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Assessment and parents evenings

posted 23 Oct 2014, 01:38 by Phil Broughton   [ updated 24 Oct 2014, 01:36 ]
I am writing in regard to the mid term report grades you will have received. Before explaining what each year group’s data is based upon, I felt a little background might be helpful first.

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:
  • Year 7 Effort grade only
  • Years 8 & 9 Effort and NC Level
  • Year 10 Prediction based on current output of work
  • Year 11 Two grades: (i) what they would get if they sat GCSE now; (ii) predicted grade, based on current progress, attitude and understanding
In addition, we would like to remind parents/carers that some parents’ evenings are coming up this term. We have added a shorter Year 7 evening to allow parents an update on progress so far; a second Year 7 parents’ evening will take place on Tuesday 2 December between 4.00pm and 6.00pm.
  • Year 7* - Tuesday 2 December 4.00pm - 6.00pm
  • Year 12 - Tuesday 4 November 4.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Year 10 - Thursday 11 December 4.00pm - 7.00pm
*Year 7 parents, please keep a look out for information about this evening which is likely to be very busy. We are developing ideas to ensure parents can see as many teachers as possible (it is unlikely you will be able to see all your child’s teachers in one evening, since some teachers teach 60 Year 7s).

Kind regards,

Lesley Kirby