of whether they will meet, exceed or fall short of their personal target ('Expected Standard' target) at the end of Year 11, if they continue to make progress at the current rate i.e. their progress falls in line with their projected Flight-path (Years 7-11). This current working grade statement will indicate if a student is:

  • Working towards the Expected Standard
  • Working at the Expected Standard
  • Above the Expected Standard

(Download attached PDF document for working example)

Progress will be tracked through termly assessment with students aiming to stay in track from year to year to maintain their Flight-path to succeed at GCSE and beyond (download attached PDF document for example Flight-path).

In Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11) progress will be reported using a current working grade of 9-1 where the GCSE subject has transitioned over to 9-1. Please Note: The Department for Education is phasing in over three years, from September 2015, the transition from GCSE A*-G grading to GCSE 9-1 grading as illustrated below:

  • Phase 1: 2015 - English Language, English Literature and Maths.
  • Phase 2: 2016 - Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Religious Studies, Art and Design, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Computer Science, Citizenship Studies, Cooking and Nutrition.
  • Phase 3: 2017 - Other subjects in Design and Technology, Statistics, Business Studies and Sociology.

Students in all years will receive regular feedback (assessment & reporting) to ensure they know the next steps that they must take to progress further. We will continue to use Follow-on Tasks (using purple pens) in student workbooks and folders, to enable them to improve further. Further deatils about this can be seen in Higham Lane School's Assessment, Feedback and Reporting Policy.

What are the new GCSEs like?

As mentioned above in September 2016 new GCSEs will be taught in the following subjects:

Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Religious Studies, Art and Design, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Computer Science, Citizenship Studies, Cooking and Nutrition.

These new GCSEs will be more demanding and require higher levels of literacy and numeracy to access the top grades.

Other changes include:

  • A structure where all assessment happens at the end of the course and content is not divided into modules.
  • Exam as the default method of assessment, except where they cannot provide valid assessment of the skills required (e.g. Design and Technology).
  • There is no direct equivalence between the GCSE 9-1 grading on the new system and the existing GCSE A*-G grading on the old system.
  • Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above.
  • Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as currently achieve a grade A and above.
  • The bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G.
  • Grade 5 will be awarded to around the top third of students gaining the equivalent of a grade C and bottom third of a grade B. This has been defined as a 'good pass' by the Department for Education.

(Download the attached PDF document for Department for Education graphic comparing the new grading system with the old grading system).

Target-setting at Higham Lane School

Students' prior attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 (scaled scores for Year 7 from September 2016 onwards) and baseline testing will provide the basis of target-setting at Higham Lane School. All students will be challenged to achieve their end of Key Stage 4 'Expected Standard' target grade, reflecting the school's high expectations. Higham Lane School will adopt the expectation that all students will achieve or exceed the expected standard of a GCSE grade 5 or above* (*only in exceptional circumstances this will not be the case).

 
  1. Assessment, Target-setting & Reporting update 2016-17