Faculties

Assessment at  Campion School in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 from September 2016

Introduction

As you may be aware there have been significant changes in the way progress and achievement are being measured in schools. This document aims to explain the changes and give you information on how your child’s achievements will be assessed and tracked against targets.

The changes

At Key Stage 2 Year 6 (from July 2016) students were no longer awarded National Curriculum levels in English and Maths. As a school we received data on their test scores (as a standardised score in Maths, writing and grammar, punctuation and spelling -see below for more details).

At Key Stage 3 students have been studying the new National Curriculum for the last two years but there have been no level descriptors, only an expectation as to what students should be able to do by the end of Year 9. As a school we have continued to use the descriptors from the “old” National Curriculum to measure attainment and judge progress. However we are increasingly aware this is flawed with higher standards now demanded at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

At Key Stage 4 new GCSEs are being introduced. These have a different grading scheme that runs from 9-1 (with 9 being the highest), replacing the old A*-G grades. Current Year 11 will be awarded GCSEs in English and Maths against the new criteria, with current Year 10 having most (not technology or business subjects) awarded in this way. Year 9 will have all GCSEs on the new scale.  

A good GCSE pass is going to be a “5”. This is higher than the current standard of a “C” and is part of the Government’s programme to drive up standards.

An issue that all schools have faced is that there is very limited guidance on what the standards are for achieving each grade from the exam boards. As a school we have joined an organisation (PIXL) that has worked with the exam boards to establish what competencies will be required to achieve different grades. We were part of a pilot in June to establish the new grade boundaries for English and Maths.

Therefore there are many challenges and opportunities facing schools. The removal of the Key Stage 3 levels and the ability of schools to design their own assessment methods has been an area for development in all schools. Schools have been considering their options for some time; Ofsted said it was better to wait and implement a well thought through local scheme. We have consulted extensively with local schools (including both primary and secondary and schools), other educational bodies involved in tracking assessment and are now in a position to implement a new all-through scheme of assessment from Key Stage S2 (Year 6) to the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11).

Targets

Although attainment is central to success, progress from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 is important in ensuring every child does as well as they can. This is achievement. In addition we need to be able to track progress. At Campion we have used Fischer Family Trust  (FFT) data, which is a Government recognised Charitable Trust to set targets for Key Stage 4 (and in the past Key Stage 3). It gives us a range of targets based on all school results and works out what children with particular Key Stage 2 scores achieved in schools at the end of the relevant Key Stage. At Campion we use the figures for highest achieving schools for setting our targets. In other words, we set the highest targets, as we wish to see outstanding progress. This means there is aspiration built into the target.

From now on we will set targets for students in Year 7 for the end of Key Stage 4. In the last two years we have used intelligence tests that have been taken at the start of Year 7 and these have given us Key Stage 3 targets. We do not believe these have been that accurate and therefore have decided to use the Key Stage 4 target as a more reliable target. Years 7 and 8 will be given Key Stage 4 targets. This will mean a change for Year 8 but we believe that, for them, this is the appropriate time to change. For Year 9 we will issue Key Stage 4 targets. English, Maths, Science, PE and ICT/ Computing  students will still be completing the core Key Stage 3 curriculum, but for optional subjects they will start to follow their Key Stage 4 programmes of study. This is the same pattern of a 3 year Key Stage 4 for optional subjects and 2 year Key Stage 4 for English, Maths and Science that we have run for the past few years. Years 10 and 11 already use the appropriate FFT data.

Assessment

As stated above, there has been limited guidance on the standards for each level. However, we have worked with our PIXL partners who have mapped the competences required at Key Stage 4 to the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum. In addition they have provided testing materials which will allow moderation and consistency between teachers. This will enable us to give 9-1 levels to Key Stage 3 students against the curriculum they have to cover. Many exam boards are providing similar guidance. Each subject has a list of competences and students will be assessed in these to give a current level of attainment.

At Key Stage 4 the competences can be used alongside the grade descriptors and information we receive from the exam boards.

Tracking progress

As some of you are aware, we have changed our data management system to “Progresso” in the last year. One feature of the assessment programme we will be rolling out is the idea of flight paths. This means, that based on Key Stage 2 scores and knowing what the end result should be (the target), we will be able to track whether your child is on track to reach their target. This is still being developed but we believe will be a useful tool. The image below does give a message though, that progress for every child will vary, even between subjects and it is not right to assume that it is purely linear!

Therefore it is important to look at progress over time. We report three times a year but we would not expect students to be making a whole level of progress each time they are assessed.

To give you some idea of the likely target levels for the end of Key Stage 4, the current Year 8, who have Key Stage 2 National Curriculum levels, would be as shown below. Please remember these are aspirational targets and have challenge built into them.

OLD Key Stage 2 National Curriculum average score

Exceeding target  at Key Stage 4(Highest target)

Securely on target for end of Key Stage 4

Good progress

Approaching end of Key Stage 4 target

Below end of Key Stage 4 target

5a/ 6

9 (A*+)

8 (A*)

7 (A)

6 (B)

5c/5b

8 (A*)

7 (A)

6 (B)

5 (C+)

4a

7 (A)

6 (B)

5 (C+)

4 (C)

4c/4b

6 (B)

5 (C+)

4 (C)

3 (D)

3, below 3

5 (C+)

4 (C)

3 (D)

2 or 1 (E or F/G)

 

We will have a clearer idea regarding the targets for the new Key Stage 2 scoring in the Autumn term. This information will be provided to Year 7 parents with the first report containing attainment data in the Spring.

In order to show progress we wold be looking to subdivide grades when reporting to parents. So a student would be given a 2a, 2b, 2c etc. This would indicate how “secure” the student is into that level based on competencies assigned to each level. An “a” would mean the student has mastery of that particular grade, a “b” would indicate the student has secured most of the competencies associated with the grade and a “c” would indicate the student is developing and starting to work at the grade.

To give you an indication of the progress expected it is thought that students achieving an average Key Stage 2 score would be working at 1a when first assessed at Campion and a grade 2c by the end of the year. By the end of Key Stage 3 they would be working at a grade 3; a 3c if the end of Key Stage is Year 8 and a 3a if the end of Key Stage is Year 9- see above. By the end of Year 11 the student would achieve a 5. Flight paths such as this will be generated when we have more precise data. It is hoped that it will be possible to record this and use Progresso to give a visual impression to students and parents.

At Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and Year 8 for all subjects apart from English, Maths, Science and PE at Campion), we are aware some students may not be working at a grade 1 (the old F/G grade) in Year 7 and in some cases Year 8. These students will be given a “W” which would indicate working towards Grade 1.

When students’ work is marked they are already familiar with “What Went Well” (WWW). This will involve reference to the competencies for that particular subject. They also have an “Even Better If” (EBI). This will state how they could have improved their work and what competencies can be further developed. In addition we use “Campion Comeback” (CC) where students are given a task to improve or reflect on their work based on the feedback they have received. This marking legend is not new but will fit effectively with the assessment system we are using.

In the Autumn of 2016 we will be running a series of information evenings for parents to explain the changes more fully. We are aware that these are major changes but believe that they will make our assessment processes far more rigorous. We have consulted widely and believe we now have an assessment scheme that is fit for purpose. It will enable;

·         Students to know what they can do and what competencies they have to gain to move forward

·         Teachers  to assess what students can do and areas of weakness to inform teaching

·         Parents to be informed of the progress that their child is making.

If you have any questions or require more information, please contact me.

Isobel Ashmead

Senior Teacher, Curriculum and Assessment

i.ashmead@campion.northants.sch.uk

*As a school we now receive the raw scores and standardised scores from the Key Stage 2 tests. The standardised score means the average level score would be 100. However in 2016 the national standardised score was 103. The scores range from 80 (being low) to +120.