Assessment in Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 Assessment & Reporting
From the academic year 2019 / 20, Kingsmead School has started to report Year 7, 8 and 9 students’ assessment results as percentage scores, in their progress reports.
Why percentage scores?
Within education, a national debate is currently taking place over the use of GCSE grades, and particularly grade flightpaths, in Years 7, 8 and 9. The Department for Education and Ofsted advise that schools should not report grades for these students, but they do not recommended an alternative.
The debate has also taken place in Kingsmead and it was clear from the parental feedback we received that there was appetite for change. With this in mind, Kingsmead School developed a new assessment and reporting system for use with Years 7, 8 and 9, which does not use GCSE grades or flightpaths.
Percentage scores explained
Because we want to report something more meaningful than a label and easier to understand than ‘flightpaths’, Kingsmead School reports the average percentage scores that Year 7, 8 and 9 students achieve in their class assessments.
Students are assessed at least once per teaching cycle in each subject, enabling a percentage score to be reported for each subject, in every progress report. The progress report includes an ‘Expected Score Check’ column, which will confirm whether the student’s score is:
Above expected (above the expected score)
Met expected (meeting the expected score)
Below expected (below the expected score)
*Some students may be ‘Well below …’ or ‘Well above …’ in a subject.
The progress of students is not measured against a ‘target’ percentage score, set in September. Instead, student progress is measured by comparing each student’s individual percentage score to the average score of a group of students. These groups (of approximately twenty-five students) will be different to the classes that students are taught in. Instead, they are based on the students Year 6 SATS results (so students with similar results/starting points are grouped together).
If the student’s current percentage score is neither significantly above nor below their group’s average score, their score is reported as having ‘Met (the) expected’, as they are working approximately at the average level of their peers.
If the student’s current percentage score is significantly above their group’s average score, the student’s progress is reported as being ‘Above expected’ (or ‘Well above expected’ if the difference is great enough). This means that the student is working significantly above the average level of their peers.
Conversely, if the student’s current percentage score is significantly below their group’s average score, the student’s progress is reported as being ‘Below expected, (or ‘Well below expected’ if the difference is great enough). This means that the student is working significantly below the average level of their peers.
The significance of the difference between a student’s percentage score and the expected / average score for their group, is determined using standard deviation.
If a student’s percentage score is significantly below the average for their group, their class teachers will intervene with them, to help them close the gap with their peers. Evidence of these interventions can be found in student’s exercise books (usually as personal learning checklists, or pink PLCs).
The example of a student’s progress report (below) shows both the expected (group average) percentage scores, the student’s own current percentage scores, as well as the ‘Expected Score Check’ column.
Please note, percentage scores achieved in different subjects are not comparable and a seemingly low percentage score does not mean that your child is not performing well, it instead reflects the difficulty and rigour of the subject’s assessments.
An important reason why Kingsmead School decided not to use percentage score ‘targets’ with years 7 to 9, is that we do not want to create artificial barriers or ceilings for the progress of our students. Many Kingsmead teachers have observed that younger students who meet their expected grades early in the school year, begin to ‘switch off’ and become more difficult to motivate as the year progresses. This means that they will have made less progress by the end of the school year, than if they had not had an expected grade. Similarly, some younger students have become very demotivated when they have failed to meet a very challenging expected grade in the autumn term and do not make the progress they are capable of by the end of the year either.
Without percentage score ‘targets’, we believe that students will be motivated to do their best in every assessment and make the progress they are truly capable of.