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Assessment at The Wren School

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’.

Assessment at Key Stage 3

Each year group has 3 assessment points throughout the year when parents/carers and students will receive their current attainment and effort grades.

Attainment at KS3 is based upon bands. Students are placed into bands in relation to their Key Stage 2 data (scale scores), and where appropriate, CATs data. The bands are:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Higher
  • Advanced

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, in the exam hall or in exceptional circumstance at home with online support.

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.

Assessment at Key Stage 4

Students work will be assed in a similar was to KS3 with a mixture of formative and summative assessments. This enables staff to monitor progress and asses how well students are learning. With the new GCSE course there is a lot of content to be learn and it is important that students are able to apply what they have leant over the whole course and are able to recall facts that they learnt at the start of the course in their final exams.

How will summative assessment be graded?

In Year 7, 8 & 9 students are told weather they are working below, on or above expectation. For each individual prior attainment data is used to establish their expected level in each subject.

In Years 10 and 11 the values one to nine will be used in line with GCSE grades Cambridge National scale depending on the course.

Old Grading system New GCSE grades Cambridge National grade Point score equivalent




Level 2 Distinction *

Level 2 Distinction


Level 2 Merit

Level 2 Pass

Level 1 Distinction

Level 1 Merit

Level 1 Pass

8 8.5
7 7



5         Good Pass 5
4         Pass 4




3 3
2 2
1 1.25
U U U  

Students do not start their GCSE option courses until Easter of Year 9 however students are graded using the new values so they are able to make informed choices when picking their GCSEs.

Assessment at Key Stage 5

Each year group has 6 assessment points throughout the 2 years of study when parents/carers and students will receive their current attainment and effort grades.

Attainment at KS5 is based upon A Level grades A* – E. Data is used from students GCSE results to determine their target for their A Level subjects. The reports home are based on their ‘Most Likely Outcome’ , the grade staff think they are most likely to achieve if they work at the same effort grade throughout their study.

At KS5 students will be assessed against a range of activities throughout their learning which will all contribute to their overall attainment. These include:

  • End of unit assessments
  • Practice exam questions
  • In class activities/work, including within practical subjects
  • Verbal contributions, through questioning

Each term students will have at least one piece of WIN marked work, see the Learning & Teaching policy for full details on our Marking and Feedback Guidance.

How are grades reported home?

After each data drop report cards are emailed home. They have two sections: the first is the pastoral report where students’ attendance and punctuality can be seen. The second section is the attainment where teachers are asked to award two grades, one based on attainment and the other on effort.

The attainment grade is awarded by the teacher and takes the form of a word at KS3 and a number from KS4 these can be seen on the previous page.

At Key stage 4 there is also a letter with each values indicating how secure the grade:

a – very secure

b – Secure

c – just achieved this grade

These sub grades help track the progress of students.

During the key stage 4 & 5 course staff are also asked for a most likely outcome (MLO) this is the grade the student would reach is they continued to work as they are. Essentially a GCSE / BETEC / A ‘level prediction.

Effort grades establish if students are ready to learn when they enter the room and if they are prepared for their lessons. Are they actively engaged in learning, listening and following instructions? Do they ask appropriate questions and challenge themselves? Do they have the correct equipment? Have they completed and handed in their extended learning on time? They are graded on the following scale:

  1. Excellent – student applies them self to the highest standard in and out of the classroom and ensures all work is the highest quality. Student contributes often to discussion, supports other learners and shows a love of the subject.
  2. Good – Student applies them self to a good standard and completes all work set, in and out the classroom and it is clear the work is well thought out. Student often contributes to discussion. There is a sense of enjoyment in their learning.
  3. Acceptable – Student applies them self in class and meets most of the set work, in and out, the classroom, to a reasonable standard and does what is asked of them. Student will contribute to discussion, but could do so more often.
  4. Inconsistent – Student applies them self in a variable manner, sometimes work is good and other times it does not meet expectation. Student will contribute to discussion if asked but rarely offers responses freely.
  5. Poor – Student applies them self in a manner which is below expectation. Work set in and out of class is below expectations or lacks the effort expected. Student rarely contributes to lessons and does not show a great deal of interest in his learning.

How do you know if students are making progress?

When students arrive at The Wren School they are given target grades these are based on their Key Stage 2 results and CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests). These targets are reviewed at regular intervals.

During KS3 at each assessment point in the year students will be informed if they are

1) Above track, 2) On track, 3) Below track in relation to their band.

At KS4 students are told their MLO and can compare this to their target to establish if they are on track.

How targets are set

We use the prior attainment of students (their CAT scores as base line testing and consider their Key Stage 2 scores) to band each learner in the year onto one of the categories (see the table below).

Prior Attainment Band Typical KS2 average Scaled Score Typical CAT D Scores GCSE old grades GCSE New Grades
Advances learner >110 >112 A/A* 7/8/9
Higher learner 102 – 109 89 – 112 C/B


Intermediate learner 95-101 81 -90 E/D/C


Foundation Learner <94 < 81 F/G 1/2

As with all target setting methods, prior attainment guides the expected outcome, so a Higher learner would be expected to achieve a higher grade at GCSE level than a Foundation Learner. However, we would expect them to make a similar amount of progress from their starting points. Of course, learners can always (and are encouraged to) exceed their targets.

Term Dates


Term 3

Inset day – Tue 4 Jan 2022

Wed 5 Jan – Fri 18 Feb

Half term – Mon 21 Feb – Fri 25 Feb

Term 4

Mon 28 Feb – Fri 8 Apr

Easter holidays – Mon 11 Apr – Fri 22 Apr