Curriculum and Assessment Changes

 

As you will be aware the curriculum and assessment of students in school has been identified as in need of change. In  response the government have chosen to move away from the traditional grading system that we have operated previously at GCSE and towards a method of using numbers to describe students’ attainment.

Current Curriculum - Year 9

 

We would like to reassure you that whatever the grading system required by the imposed changes, we will endeavour to ensure that your child is given every possible opportunity and support to achieve their best possible outcome and meet the requirements for them to be successful in their next steps following their time at Robertsbridge Community College.

We will continue to use the forecasting method to report grades to you, identifying what your child will achieve if they continue to make the level of progress they currently are. However there will be some significant changes for those students set to sit GCSEs in 2017 and beyond, these are as follows:
 

Changes to reporting: What it means for each year group:
 

Year 10 (Exams Summer 2016): No Change. All GCSEs will be reported as grades under the old system
 

Year 9 (exams Summer 2017): English and Maths reported as grades 1 to 9, all other GCSEs reported as A* to G.
 

Year 8 (Exams Summer 2018): All GCSEs except design technology reported as 1 to 9.
 

Year 7 (exams Summer 2019): All GCSEs reported as 1 to 9
The difference in the GCSE systems for each year group are the reason the parents evenings identifying the changes have been held on different evenings for each year group.
 

Current grade card: 

 

Current Grade CardYear 10 grade card for 2015/16:

 

 

Year 10 Grade Card for 2015/16

As will be apparent the number of possible grades has increased. As a result the new numbered system is not directly comparable with the A* to G system.

It has been recognised that although the grade 4 will roughly equivalent to a C, it is grade 5 that will be expected in terms of the benchmark of achievement by the end of year 11. We are confident that we are in a position to be able to ensure your child will be ready to reach this grade.

A benefit of the new system is the introduction of the grade 9 which is a measure beyond the current scope of GCSE, allowing the most able to show what they are truly capable of and be recognised for that achievement. 

The diagram below, supplied by ofqual, the exams regulating body, sets out the grading structure fully:

 

GCSE Grading Structure
How can you recognise if your child is making the correct levels of progress?

 

As always, this will be identified on the gradecard, however this will be moving to a 3 colour system. Red if expected progress is not being made, yellow if expected progress is being made and green if good or better progress is made.

Forecasts are generated using indicators from students work to direct current progress being made. There will shortly be available the key curricular objectives for each subject area at keystage 3 indicating what is expected of children at each level when working toward each of the set grades.

To assist in identifying expectations for your child the following table sets out what expected and good progress should look like for students of varying starting points from key stage 2:

 

Expectations Table

 

From this you can see that a student attaining a key stage 2 level 4 would be expected to achieve a C grade at GCSE under the current system. Under the new system this would equate to a 4 or 5.

If the same child made good progress, they would achieve a B under the current system. Under the new system this would equate to a 5 or a 6.
 

Questions:

If my child (currently in year 9) takes his Maths GCSE a year early will he receive a A* to G or 1 to 9?

All GCSEs undertaken in 2016 will be reported as A* to G, the grade cards will reflect this for these students.

My child did not receive KS2 data, what will they be expected to achieve?

Students without prior data are assumed to be level 5 and should therefore achieve B/6 or above. If there is significant evidence from CAT data and in school assessment to suggest this is not the case then this may be altered. 

What can I do if I feel my child is not making adequate progress?

Please contact the school at any time if you have concerns, if it is about a particular subject, through the class teacher, if it is a more general problem, though the learning mentor in the first instance.