Assessment Without Levels
Guilsborough Academy has made significant changes to its assessment and reporting systems in light of many national changes, including changes to Key Stage 3 and the introduction of a new GCSE grading system.
Our aim is to provide Parents and Carers with clear guidance about how students’ progress is measured and how targets are set. This page details the information that will be communicated to Parents about their child’s progress, and explains the structures such as Flightpaths which demonstrate the pathways for progress.
Key Stage 3 Big Picture
Recently the government announced that schools across England no longer needed to use Key Stage 3 levels, and that they should instead focus on ensuring that their curriculum and reporting systems focussed on the key skills that students are developing, rather than a numerical level.
As a result we have reviewed our assessment and reporting processes at Guilsborough Academy and have developed a skills focussed assessment and reporting system at Key Stage 3. This means that all students are provided with a ‘flightpath’ which shows the progress that we would expect them to make based on their Key Stage 2 attainment scores.
Students have been given these ‘flightpaths’ at the start of the year and lessons will focus on the skills that are needed within each flightpath. This will develop a greater understanding in all students of the key skills that they need to develop in order to fulfil their potential in each subject. Students can work both above (exceptional progress), and below (below expected progress) their flight path. However a student making good progress would work within their ‘flightpath’ throughout the year. Teacher feedback for students will inform them of which ‘flightpath’ they are on, and of the key skills that they have demonstrated and new skills to focus on.
At each progress review point reports will indicate whether or not students are working within their ‘flightpath’ or not and the key skills that students have demonstrated (successes) and how to improve (next steps).
There are 4 flightpaths Emerging, Developing, Mastering and Excelling. Additionally there is an Entry pathway for students working towards accessing flightpaths.
Flightpath and Pathway are both used to explain progress.
Within lessons skills and learning objectives are colour coded to indicate the flightpath they relate to. This will help student become aware of the skills they need to develop and the expectations they need to meet to make progress in their learning.
The flightpaths students are on reflect our expectations of them based on the progress they have made in their education so far. The skills and expertise required to progress through a flightpath have been developed by subjects. The successes and next steps will be clearly communicated to students through marking and feedback to assist them to continue to make progress.
A flightpath indicates expected GCSE grades. This is based on national data for all students, for example 48% of KS2 Level 4 students in Mathematics achieved a grade C at the end of KS4 in 2014, 31% of students achieved a grade that was below a grade C and 21% of students achieved a grade above a grade C. The flightpath shows progress from KS2 to KS4 and the expected GCSE grades that students on a flightpath would be likely to attain.
Students will be set targets at KS4 that are at least a grade above their expected grade. For example Developing learners will be set KS4 targets that are likely to be grade 6. This reflects national data, in that 21% of student did achieve grades higher than grade C. We set students targets that are challenging but realistic. We want students to make outstanding progress and, along with setting targets which represent outstanding progress, seek to support students to develop skills to be able to access and work at a higher flightpath.
Year 7 and Year 8 Progress Reports will report information slightly differently for EBacc subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Languages and Humanities) and non-EBacc subjects.
For EBacc subjects there will be details of the Entry Learner Pathway, this will be a flightpath based on the student’s Key Stage 2 level. This will not change during Key Stage 3. The subject teacher will report for EBacc subjects the current Pathway the student is on, providing a + or - to indicate whether the student is towards the top of the skill set or towards the lower end. The absence of a + or - indicates the student is firmly within this pathway.
The effort score uses a 4-point scale, with 1 representing excellent effort and 4 being a cause for concern. Students who receive a 3 or 4 will most likely have had the class teacher make contact with parents to discuss a student’s effort in class. Students with low effort scores are likely to be placed on a monitoring report or other suitable intervention.
Teachers will provide students with feedback through marking and assessment, indicating to the student what went well and areas to improve to support the student to make further progress.
Additional information will be provided on the Academy website regarding the Programmes of Study for Key Stage 3 that will assist in understanding Flightpaths and Pathways.