Changes to assessment
Stoke Newington School has a new assessment system for KS3 (years 7 and 8). Students will no longer be given levels for their assessments and reports.
What will happen instead?
Students will be assessed and awarded one of four different categories:
How will teachers decide?
There are two parts to this. Firstly, teachers will know what students’ targets are and what content and skills they have been studying. Secondly, they use an assessment grid to assess whether a student is ‘Secure’ or not. An assessment grid has all the content and skills written on it for the topic or scheme of work studied.
All students have been given new targets, now called target directions, for every subject they study. These target directions are the GCSE grades they are expected to attain at the end of year 11. They are based on students’ KS2 test results.
You may already know that GCSEs are changing. Old letter grades (A, B, C, etc.) have been replaced by number grading (1 to 9). The GCSE system is very new, so we have used only 4, 6 and 8 for KS3 target directions. At the end of year 8 target directions will be adjusted to include grades 5, 7 and 9 as well.
This is how KS2 results are used to decide on target directions:
Every topic, in every subject, has an assessment grid. This lists all the knowledge and skills required for each target direction (4, 6 or 8) for that topic.
When teachers are marking assessments they will use these assessment grids to decide if students are ‘Secure’ or not. Students have to have demonstrated knowledge and skills for all the points in the secure section to be awarded ‘Secure’.
Teachers will be giving feedback during lessons to help students achieve ‘Secure’ for their target direction.
There is an example of an assessment grid from History further down this webpage. You will see that there is a column for each target direction that tells students what they need to know or do to be ‘Secure’ (the parts shaded in green). Students should be aiming for ‘Secure’ in the first instance, making sure they can do all the things listed for their target direction.
How will students know what’s in the assessment grid?
Teachers will either give students a copy or tell them exactly what they need to learn and/or demonstrate to be ‘Secure’ for their target direction. All of the assessment grids are also on our school website.
How will students know what their target directions are?
Subject teachers will tell students what their target directions are. Students should write these down in their subject books and also in their planners.
How will students know that they are making good progress?
If students are making good progress toward achieving their GCSE target direction, they will remain ‘Secure’ for every test, assessment and progress check. Students will know this because when they get an assessment back it will have either ‘Advanced’, ‘Secure’, ‘Developing’ or ‘Beginning’ written on it, together with the teacher’s feedback.
What if a student is assessed at ‘Advanced’ all the time?
If a teacher assesses a student on ‘Advanced’ throughout the year, we will increase the target for the beginning of GCSE courses in year 9. This will ensure that students are given more appropriate and challenging work to attain higher grades.
What if a student is assessed at ‘Beginning’ all the time?
If a student is assessed as ‘Beginning’, the teacher will give them detailed feedback on what they need to do, and how to do it, to achieve ‘Secure’. We have very high expectations of all our students at SNS and we do not decrease target directions when a student fails to meet them but support them to be successful instead. Our target-setting policy does allow changes targets in extenuating circumstances, for example for a student with an SEN that significantly affects expected rates of progress.
Will target directions decide what classes or sets students are in?
The only subject that will group students by their target direction is Maths. For all other subjects, students are taught in mixed ability groups or tutor groups.
What will progress check reports look like?
Progress check reports will report the new categories. That means ‘Secure’ etc. for each subject. The categories will be colour-coded: 'Beginning' is red; 'Developing' is yellow; 'Secure' is green and 'Advanced' is blue.