Assessment

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 now receive 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 study the National Curriculum but there are no longer no level descriptors, only an expectation as to what students should be able to do by the end of Year 9.

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. Year 11 in 2017 were awarded GCSEs in English and Maths against the new criteria, with current Year 11 having most (not technology or business subjects) awarded in this way. Year 10 will have all GCSEs on the new scale.  

In order to give a comparison between the old and the new scales the image below provides information from the Government.

grades

 

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 2016 to establish the new grade boundaries for English and Maths and worked with the exam board in summer 2017 to look trial new papers for Science.

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. We consulted extensively with local schools (including both primary and secondary and schools), other educational bodies involved in tracking assessment and have implemented an  all-through scheme of assessment from Key Stage 2 (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. It gives us a range of targets based on all school results across the country 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.

We set targets for students in Year 7 for the end of Key Stage 4. Years 7, 8 and 9 are given Key Stage 4 targets, but will also have End of Year targets that will be shared with them. Targets are reviewed in Year 9 for optional subjects and in Year 10 for all subjects as the National database (FFT) is updated.

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 allows moderation and consistency between teachers. This enables 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

We use “Progresso”, our Management Information System, for all our  parental reports . This can be accessed on line. One feature of the assessment programme we are 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! In the academic year 2017-18 we are looking to develop the flight path information to improve accuracy based on progress made using the new measures.

progress

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 targets for the 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 and new KS2 standarised scores

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 / 110+

9 (A*+)

8 (A*)

7 (A)

6 (B)

5c/5b/ 107-110

8 (A*)

7 (A)

6 (B)

5 (C+)

4a /103-106

7 (A)

6 (B)

5 (C+)

4 (C)

4c/4b /95-102

6 (B)

5 (C+)

4 (C)

3 (D)

3, below 3 94-

5 (C+)

4 (C)

3 (D)

2 or 1 (E or F/G)

 

In order to show progress we subdivide grades when reporting to parents. So a student is 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.

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.

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. The scores range from 80 (being low) to +120.