Understanding your child’s assessments at Key Stage 3
Firstly, there are a few points you may need to know about levels before interpretting your child’s assessment. Please click here in order read my key points about levels, and then come back and let’s go over a sample assessment.
Next, there are a few points you may need to know about how we create targets before interpreting your child’s assessment. Please click here in order to read my key points about how we set targets, and then come back and let’s go over a sample assessment.
Progress towards target
Now that we are sure about levels, and we know where the targets have come from, we can look at the column ‘progess against target’. These grades are recorded by the teacher and indicate whether the teacher feels that the child is on course to meet their target. A progress grade of 1 means the teacher feels they might even exceed their target – many students do and we like to celebrate this. A progress grade of 2 means the teacher feels they are on course to meet their target. A progress grade of 3 means the teacher feels they might just fall short of their target a little, we say by two sub levels. And a progress grade of 4 means the teacher feels the child may miss the target level by a whole level or more.
Effort/Organisation/Attitude and Behaviour
Teachers record a 1 against these areas if the child is doing exceptionally well. A grade of 2 means good. A grade of 3 means the child is inconsistent in these areas – so some lessons puts in good effort and behaves very well, but on others he/she does not. A grade of 4 is very serious and means the child is consistently poor in those areas.
Reading a sample assessment
Now we are ready to look at a sample Year 7 assessment and see what it means:-
- This child’s targets are mostly 6s. Given that this child is in year 7, and level 5-6 is the expected average at the end of year 9, this is an academically able child.
- The fact that the targets vary in differnt subjects does NOT mean the child is better or worse in those subjects compared to other students. The different levels reflects the different national average levels.
- In most subjects this child has a progress grade of 2, meaning the teacher feels they are on course to meet this high targets – i.e. progressing as well as similar children from the top 25% of schools.
- in Spanish and French the teacher feels they might not quite meet this level. If the child has not studied these languages much before secondary school, then it is understandable that the teacher feels targets that have come from the average calculation might not be reached. It is not a great cause for concern at this stage, although as the child moves up the school we would expect that prior experience counts for less and targets should be met. Note that the child has still been given a 2 (good) for effort, organisation and attitude & behavour, so their slightly disappointing progress mark has not come about through not trying or being silly.
- In music the teacher also feels that the child might not quite meet his/her target. Music (as well as art and drama, though not noted in this child’s assessment) are subjects where a particular gift or lack of one can create a discrepency between a childs performance and targets that are generated from average year 6 levels in the core academic subjects. Note that the child has been given a 1 (excellent) grade for effort, organisation and attitude & behaviour in music, so the slightly disappointing progress is certainly nothing to do with not trying hard. Nevertheless, it is true that this child is not performing as well in music as other children who had the same high average year 6 levels in the core academic subjects. We would not review the child’s target down because this is the benchmark against which we are all measured.
- In PE we set targets from our own system. They have resulted in a target for this child which the teacher has reported that the child is likely to exceed. We normally like to celebrate all our students who exceed targets. Many do.
- Across all subjects the child has been given 1s (excellent) and 2s (good) for effort, organisation and attitude & behaviour. So this is a child trying very hard in all areas, against targets that are aspirationally high and not quite all being met yet.