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Key Stage 4 assessment

Assessment changes at KS4

KS4 is the stage in each child’s education covering Years 10 and 11 in secondary school.

From 2016-17 the majority of GCSEs will have switched over to the new reformed 1 – 9 grading system. In this new system, a 9 is the highest award and a 1 the lowest. The changes made to GCSE's have happened in a bid to make subject content and exams more challenging. Key changes to these new style GCSEs include fewer ‘bite-sized’ questions and more essay-style questions. The content will be more challenging, with more substantial texts in English literature and a number of new topics in maths. Controlled assessment will disappear or play a much smaller role from most subjects, apart from practical ones such as art, dance and drama. There are no direct equivalences between the old letters and the new numbered awards, but what we do know is captured in the ‘key notes’ beneath.

Key Notes

A 'Good Pass' will be a grade 4 – aligned with the old-style top C grade and lower third of grade B.

A 'Strong Pass' will be a grade 5 – aligned with the old-style top C grade and lower third of grade B.

Broadly speaking, the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above.

Broadly speaking, the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as achieve an A and above.

The bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G.

KS4 – Target Setting

Our target setting process in Years 10 and 11 has two components. The first is the school setting of a subject-by-subject Minimum Expected Grade (MEG) at the start of Year 10. This is set using data provided by Fischer Family Trust (FFT).

Quoting from the FFT website:

“FFT is a non-profit company established in 2001 with links to the Fischer Family Trust. We are solely focussed on providing accurate and insightful information to schools which enables pupils to achieve their full potential and schools to improve. We have been processing the National Pupil Database for the DFE since 2004 and providing analyses to all schools and LAs in England and Wales for 15 years.”

The target information supplied by FFT is set at various benchmark levels – we have chosen a benchmark level of “FFT50”, this represents nationally “average” progress (50th percentile) made by similar students last year (similar in terms of their prior attainment, gender and month of birth). From the information provided by FFT, we choose the statistically most probable grade for each student in each subject as their Minimum Expected Grade (MEG).

The second component of our target setting process is to engage each student in setting an individual target for each subject based on the information provided by FFT. We share the probability of achieving each grade for a particular course and ask the student what they would like to set as a personal target. This conversation is based around the effort that they are prepared to put into the course and the statistical likelihood of achieving each grade. This component is the STG (Student Target Grade). There is an opportunity to review the STG at the end of Year 10.

We will communicate progress with reference to the Minimum Expected Grade.