We know that changes in the assessment systems for young people can sometimes be confusing. Therefore we have provided some key information below to help clarify how our students are assessed throughout their time with us.
At the end of your child's year in Reception class, children are assessed against the descriptors in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. Children will be judged to be working towards, expected or exceeding.
During the summer term of Year 1 children are assessed in Phonics and expected to meet the national standard. The assessment is undertaken by an adult well known to the children.
If you have a child in Year 2 or Year 6 they will be taking they national curriculum tests; the SATs. They are designed to provide information about how your child is progressing when compared to national averages.
It is important to note that they are not qualifications and do not affect your child's future options in school, but that the results are used to help teachers pitch their lessons at the appropriate level for their classes, with a view to helping children reach their full potential.
In Year 2, there are tests for Reading and arithmatic and problem solving in Maths. The tests are presented to the children in a way that minimises pressure and stress. The information from these tests help teachers inform their overall judgement about a child against national standards.
In Year 6, there are tests in English Reading, punctuation, grammar and spelling alongside tests in arithmatic and problem solving in Maths.
Both at Year 2 and Year 6 children are judged to be working below the expected standard, at the expected standard or above the expected standard. For example in Year 6 a scaled score of 100 is the expected standard in Maths and Reading.
In addition to these national assessment points, adults assess pupils continuously in every year group so that the work they are given matches their needs and our children can reach their full potential.
What is Progress 8?
From 2016 all students and schools will be measured on how much progress they make from when they start year 7 to when they complete their exams at the end of year 11. It is based on progress in 8 subjects across a broad and balanced curriculum.
Scores will always be determined by dividing the student's points total by 10 (the 8 qualifications with English and Mathematics counting for double) reglardless of how many qualifications are sat.
It is important to note that a child's progress 8 score is not something they are judged upon with regards to future steps and performance, this is a system for schools to measure their performance against the national average and for parents to make informed choices about school performance.
Below is a 3 minute video from the DfE to help explain Progress 8 further.
What is Attainment 8?
Attainment 8 is similar to Progress 8: however, this measures attainment rather than progress across the years over the same 8 subjects.
How does the new GCSE assessment system work?
Many of you will know that the courses and exams for GCSE students were recently changed. The reason is to ensure that young people have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed and be graded fairly. They cover more challenging content and are designed to match standards in the strongest educational systems throughout the world.
- GCSEs in England will have a new scale from 9 (the highest) to 1 (the lowest)
- The old GCSE grading system does not directly compare, however alignments can be made between the letters A*-F and the Scale 9-1
- They have been designed this way to differentiate between student performance, and support those students who sit at the top of their grade banding
There is a table of conversion for grades on the right of the page, which will help you to understand how the new grades match with the previous system.
Please see this short video from AQA to help you understand how the grade system translates.