Castleford Academy

KS3 Curriculum and Assessment

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Curriculum and Assessment at KS3

KS3 Curriculum and Assessment at Castleford Academy

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 first phased in with English and maths and now includes all subjects. 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 GradesLegacy GCSE Grades

Grades 4 and 5 are a grade C. A grade 4 is a standard pass and a grade 5 is a good pass.

Year 7 Pathways

This year we are making some changes to the way we assess and report pupil achievement in year 7. Pupils will be placed on a pathway based on their KS2 data and through core subject baseline assessments completed in September. We do not want to assign KS4 targets to pupils as we do not want to limit their aspirations.

Based on their identified start points, pupils will be placed into one of four attainment pathways.

PathwayGCSE Forecast

These pathways are not fixed and where pupils are working consistently above, their pathway will be changed. No pupil can be moved down pathways.

The skills and knowledge needed to reach each pathway is shared with pupils and parents through a series of statements. This will allow pupils to see what they need to be able to achieve to move on to the next pathway and will allow parents to support at home.

These high aspirations and drive for success are something that we encourage at Castleford Academy and as a result, the pathway will be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure each pupil achieves their full potential.

Can Do Statements and The Learning Journey

Each subject area has developed a learning journey which will allow our pupils to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful learner. The learning journey is shared with pupils at the start of the topic so that they are aware of how their learning will develop over each half term. This is also shared with parents (on our website) along with the can do statements for each subject/topic. This means that parents can see what their child will be taught, how they will be assessed and also how to support them to reach the next step in their learning.

For pupils to do well in a subject, it is essential that they have a good understanding of the basics. For this reason, in some subjects, it is not simply more knowledge that is needed to reach a step 7, 8 or 9. In some areas, pupils will be expected to ‘master’ the basics and will receive a step 7, 8 or 9 depending upon their ability to apply the skills and knowledge they have acquired in a different context.


Parents will receive regular reports regarding their children’s progress.

In both Year 7 and Year 8, parents receive reports three times per year. The reports show the target step, current step, 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.

All learning journeys are available on the website under the curriculum section.