Reporting and Assessment

Understanding The New Grades used in Key stages 3 and 4 at The John Roan School


When the most recent KS3 National Curriculum was published it did not have any set level descriptors as the government wanted schools to be free to use their own assessment frameworks. In common with a majority of schools, The John Roan decided to carry on using levels for the time-being whilst developing a new system.

At Key Stage 4 GCSE grades are also changing. The current A*-G grades will be replaced with numbers 9-1 starting from Summer 2017.

The New Student Assessment and Monitoring System at The John Roan School

In common with other schools across the country we are in the process of devising a new system for tracking student performance across the school. This is necessary due to the withdrawal of national curriculum levels and the implementation of a new GCSE grading system across the country.
Grade Scheme
For all classes in Key Stage 3, the following grading system (from 1 to 9) is used to assign target and attainment grades in all subjects.

Grades 1 to 9

This 1 to 9 scale is similar to the new 1 to 9 GCSE grading system that is now being introduced across all subjects.

Target Grade

Targets reflect, as accurately a possible, the GCSE result that a student is capable of achieving at the end of Year 11; based on his/her ability and not their attitude to learning. Targets are checked at the beginning of each academic year. targets will be reviewed periodically and could be changed during a student’s time at The John Roan.

Attainment Grade

Attainment grades are given by teachers in each subject to reflect a student’s achievement to date and is based on a wide range of assessments, tests results, verbal understanding, practical ability, homework, etc.

How is the data used to improve performance?

As we collect data on each student every term it is possible to see how a student is performing over time. Current attainment grades can be compared with previous grades to see if performance has improved or declined.
By comparing attainment grades with target grades it is possible to identify students who are underachieving within a subject or across a number of subjects. Where the attainment grade is more than one grade away from their target grade this is indicated by a difference of +1 or -1. Where the attainment grade is more than 1 grade above the target grade, students will be rewarded by subject departments. Where the attainment grade is more than 1 grade below the target grade subject departments may decide to intervene to provide extra help or closely monitor the work of the student to ensure an improvement is made before the next assessment.
If a student underachieves in a number of subject areas, the Head of Year will monitor progress until the next assessment period. Similarly, the school as whole will monitor progress of all students across the full range of subjects and year groups.
This new assessment system is still in the development stage. Consequently, it will be refined and improved over time.

New Grades and the National Picture

The New grades were first used to grade GCSE English and Mathematics in the Summer of 2017. In 2018 a majority of subjects will be graded using the new system. From 2019 onwards all subjects will be graded using the new system. Please see the document below from the Department for Education.


Page Downloads Date  
DfE Fact Sheet 26th Sep 2017 Download

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