Our departments set assessments for KS3 students which are rigorous in nature and designed to reflect the demands of KS4 assessment. These assessments are delivered at key points in the academic year and, along with class work, practical work and homework, they inform our termly KS3 progress reporting.
At Stalham High our departments have established success criteria which help to prepare students for the demands of GCSE examinations and life beyond school.
Students in Years 7 and 8 are still several years away from their GCSE examinations and it would not be right or fair to issue them with specific target grades at this point in their education. However, we do wish to enable students and parents to ‘benchmark’ their progress to some extent. Consequently, students have been issued with Progress Bands*. These provide broad targets which indicate which final grades students should aim to achieve by the end of Year 11 and relate to the GCSE grades 9-1 (where 9 is the highest possible grade and 1 is the lowest, with grade 4 being referred to as a standard pass and grade 5 a strong pass).
Progress Bands in Year 7 and 8 span 3 grades and will be the same for each subject a student studies. These bands are based on prior attainment data from KS2 and provide a minimum point which students should be aiming for. For example, a student may be allocated a Progress Band of 3-5, 4-6, 7-9 etc. The Progress Band is by no means a ‘ceiling’ and we would never seek to limit a child’s potential. Indeed, with hard work and support, many of our students have exceeded their targets in the past.
As students progress throughout the school and we get to know them better, we will adjust the Progress Bands in order to ensure they are as accurate and useful as possible. The bands will narrow to a range of 2 grades in Year 9 (eg. 4-5, 7-8 etc.) and each student will be issued with a single grade as a minimum target for each of their GCSE subjects when they reach Year 10*. At this point, the grade may be different for each subject.
Reports to parents will include a comment for each subject as follows:
Making expected progress / Making above expected progress / Working towards expectations. This comment will be generated using assessments of your child’s current standards of work and will reflect whether your child is on track to achieve grades within the progress band.
Assessment data is compiled in our electronic markbooks which allow departments to track student progress and stage intervention when necessary.
*Please note that due to the disruption caused by Covid-19 we will delay the setting of Progress bands for Y7 and the narrowing of bands for Years 9 and 10 until January 2021. This provides time for students to settle back into school routines and for teachers to assess their progress appropriately and accurately before making these decisions.