You will perhaps be aware that National Curriculum levels have now gone (Years 2 and 6 are the last year groups to do SATs in May 2015) and that, as yet, no centralised assessment system has been designed by the Department for Education for schools to use.
As a result, schools are designing their own assessment criteria, mindful of the new GCSE assessment structure. This will be a numbered structure (unrelated to SATs levels) going from 1 to 9, with 9 being the equivalent of A**. The change to a numbered system will start in 2017, which will mean this year’s Year 9 will be the first group to start the new style GCSEs in 2015. At RPA, we are working through our discussions about what we will be doing. We want to be careful to ensure continuity and clarity and, equally, we are aware that the government could decide that they do want a specific assessment system and so render invalid work already done by individual schools. Our discussions have been helped by the AET whose English and maths consultants have put together what looks like a very good package. With all these factors in mind, we have decided to start our new assessment system, based on numbers, with Year 7 as of their mid-year exams in November. We will then be asking Year 7 parents/carers for feedback before rolling out the system across Key Stage 3. Key Stage 4 will continue to have lettered GCSE grades until after 2017.
For this October half term, our grading is as follows: