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Key Stage Three Reporting – Frequently Asked Questions
An overview of KS3 Levels
Levels are given a number, 1 (lowest) through to 8 (highest), with some subjects also recording exceptional performance (EP) awarded for outstanding attainment exceeding Level 8. These numeric levels are further broken down by the letter c, b or a. The number refers to the level a pupil is working at according to criteria set out in the National Standards in each subject area. The letter refers to whether a pupil is;
- Moving into this level (c)
- Working solidly at this level (b)
- Moving out of this level towards the next level (a).
In different subjects pupils may achieve very different levels on entry into secondary school. For example, starting in Year 7, Mathematics and English will have been studied previously, so this level will be much higher than that given for a newly studied subject. It should not trouble you to see a 5a for Mathematics next to a 1c entry level assessment for a Modern Foreign Language with perhaps a level 3a for ICT.
For those subjects that have started the GCSE courses in Year 9, their assessments will appear as a GCSE grade equivalent.
Students who enter the school at the start of KS3 are given a baseline test in each subject area. This is a test which is designed by each subject area to gauge the ability of the student in their subject, upon entry to the school. Further information about these tests can be accessed through the KS3 subject information pages opposite.
In addition to the baseline tests, CATs tests (cognitive ability tests) are also carried out at the start of Year 7 and also in Year 9. Further details of these tests can be found at http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/education/resources/cat3/cat3.asp
Each pupil’s current attainment level is reported as a NC level in Years 7 and 8 in all subjects. In Year 9, subjects which have started their GCSE schemes will report attainment as a grade. In addition to this, “working to deadlines” is also reported. This is reported as a number with the following meanings:
1 – all work has been submitted on time. 2 – no more than two pieces of late work. 3 – more than two pieces of late work. 4 – not applicable (this subject does not set formal homework) Spring Term
During this term, you are invited to an evening meeting with subject teachers to discuss progress. At the end of the term, a further report is issued reporting current attainment and "working to deadlines" for each of the subjects which are studied. This is accessed through e-Portal Summer Term
End of Year Report
A full written report on pupils’ progress for the year in each subject is available on e-Portal. This includes a comment from the form tutor. You will also receive an end of year attainment level for each subject. By comparing this with the baseline level which you received at the start of Year 7, you should be able to monitor progress throughout the Key Stage.
For subjects that are following the KS3 curriculum
For the autumn and spring terms, the report table will summarise, for each subject, both the current attainment level and the attainment level at the start of Year 7 (otherwise known as baseline data). Each subject carries out its own baseline assessment at the start of Year 7, and details of these can be found in the departmental pages of the curriculum booklet.
As the academic year progresses, the level achieved for each subject should generally increase through the sub-levels (c,b,a) outlined above.
At the end of the academic year, you will be provided with an End of Year Level for that particular subject which you can compare to the starting point.
For subjects that are following the KS4 (GCSE) curriculum
For subjects that have started their GCSE course, attainment will be reported as a grade. You will also be provided with a Fischer Family Trust (FFT) target grade. This is a GCSE prediction made from Key Stage 2 results. These predictions take into account the individual subjects and a number of other pupil factors and are provided for the school. The FFT target is the minimum grade that we would expect the pupil to achieve in her GCSE examination in that particular subject.
As the academic year progresses, you would expect the grade to begin to reflect progress.
If the level or grade does not increase during the academic year, it could be that a new or different skill has been introduced and this may be the reason for progress appearing to be static. However, if the level continues to remain static for two reporting periods, it is likely that there may be cause for concern, signalling that further support is required. This may be provided in a number of ways and could be for a short period or longer term depending on the nature of the concern. Examples include:
- pupils requested to attend subject specific support sessions
- pupils required to attend homework club
- pupils assigned extra assistance from a teacher or Sixth Form mentor
- pupils placed on daily monitoring by Senior Tutor/Assistant Senior Tutor