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Train to Teach

Year 7 & 8 Assessment without levels and the New GCSE

There have been many recent changes in Education. One of these is the introduction of a new national curriculum, and the removal of assessment levels at key stage 3. More challenging GCSEs have also been introduced, along with new style A Levels.

The national curriculum focuses on knowledge development, along with the opportunity to study the ‘big ideas’ of a subject in greater depth. The removal of national curriculum levels provides us with an opportunity to highlight specific strengths and areas for development within these ‘big ideas’.

Since the beginning of the Wren School we have developed our thematic curriculum and are developing a workable assessment model to run beside it. This model should is;

  1.  Focussed on the development of the key concepts, knowledge and skills needed for success in Key Stage four
  2. Based on high expectations for all
  3. Adopts a mastery approach to teaching and learning, (often summarised as: “fewer things in greater depth”)
  4. Uses regular assessment and feedback which gives all students the chance to develop a secure understanding of the key ideas in each subject.
  5. Incorporate high quality end of topic assessments that help students develop the skills needed to tackle GCSE examinations

Assessment at KS3

There will be a combination of Assessment for Learning tasks (AFL) and Summative Assessment (Tests).

Assessment is an integral part of the learning progress and AFL will be present in all lessons. Some AFL will take the form of an extended task with the aim of checking progress. Following an AFL assessment teachers will give detailed feedback e.g. WIN marking. Students will be expected to reflect on their performances in the assessment and act on the feedback during lessons completing any written work in purple. In this way students can develop their knowledge, skills and understanding before a summative assessment.

Summative Assessment

Summative Assessments take place at the end of a unit of work to ‘sum up’ what students have learnt through the unit. They are usually longer and more substantial assessments and can take place in the classroom or in the exam hall.  The idea of these is to:

  • Provide a summary of judgement about what has been learned by each student at a specific point in time
  • Show what a student can achieve without support
  • Inform any subsequent intervention activities

Depending on the nature of the subject these will take a variety of forms.

How will summative assessment be graded?

In Year 7 & 8 the following words will be used.

GradeStudent has:
Exceeding+Exceeded a comprehensive understanding of all concepts and skills in this unit of work.
ExceedingUnderstands the main concepts and skills in a unit of work and can apply these to a new concept.
EstablishedHas secure understanding of the main concepts and skills when applied to a familiar context.
DevelopingGrasps some of the main ideas and skills in a unit of work, other require development.
EmergingIn beginning to grasp some of the main ideas and skills in a unit of work.
Under EmergingHas yet to grasp the concept and ideas in this unit of work.


Assessment at KS4

In Year 9, 10 and 11 the values one to nine will be used in line with GCSE grades.

Image result for new grading structure

Students start their GCSE option courses after Easter of Year 9; however, students are graded using the new values from the start of Year 9, so they are able to make informed choices when picking their GCSE options.


Term Dates


Term 3

Mon 4 Jan – Fri 12 Feb

Half term – Mon 15 Feb – Fri 19 Feb

Term 4

Mon 22 Feb – Thu 1st Apr

Easter – Fri 2 Apr – Fri 16 Apr

Inset day – Mon 19 Apr