Our departments set assessments for KS4 students which are rigorous in nature and designed to reflect the demands of GCSE and alternative KS4 qualifications. These assessments are delivered at key points in the academic year and, along with class work, practical work and homework, they inform our termly KS4 progress reporting.
The recent reform of GCSE qualifications and introduction of the 9-1 grading system have challenged schools to adapt the content and format of curriculum and assessment models in order to best prepare students for these examinations and life beyond school. At Stalham High our departments have established success criteria and a programme of regular and rigorous assessments which are marked against these criteria.
Students in Year 9 are 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 9 span 2 grades and will often be the same for each subject a student studies. These bands are based on prior attainment data from KS2 and KS3 and provide a minimum point which students should be aiming for. For example, a student may be allocated a Progress Band of 4-5, 6-7 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.
After the first year of the GCSE course each student will be issued with a single grade as a minimum target for each GCSE subject or alternative qualification he/she studies*. At this point, the grade may be different for each subject. This target will usually remain the same throughout Years 10 and 11 but may be adjusted if we feel a student needs a different level of challenge.
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 or in line with his/her target grade. In Years 10 and 11, reports will include the student's EFG (Estimated Final Grade) for each subject; this represents the teacher's prediction for the most likely final outcome, given current standards of work.
Assessment data is compiled in our electronic markbooks which allow departments to track student progress and stage intervention when necessary.