Whichever primary school your child has joined us from you are likely to find that assessment and reporting here at Thomas Gainsborough School is different, but highly effective in supporting student progress.
We are clearly focussed on giving you access to rich, regular and personalised infromation to help you support your child's learning. We do this through a wide range of activities, tools and people, each of which are detailed on our Assessment & Reporting Overview page.
In addition to our usual reporting activitie we also use time in Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) to help establish students' own responsibility for their learning, strong relationships between tutors and families, and a confidence to perform well in public examinations.
Targets at Key Stage 3
Student targets are confirmed at the start of Year 7, and reviewed each September. They are targets for a level of attainment, measured in GCSE grades to be reached by the end of Year 9.
We set Key Stage targets to help students develop the ability to work towards long term goals. We use GCSE grades to help students develop an awareness of how their work relates to particularly levels of performance.
The targets set for students in Year 7, and the likely level of future performance for students attaining these grades is most simply shown in this table.
For example, students aiming for a grade of 5+ at the end of Year 9 are on course to achieve a grade of 7+ at the end of Year 11.
Students aiming for a grade 4 at the end of Year 9 are on course for at least a grade 6 at the end of Year 11.
These targets are a minimum, and through consistently well focussed efforts can be exceeded by students.
The students are based on historic results for students of a similar age and prior attainment, and then reviewed using more recent assessments and teacher judgement.
We are always happy to discuss whether the targets provided remain appropriate for your child and do not put any limit on their aspiration.
This second table shows more complete information where we have previously provided slightly broader target ranges for students now in Years 8, 9 and 11.
Changes to Key Stage 4 Qualifications
The first reformed GCSE qualifications in English and Mathematics were first sat in summer 2017. All courses, assessed at the end of Year 11, will have been reformed by summer 2019.Key features of reformed GCSEs are that almost all content is assessed in summer at the end of Year 11 through longer written exams, with a clearer focus on remembering key knowledge.
The grading system has also changed from grades A* to G to a system of grades from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest level of performance.
A grade 4 is considered as a Level 2 pass and desirable for all students to achieve. Students not reaching grade 4 in English or Maths at age 16 will continue to study those subjects alongside their chosen qualifications up to age 18.
Similarly vocational courses such as BTECs, Tech Awards and Cambridge Nationals, now also include a substantial amount of external assessment through exams, either online or written.
More information on the changes to GCSEs is in the Ofqual summary in the resources section of this page.
Examinations in Key Stage 3
To measure students progress towards their targets, to help plan the next steps in their learning and to increase their confidence in completing exams we have formal exams at the end of each year. These are usually sat in the sports hall at exam desks with invigilators present. We use carefully written papers which assess content and skills taught during the year in the style of the GCSE exams they will sit at the end of Year 11.
We are improving the communication of outcomes of these exams by providing more information in the end of year report.
These exams also help inform any changes to sets made in the following academic year.
Dates of these exams are published at the start of each year in the Parents Calendar on the school website at www.tgschool.net/calendar
From October of each year, we also provide a security judgement as to how confident we are, based on recent work and assessments, that the student is going to reach their target at the end of Year 9.
|Extending||Working very well, towards or beyond the top of the target grade or band|
|Secure||Working well, likely to reach the target grade/band|
|At Risk||A change or support needed, at risk of not reaching the target grade|
These judgements represent a range of information. They are supported by assessment information on Go4Schools, feedback in exercise books and other marked work.
If a student is described as at risk, then this may indicate that either a change to their approach or level of support is required. it is often best addressed by discussing with your child what recent fedback they have received and how they are repsonding to it. students are supported by tutors in setting weekly priorities, communicating with their teachers and closely monitoring their progress in that subject until the next progress check.
Secure and extending approaches are a positive reflection of the progress being made towards targets.
GL Progress Tests in English, Maths and Science
To help us check that students progress continues to place them in the highest 20% of their age group nationally we also use national, externally marked, standardised tests in English, maths and science. These provide valuable information to inform teaching and a guide to likely future achievement for students. They are completed in classrooms during lesson time at the start of Year 7, and at the end of Year 7, 8 and 9.
Introduction to Assessment and Reporting
We also provide an annual presentation and Question and Answer session to parents about our reporting systems. This will take place during the first subject surgery of the year on Wednesday 16 October.
Progress from previous years and in subject groups
In our first target setting report of the year we also share a summary of progress made in the previous year. Because of our various pathways and subject groupings such as humanities and languages sometimes comparable infrormation is not available across year groups. To find out more detail and a summary of the previous year's reports there are links to subject marksheets and previous academic years in Go4Schools.