As you may be aware, new GCSEs introduced by the government were sat in all schools across the country for the first time in the summer of 2017. The new GCSEs are graded on a scale from 1-9: grade 9 being the highest, grade 1 being the lowest.
This new system was phased in with English and maths and included all other subjects in the summer of 2018.
For now, the BTEC courses will continue to be graded using Pass, Merit and Distinction, although this may change to come in line with the 1-9 system.
|New GCSE Grades||Legacy GCSE Grades|
A grade 4 is a standard pass and a grade 5 is a good pass
In Year 7, our pupils arrived with a score or a level that gave us an indication of the progress they made in primary school. This score/level allows us to predict the minimum grade that each pupil should achieve in their GCSEs. Based on this information, all pupils have been set a minimum target that we expect them to reach at the end of this year and an aspirational target that we encourage them to strive towards.
The targets are designed to challenge each pupil to reach their full potential and to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve the very best grade they can at GCSE. It is possible that some pupils will achieve beyond their expected grade. These high aspirations and drive for success are something that we encourage at Castleford Academy and as a result, the targets will be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure each pupil achieves their full potential.
At KS4, every pupil receives a PLC following an assessment point to indicate where pupils need more support in their learning. Bespoke therapy tasks are set by teachers across all subject areas to ensure every pupil closes gaps in their learning before moving to a new unit or topic.
Our PLCs are vital evaluation tools for pupil progression as they allow pupils and teachers to work together to ensure pupils achieve their full potential.
Parents will receive regular reports regarding their child’s progress.
In Year 10 and 11, parents receive reports three times per year. The reports show the target grade, current grade, behaviour and attitude to learning. As an Academy, we place greater emphasis on pupils’ final grade, while ensuring they are on track throughout the year. These reports are our most important form of communication with parents and will sometimes raise questions regarding a pupil’s progress. We strongly encourage parents to read the reports carefully and if the report raises questions, to contact either the subject teacher, form teacher or, if it is across a number of subjects, the Year Leader.
In Year 10 and 11, we offer bespoke intervention in lesson, after school and during school holidays to support every pupil with their learning. Some of our intervention packages are listed below:
Your child will be invited to attend some of the intervention sessions above by their subject teachers through Year 10 and 11. Parents can also view the Lesson 6 timetable on our school website under the Information for Parents section.
To ensure that the process of awarding grades is rigorous, fair and consistent, we have now put a roadmap in place for Year 11 pupils which starts on Monday 12th April. This curriculum and assessment plan will give all pupils both the opportunity to build confidence and also to have experience of what it feels like to prepare and sit significant assessments/exams, an experience which is important in preparation for post 16 study. These assessments and mini-assessments are to be conducted after a spell of teaching allowing pupils to apply their knowledge. This is usually what occurs in Y11 lessons at this time, just illustrated formally to inform pupils and parents.
As part of the preparation towards these upcoming assessments, which will contribute towards your son/daughter’s Centre Assessed Grades, we are recommending that pupils spend at least 2 hours per day over the Easter holidays, and up until 11th June, revising.
We appreciate your continued support. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further how to support your child with their exam preparation, please contact me at school.
© Castleford Academy Trust 2020