BackgroundOver the next 4 years, including this year, there will be many changes taking place in schools in relation to assessments and what we use to assess the boys. These changes are part of the government reform of the examination system.
As of this year, we are no longer to use levels to assess the boys as they move through school. Those of you with a year 7 son will know that the SAT scores were not reported in levels but rather a number, this is the first year of the new information coming to secondary schools in this way.
This means that only year 7 will have come through their secondary school under both new systems. However, we feel that running 3 or 4 different systems to report progress to parents / carers will be confusing for all involved and could mean that we lose sight of progress and where each boy really is at on his learning journey.
Boys leaving in 2017Boys leaving in 2017, will be the first to study the new English and Mathematics qualifications. They will see a change in the grading of the GCSE English and mathematics; moving from A*- G to 9 – 1, with 9 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. For this year group, all other subjects will be awarding a GCSE grade using A* - G. Therefore your son will leave school with a combination of the two grading systems.
New information is being published all the time regarding the new point scale. Currently it is being proposed that where C was the old benchmark, 5 will be the new. However, the DfE have stated that for this year only a 4 will be equivalent to the bottom end of a grade C.
Boys leaving in 2018 (Year 10)Boys in year 10 will be the second year group to study the new English and Mathematics qualification. They will also be the first year group to study the new qualifications in Science, ICT, Art, Food, History, Spanish, Music, Physical Education and Religious Education. Each of these will award a point scale 9 – 1, any other subjects begin studied will be awarded the old GCSE grade of A* - G. The change in benchmarks is approximate below.
Boys leaving 2019 and beyondIt is expected that by summer of 2019 all qualifications will be awarding the new point scale of 9 – 1 and conversion from the old system will be complete.
TargetsWith all of the above in mind, we have therefore designed a new reporting system which uses the numbers 9 – 0 for all year groups. Each number is then broken down into sub sections of 0.2; for example:
Initially the key stage 2 score provided to secondary schools to set targets has been converted to a 9 – 0 number. The government sets the expected progress for all students nationally and so we know where your son is expected to be at the end of year 11. Using these two numbers we have calculated that each boy must make 0.6 of progress each year to achieve their expected progress.
AssessmentEach subject area has listed out the skills that your son needs to show in order to achieve each of these numbers. Depending on how many skills your son is showing will determine how far along the number line your son is assessed at.
For example: In history for a number 2, there are 10 skills to master, if your son has mastered 6 of them your son may be assessed at a 2.6 in history.
This way of assessing means we focus on the actual skills that your son is acquiring and therefore the assessment is directly linked to what is being taught.
You will receive 5 reports over the year, 4 of them will be assessments, showing behaviour, achievement, attendance, target for each subject and current assessment. The final report will be more detailed and give you greater depth of information regarding the progress your son has made throughout the year with clear targets for the next academic year.