A Parents’ Guide to Assessment and Reporting changes at Blessed Trinity  

There have been some key changes in Education over the last few years such as: the reform of the GCSEs; a new curriculum in Key Stages 1 to 3, and the removal of fully embedded levelling systems and descriptors. 

The following information will explain how Blessed Trinity will be working to address the challenge of these changes.

 

What are the main changes to GCSEs?

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• GCSE qualifications will be linear, with examinations at the end of the course

• The content will be more demanding

• Non-exam assessment will be removed or reduced in the majority of GCSEs

• The new GCSEs will be assessed with grade 1 to 9

 

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The timescale for GCSE changes

Reformed GCSEs will be introduced gradually over three years from September 2015. They will be graded from 9 to 1, instead of A* to G. Students taking GCSEs over this period will therefore receive a mixture of 9 to 1 and A* to G grades.

What are the main changes in Years 7 to 9?

• The curriculum at Key Stage 3 (as well as in Key Stage 1 and 2) has also been made more demanding
• National Curriculum levels have been removed as the method for assessing pupil progress in Key Stages 1 to 3

 

Why remove National Curriculum levels?

When the Government launched a new curriculum, they also asked an ‘Expert Panel’ to review the national assessment strategies and procedures of schools. As a consequence of their findings, the Government has removed level descriptors.

Here is a summary of the main findings of the panel, chaired by Tim Oates.

• Levels resulted in children label-ling themselves.

• Levels created an ‘undue pace’—focus was on getting children to move quickly through levels, whereas the focus should be on ensuring children have achieved deep understanding

• Levels are an odd idea—a child overall can average out at a level, so validity is low.

• Levels can convey the wrong idea of ability.

The core principle shared by the Expert Panel was namely: ‘Fewer things in greater depth’, rather than moving through the levels at pace.  Therefore, schools have been tasked with creating depth within their curriculum offer in all subjects.

If you would like further information on the Government expert panel please watch this video online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q5vrBXFpm0

 

The Blessed Trinity Way to assessing your child

Tracking your child’s progress throughout their time at school and intervening when appropriate remain core principles for ensuring that each pupil meets their full academic potential at Blessed Trinity. What we are changing is the measure we use to monitor your child’s progress and attainment.

• When a pupil arrives at Blessed Trinity we will use the information received from KS2 results to set subject targets based on grades 1 through to 9. 

• So throughout their time at Blessed Trinity pupils, parents and teachers will be able to see clearly the progress being made towards a final GCSE grade

• In years 7 to 9 your child will aim to reach an end of year target grade

• At the start of Year 10 they will focus on their final GCSE grade

Progress between grades requires a new depth and breadth of understanding and to reflect this we have broken these numerical grades down in to 3 steps, for example:

4:1– Pupil has mastered the knowledge and understanding at grade

4 4:2– Pupil is secure in the knowledge and understanding at grade

4 4:3 - Pupil is still developing their knowledge and understanding at grade 4

We will also publish information comparing your child to National standards.  

 

Of course as with any significant changes there has to be some degree of flexibility therefore we will constantly review our model to ensure your child makes progress, however currently we believe these adaptations will allow us to further develop the three core values of successful assessment:

1. All teachers being aware of individual pupil skills and understanding.

2. Expert staff knowledge of where these skills fit in to the new grading criteria.

3. Fundamentally knowing how to ensure pupils make the correct progress through outstanding teaching and intervention.

 

 

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Click here to access the PDF Document

 

 

 

 

 

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