Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Assessment

All students in the academy are assessed regularly, with a formal assessment at least once per term. These tests aim to develop students' exam technique and enable them to demonstrate depth of knowledge, critical thought and, for many subjects, their practical skills.

In order to keep you informed about your son’s/ward's progress, we will report back to you at three points during the academic year - one report for every term. These reports will summarise the academic (based on the termly assessments) and non-academic progress your son has made. Download a letter to parents explaining how we set targets.

What a report looks like

You can download an annotated version of a sample Year 7 report (pictured below) which highlights the key elements.

Year 7 sample report 24.3.16

The report has seven main components:

(a)    The first is the literacy scores your son has achieved against four key literacy criteria, on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being ‘outstanding’ and 1 being ‘cause for concern.’  This is then presented as an overall literacy score out of 16.

(b)    The second is the ‘Attitude to Learning’ score which reflects the commitment, resilience, optimism, reflectiveness, resourcefulness, reciprocity towards their own learning.

(c)   The third element is an attendance and punctuality summary. The goal for 2015-16 is that every student achieves at least 98% attendance and is always punctual.

(d)   The fourth element is a summary of Harris points which reflects the points accrued in the full array of positive student actions including gentlemanly behaviour, bringing the right equipment to every lesson, and showing a thirst for learning.

(e)     The fifth element is a summary of the behaviour points accrued, a summary of sanctions your son has received and the boundary that they are within – which summarises the support they are receiving to correct any unacceptable behaviour.

(f)    The sixth element is your son’s academic progress which is presented differently dependent on the year group they are in:

For Y7, Y8, Y9 and the 'new GCSEs' in Y10 and Y11 their progress is presented as a test % which converts into a ‘most likely grade’ (MLG) which is based purely on the test % (NOTE: the grade boundaries will vary from subject to subject and from one assessment to the next dependent on the course). This is then compared to their target grade (which is formulated from their KS2 level – and the expectation that they will make one grade progress above the national average) and the minimum attainment baseline which stems from the data published by the Department for Education (DfE) for the pupils to make the average (or average expected) progress. On reports, pupils have a progress status that is made against the DfE data. If their progress status is above 0, that means they are making progress above what would be expected, which is good. If their progress status is +0.29 and above, their progress is much higher than the national average which is outstanding. The teacher also records a ‘Teacher Most Likely Grade’ (TMLG) which is a prediction of the grade the teacher believes the student is likely to achieve at the end of Y11 based upon their assessments, classwork and homework. The grades for these students on their courses will be presented as letters and/or numbers dependent upon their year group and course due to them taking the ‘new’ GCSEs. There will also be pass, merit and distinction grades for our approved vocational courses.

For 'old GCSEs', which are mainly in Y10 and Y11, their progress is presented as a fine test grade (e.g. Autumn 1 grade ‘A-‘) which is based purely on the test % (NOTE: the grade boundaries will vary from subject to subject and from one assessment to the next, based on our analysis of previous grade boundaries for the courses). There will also be pass, merit and distinction grades for our approved vocational courses. The teacher also records a ‘Teacher Most Likely Grade’ (TMLG) which is a prediction of the grade the teacher believes the student is likely to achieve at the end of Y11 based upon their assessments, classwork and homework. The Department for Education (DfE) publishes data which illustrates what grades need to be achieved for pupils to make the average (or average expected) progress. On reports, pupils have a progress status that is made against the DfE data. If their progress status is above 0, that means they are making progress above what would be expected, which is good. If their progress status is +0.29 and above, their progress is much higher than the national average which is outstanding.

(g) The final element is a teacher comment which will provide a target for improvement. Each student will receive at least one target from each subject once per academic year.


What grade should my son be achieving?

The minimum expected grade is complicated as it is based on the actual marks in KS2 tests (or CATs tests for pupils who did not sit KS2 test) rather than the levels. The table below is a sample of a previous version of the DfE progress expected for pupils to be in line with the national average. Our target grades are based on the latest DfE tables, with the target being formulated by our expectation that pupils can achieve one grade higher than the national average. 

Revised image 19.10.20

The graph below summarises how the minimum expectations are set for students.  This is based on a national formula provided by the Department for Education and is updated every December.  With the large number of changes occurring in schools, these figures may be subject to change.

Assessment image 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DfE progress data 2 23.11.15


Changes for the 2016-17 Academic Year

The report format for this academic year varies for year groups in light of changes to the curriculum, exam system and accountability measures that have been announced by the government. Although the changes began to take effect effect from September 2015, our reports reflect these changes now so that you and your son become familiar with the new grading systems if it applies to their particular year group. 

For more details about these changes, please see our exams section.

For a more in depth explanation of our assessment policy, you can download our assessment policy from our teaching and learning page. The appendices within the policy summarise the topics students will be assessed on every half term. As this is the second year of our new assessment regime, this policy will be updated regularly as we continue to embed, evaluate and improve the new system.


Our assessment and grading systems explained

Due to the changes in GCSE specifications we have adapted our assessments and grading systems so that they adhere to the new specification requirements. We have worked with the Harris Federation and, having consulted exam boards, we are moving towards a model where all of our termly assessments are externally set, standardised and graded. The table below summarises the externally set and graded assessments currently. See below for an explanation of the table.

Subject Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Art Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid HBAED HBAED
Business      HBAED HBAED HBAED
Computing and ICT HBAED HBAED HBAED HBAED HBAED
Dance Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid HBAED
Drama Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid HBAED
DT HBAED HBAED HBAED HBAED HBAED
English Language HF HF HF HF HF
English Literature HF HF HF HF HF
French         HBAED
Geography HF HF HF HF HBAED
History HF HF HF HF HBAED
Hospitality and Catering HBAED HBAED HBAED HBAED HBAED
Mathematics HF HF HF HF HF
Media     HBAED HBAED HBAED
Music Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid HBAED
Physical Education Hybrid Hybrid HBAED HBAED HBAED
Religious Studies HF HF HF HF HBAED
Science HF HF HF HF HBAED
Additional Science  HF HF HF HF HBAED
Further Additional Science  HF HF HF HF HBAED
Spanish HF HF HF HF HBAED
Travel & Tourism     HBAED HBAED HBAED
Citizenship     HBAED HBAED HBAED

All assessments marked 'HF' in the table above are set by specialist consultants from the Harris Federation and will be unseen by teachers at our academy. Pupils work on a scheme of work that has been specially adapted for the year group and develops the knowledge and skills over time to best prepare them for their terminal assessments in Y11. The % scores for each externally set exam are then standardised and grade boundaries created for each % based on a model which has been developed in consultation with exam boards. This means the grade is an accurate prediction of what the pupil is likely to achieve as the model distributes grades against a national model.

All assessments for years 10 and 11 marked ‘HBAED’ in the table above are past papers from exam boards (or section of papers). The grade boundaries that these are based on are taken from the exam board and converted into grade 1-9 using the Ofqual conversion % guidance. Each GCSE subject therefore has its own tailored grade boundaries which takes into account the trends within the course and national changes.

All assessments marked ‘HBAED’ in other year groups are set by the Director for the subject and for the Spring and Summer exams are verified by the senior leadership team as a quality assurance process. The grade boundaries for these are also based on national grade boundaries (as in years 10 and 11).

Assessments marked ‘Hybrid’ are those that cover our practical courses. These use Assessment Objective criteria set externally by Harris Federation consultants and lead teachers. Pupils need to demonstrate the skills within this criteria to achieve the Assessment Objective. These assessment objectives are than converted into a % which will equate to a grade either set by the Harris Federation grading standardisation process (as with nearly all new GCSEs) or converted against the subject and exam board grade boundaries (as with ‘HBAED’ Y10 and Y11 assessments). 


Defining low, middle and high attainers

Key Stage 4 Performance Tables

Definitions are based on the Key Stage 2 test results attained by pupils on completion of the primary school phase:

  • Low attaining = those below Level 4 in the KS2 tests
  • Middle attaining = those at Level 4 in the KS2 tests
  • High attaining = those above Level 4 in the KS2 tests

Key Stage 2 results used to calculate prior attainment

From 2017 onwards, reading and mathematics test results only will be used in calculating Key Stage 2 prior attainment fine levels for use in Progress 8. For 2016 and for 2015 for schools opting in early to Progress 8, overall English and mathematics Key Stage 2 test results will be used to calculate prior attainment. This is summarised in the table below.

Progress 8 measure by year

 

 

KS4 Cohort

KS2 Cohort

KS2 tests used in calculating prior attainment fine level bands

2015

2010

English and mathematics

2016

2011

English and mathematics

2017

2012

Reading and mathematics

2018

2013

Reading and mathematics

For the Key Stage 4 tables, where we are looking at Key Stage 2 prior attainment, we calculate the pupil’s average points score and classify those with a points score of less than 24 as low; those between 24 and 29.99 as middle, and those with 30 or more as high attaining.

Where teacher assessment is used as a proxy for test results, we take the whole level and allocate the appropriate points relating to the mid-range of the level.