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Guide To Levels (Year 9)

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How is attainment at KS3 measured?

During Year 9 we will continue to make use of the National Curriculum levels to measure the attainment of all pupils across the curriculum, wih the exception of Science. Here the grade that students have been given is a 'new style' GCSE grade. For example a grade 6a means that your daughter is judged to be achieving the top of Grade 6 and a 6c the bottom of Grade 6. Please click here to luanch a pdf guide to how the new GCSE grades work in relation to the old grades. Prior to the changes that have impacted on year 7 and 8, the National Curriculum was accompanied by a series of eight levels with which most parents will be familiar from their daughter's primary school reports. These are still used to measure your child's progress in year 9 and are compared to pupils of the same age across the country on a scale from 1 to 8. The vast majority of pupils arrive at BSG with a level 5 in core subjects (compared with a national expectation of level 4).

On my daughter's report there is a letter next to the level. What does this mean?

Each level is quite broad so each one is divided into three sub levels, e.g. 5a, 5b, 5c.
Essentially these can be defined as follows:

cyour daughter has started to work at the level
b - working well within the level
ayour daughter has reached the top of the level and is working towards the next level

Should my child go up a level each time I get a report?

Not all pupils progress at the same rate, nor do they progress evenly. You may find that your daughter remains at the same level between two sets of reports for some subjects or they might progress only one sub level.

Pupils are expected to make 2 sub-levels of progress in one academic year as illustrated below:

Autumn Progress Check Spring Progress Check Summer Progress Check
5a 6c 6b

Why is my daughter's attainment in some subjects so much lower than in others?

Your daughter will not have studied some subjects e.g. French and German for as long as others such as Science and, consequently, her attainment will be lower.

How are my daughter's targets calculated?

Our tracking system at BSG involves providing pupils with an end of year target in each subject which we intend to be both challenging and achievable. Your daughter's subject teachers will use available data such as KS2 results in core subjects and the results of internal assessments to determine an appropriate target level. These targets are not fixed and can be revised (usually upwards) at any time.

In subjects for which there is no prior assessment data (for example, drama and art in Year 7 and German in Year 8), a 'generic' target may initially be set for the whole year group. This will then be 'individualised' once subject teachers have had time to carry out assessments. In practice, this means that you may find your daughter's target has changed between the autumn and spring progress checks.

How does my daughter's attainment compare with other pupils in the school?

We try to focus on individual progress rather than compare pupils directly with each other. It should be remembered that all pupils at BSG are towards the top of the national ability range. However, the table below indicates the ranges of NC levels that were awarded in 2014-15.

Subject Range of National Curriculum levels awarded
Year 8 Year 9
Art 4b-7c 5b-8b
Drama 4a-6c 5b-6c
English 6c-7a 6c-8a
Geography 5a-7b 5a-8b
History 6c-7c 6a-8b
ICT 5c-7a n/a
French 4b-6c 4a-8a
German 4a-5a 5a-7a
Maths 6c-7a 6a-8b
Music 5c-6a 5b-7c
PE 4c-7c 5a-8c
RS 4a-6a 5c-7a
Science 5c-7c 5b-8a
Technology 4b-7c 6c-7a

For more guidance on how we assess students in years 7 and 8, click here