Assessment, Recording & Reporting


There have been many changes made to the way students are assessed and to the way we record and report their progress and achievements. These changes have happened nationally.

Key points are provided below in brief. For full details, please download the complete booklet at the bottom of this page.

We challenge students to stretch themselves, to aim high and be the best that they can possibly be by encouraging them to be responsible, resilient and reflecting on all aspects of their learning.

We need to absorb the many assessment changes imposed by the Government whilst keeping our eye on the ultimate goal that all children at DHFS make the most of their time here.

GCSE 9-1 (Year 10 and 11)

The DfE has decided to change how GCSEs are graded. Rather than an A*-G grade, GCSEs are measured on a 9-1 scale (9 high/1 low).

The first GCSEs to be awarded a 9-1 were English and maths in summer 2017. The majority of other GCSE subjects followed suit in summer 2018.

Life After Levels (Year 7, 8 and 9)

National Curriculum Levels have been removed by the Government and primary and secondary schools are now at liberty to choose the assessment model that best suits them.

Faculties have designed curriculums across all year groups to focus on the ‘Big Ideas’ that students need to understand their subjects and know what they need to improve.

Students receive feedback through marking in books and during lessons on what they need to do to improve, rather than a level or a grade. They then improve their work through our investment in DIRT (Directed Improvement and Reflection Time) which involves the students’ responding in green ink to the teacher’s comment in red.

There are assessments at intervals throughout the year which indicate the progress being made.

Target Setting (Year 7 to 11)

From September 2016, the students have arrived in Year 7 having taken a ‘Secondary Ready Test’ in Year 6 and this data will form the baseline against which progress in secondary school will be measured.

We use CATS (Cognitive Ability Tests) data to set targets. Practical subjects carry out their own internal baseline testing to influence Key Stage 3 targets but will also use the Secondary Ready Test as a baseline at GCSE.

Reporting to Parents (Year 7 to 13)

Our reporting strategy aims to ensure quality information is distributed to parents and students on a regular basis. We always encourage parents to contact the school if they have a concern, rather than waiting for a reporting point.

Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 collections will includes:

  • 9-1 target grades for all subjects based on prior Key Stage 2 performance
  • The 9-1 grade that the student is projected to achieve at the end of the year if their Attitude to Learning and Homework remains at the present level
  • Attitude to Learning (1-4) and Homework (1-4)

Key Stage 3 data collections include an Attitude to Learning (1-4) and Homework (1-4) and an Exceeding, Meeting, Not there Yet, Well below comment.

Mentors will write summative reports focusing on the whole child, their Attitude to Learning, their attendance, contribution to the wider school, as well as the progress they are making.

Parental Consultation Evenings will occur annually, but please contact the school and individual teachers where necessary if there are any concerns.

Attitude to Learning (AtL) (Year 7 to 13)

We have developed our Attitude to Learning and Homework descriptors (1. Outstanding, 2. Good, 3. Requires Improvement, and 4. Inadequate), dividing them into the 3Rs; Responsibility, Resilience and Reflection.

This forms the backbone of why a student is given an ATL grade of 3 or 4, and encourages students to increase their responsibility for their own learning, improve their resilience to bounce back from setbacks, and then fine-tune their ability to reflect on how to improve.

1 Outstanding
Learner habitually:
Prepares effectively for lessons and loves to learn.
Establishes the use and context to them of anything to be learnt.
Makes links with things they have learnt before and things they would like to learn about in the future.
Identifies their own misunderstandings and asks questions or completes activities to help themselves catch up.
Takes responsibility for meeting homework deadlines and completing to best standard.
Takes responsibility for the wellbeing of others.
1 Outstanding
Learner habitually:
Chooses and enjoys high challenge tasks.
Bounces back from setbacks and sees failure as an opportunity for learning.
Persists until the task is completed to the best of their ability.
Directly links their success to their working habits.
Expects the most from themselves and never accepts less than their best.
Understands that success often comes from working smarter, not harder.
Speaks out for the rights of others.
1 Outstanding
Learner habitually:
Actively seeks and acts on feedback from teachers, parents / carers and peers even where this feedback is challenging.
Uses feedback to make immediate improvements.
Edits, checks and redrafts their work, almost always rejecting their first attempt.
Celebrates their own strengths and has plans for areas of improvement.
Reflects on their impact on others.
2 Good
Learner often does the things above but not yet habitually.
2 Good
Learner often does the things above but not yet habitually.
2 Good
Learner often does the things above but not yet habitually.
3 Requires Improvement
Learner is occasionally ‘good’ but too often:
Is improperly prepared for lessons (mentally and/or with respect to equipment).
Is a passive learner allowing teachers and others to ‘spoon feed’ them in the learning process.
Comes up with excuses for underachievement.
Does not support the learning of others and/or does not accept responsibility for others’ wellbeing.
3 Requires Improvement
Learner is occasionally ‘good’ but too often:
Gives up too easily on tasks within their grasp letting themselves or others down.
Does not believe in their own potential.
Thinks that others’ success is down to ability not attitude.
Takes critical feedback personally.
Does not see failure as an opportunity to learn.
3 Requires Improvement
Learner is occasionally ‘good’ but too often:
Fails to actively seek feedback.
Offers limited response to feedback, often ignoring it.
Submits work which suggests they accepted their first attempt without editing / redrafting.
Can make the same mistake too frequently.
May not reflect on their impact on others.
4 Inadequate
Is passive and lets others (teachers, peers / parents / carers) take responsibility for their learning.
Rarely thinks about what / why / how they are learning.
Asks few questions / makes a limited contribution.
Forgets equipment or is often disorganised in their learning.
Affects negatively the learning of others.
Can have little regard for the wellbeing of others.
4 Inadequate
Uses setback or challenges as excuses to give up.
Expects far too little of themselves, showing little or no self belief.
Sees failure as a result of their ability rather than their 3Rs.
Rarely produces work of which they are capable.
Relies too much on teacher, parents or peers for encouragement.
4 Inadequate
Shows a resistance to feedback and rarely attempts to respond appropriately.
Submits work which has clearly not been checked / edited / redrafted by anyone.
Continues to make the same mistakes by ignoring feedback.
Is defensive around feedback.
Often struggles to reflect on their impact on others.

Headline Measures (Year 11 and 13)

The headline measures by which schools are judged in league tables changed in summer 2016.

Key Stage 4 figures:

  • Progress 8: A students’ progress measured across eight subjects. Schools are judged on this figure (rather than the old measures of 5 A*-C GCSE grades with English and maths). A Progress 8 grade of +0.5 indicates that students achieved on average half a GCSE grade more than expected across all eight subjects
  • Attainment 8: A student’s average achievement across the 8 subjects counted in Progress 8.
  • Basics: The percentage of pupils achieving a C grade or better in both GCSE English and maths. This replaces the current 5 A*-C GCSE (including English and maths).
  • EBacc: The percentage of pupils achieving English Baccalaureate (maths, English, two sciences, a language and geography or history).

Key Stage 5 figures:

  • Destinations of the cohort from the previous academic year: What students do when they leave the provider.
  • Retention: The percentage of students who complete their core aim.
  • English and mathematics: showing the progress of those who did not achieve a GCSE pass at Key Stage 4.
  • Progress: The progress students make while at school / college.
  • Attainment: How well students attain on average.

Download the complete booklet

Factsheet: Progress 8 measure

Scroll to top