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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School

Assessment, Target-setting & Reporting


From September 2016, Higham Lane School adopted a new assessment system. Reforms in assessment methods at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 have informed Higham Lane School's new assessment system.

Coupled with a new rigorous National Curriculum in 2014, the Government raised the expectation of the standard of GCSE qualifications, aligning the UK with the best education systems in the world. In response, Higham Lane School has worked extremely hard to update its target-setting, assessment and reporting procedures so students work to realise their potential and make exceptional progress.

The website article and accompanying paper sets out Higham Lane School's reforms, helping parents and carers to better understand and make sense of their child's academic progress.

Background to changes - Key Stages

Key Stage 2

From July 2016, students in Year 6 had their reading, writing (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) and mathematics assessed through tests and teacher assessments. Each student received these test results as a Scaled Score. This score is between 80 - 120, with 100 being the 'expected standard' nationally. Scaled scores have replaced Numercial National Curriculum levels and alphabetical sub-levels (e.g. 4b, 6c).

Key Stage 3

Numerical National Curriculum levels and alphabetical sub-levels (e.g. 5c) are no longer used as measure of student progress, when assessing students work in Key Stage 3. Schools have been given the autonomy to develop a more bespoke and rigorous assessment system that fits with their own needs.

Key Stage 4

Traditional GCSE grades of A*-G have been replaced with numerical grades (9-1) with grade 9 being the highest grade. The Department for Education now consider a `standard' pass at GCSE to be Grade 4 a `strong' pass to be Grade 5. These are now the 'Expected Standard' for students to achieve. In line with our high expectation of students, Higham Lane School will adopt the expectation that all students will achieve or exceed the expected standard.

Qualifications are now linear. This means that students will not sit modules and will be examined at the end of Year 11 for 100% of their qualification. Controlled Assessments (coursework) has been removed in most subjects.

Assessment at Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School sets challenging progress targets for individual students, in all subjects at Key Stage 3 and 4, based on their prior achievement at Key Stage 2 (Scaled scores for Year 7 from September 2016 onwards).

All students receive their end of Key Stage 4 Expected Standard and Challenge target grades (9-1). The emphasis is on the on-going journey throughout their five years of study in Key Stages 3 and 4.

In Key Stage 3 (Years 7&8) students are assessed termly and parents, carers and students will be informed of progress in relation to the students' end of year target, end of Key Stage 4 Expected Standard and Challenge target grades (9-1). Their progress will be reported using a statement that indicates how well a student is achieving in relation to their Expected Standard target grade at that given assessment point in the academic year - this is an indication of whether they met, exceeded or fallen short of their personal target ('Expected Standard' target) at the end of Year 11, if they continue to make progress at the current rate i.e. their progress falls in line with their projected Flight-path (Years 7-11). This current working grade statement will indicate if a student is:

  • Working towards the Expected Standard
  • Working at the Expected Standard
  • Above the Expected Standard

Progress is tracked through termly assessment, with students aiming to stay on track from year to year to maintain their Flight-path to succeed at GCSE.

In Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11) progress is reported using a current working grade of 9-1.

Students in all years will receive regular feedback (assessment & reporting) to ensure they know the next steps that they must take to progress further. We will continue to use Follow-on Tasks (using purple pens) in student workbooks and folders, to enable them to improve further. Further deatils about this can be seen in Higham Lane School's Assessment, Feedback and Reporting Policy.

Target-setting at Higham Lane School

Students' prior attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 (scaled scores for Year 7 from September 2016 onwards) and baseline testing will provide the basis of target-setting at Higham Lane School. All students will be challenged to achieve their end of Key Stage 4 'Expected Standard' target grade, reflecting the school's high expectations. Higham Lane School will adopt the expectation that all students will achieve or exceed the expected standard of a GCSE grade 5 or above* (*only in exceptional circumstances this will not be the case).