Guide to understanding ‘Student Progress’ reporting at NUSA
We have made some key changes to the way in which we will report progress to parents and students moving forward. Our new reporting format will contain important information in relation to how well a pupil is performing when considering their knowledge and understanding of the content covered within each key stage of learning. We have reorganised learners in Years 7, 8 and 9 into Key Stage 3 and Years 10 and 11 into Key stage 4. Our Post 16 students in Years 12 and 13 are in Key stage 5.
We have reviewed our curriculum and ensured that it is designed with our pupils’ development/ progress/ achievement at the centre of everything we do:
Our aim is to ‘shape’ our pupils to become:
- Lifelong learners
- Confident citizens
- Effective communicators
- Highly literate and numerate
- Adults are able to compete with their peers nationally
- Open minded and willing to take chances and make the most of opportunities
Our pupils will experience challenge and will be expected to be ambitious for their future. Above all, we want our pupils to love learning and feel happy within our school community.
With that in mind we need to ensure our pupils, parents and teachers are aware of how well pupils are performing without regular referral to grades and targets, which can be misleading and difficult to decode. Our new reporting system will show whether a student is making the progress they are expected to against a target which is personal to them.
At Key Stage 3 (see appendix 1 in related downloads Reporting Appendices, right hand column): and until the end of Year 10, staff will enter a letter code to represent the progress made by each pupil. This will replace the numerical formats currently used.
The codes will be:
- Ab: ‘Above’ expected level of progress
- Exp: working at ‘Expected’ level of progress
- Wt: ‘Working towards’ expected level of progress
- B: working ‘Below’ expected level of progress
Using prior attainment to monitor progress, setting expectations and using target levels.
When making our progress judgments we consider a pupil’s previous attainment and other information such as ‘reading ages’ to determine if a pupil is working at an appropriate level and progressing at a rate we would want them to. All of our targets are set using ‘Fisher Family Trust’ target setting tools that assume the very highest rate of progress we expect our students to make here at NUSA. You will see this target in our report as a ‘Minimum Expected Grade - (MEG)’.
All of this information is also used to determine our banding and setting decisions. Pupils are set according to ability in all year groups to ensure that they are placed in a challenging learning environment. These groups are reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the school year and pupils will be moved groups where appropriate in order to support their learning and progress.
We also consider two other vital aspects of securing progress and achievement:
ATL (Attitude to Learning):
This is scored out of 1-4 on the following elements displayed in the classroom:
- Willingness to learn
- Their levels of self-motivation
- Their levels of self-motivation
IST (Independent Study Tasks) will be given an effort mark of 1 to 4 by their subject teacher.
- Excellent effort. Work has been completed to a high standard in terms of presentation and demonstrates a good understanding of the work set. All correct
- Good effort. Work has been completed to a good standard but may show some errors.
- Below standard. The task has not been completed to a good standard, little effort has been demonstrated and the presentation is poor
- The IST was not completed or handed in when issued to the student by the teacher.
If a pupil has been given grades of 3 or 4, they have not been completing and submitting their ISTs regularly. Completing ISTs will improve progress and help develop organisational skills.
Key Stage 4 (see appendix 2 in related downloads Reporting Appendices, right hand column):
By the time your child reaches Year 11, all GCSEs will be graded on the 1 to 9 scale. In Year 10, for PC3, we collate a first ‘Predicted Grade’ and ‘CAL’ (Current attainment level) using a numerical format. This will then continue to be used as part of our reporting system in Year 11.
All of our GCSE subjects are Level 2 qualifications that are graded 9-1 (Grade: 9 being the top grade). Pupils should aim to achieve a Grade 5 or higher in English and Maths to help secure a place on a Key Stage 5/Level 3 course in Year 12. Students should aim for grade 6 and above in the subjects they wish to undertake at Level 3 in Key Stage 5. We use a +/- system to show how close students are to achieving the next grade. For example a predicted grade of 5+ is a strong Grade 5 i.e. close to a Grade 6.
The grades awarded for BTEC / Cambridge Nationals are different: Pupils can achieve a Pass Merit or Distinction at Level 1 (these equate closely to GCSE grades 1-3) or Level 2 (these equate closely to GCSE grades between 4 and 7). The highest grade awarded is a Distinction* at Level 2 which is the equivalent of an 8 or 9 at GCSE. Pupils should aim to achieve a Level 2 ‘Merit’ or higher to successfully study a Level 3 qualification at any Post 16 establishment.
Entry Level subjects are graded from 1-3 (3=highest level).
Science Combined is a double award and counts as 2 GCSEs
KEY Stage 5/ Post 16 (see appendix 3 in related downloads Reporting Appendices, right hand column):
NUSA16- Courses for 2020: All students will study an Extended National Diploma (equivalent to 3 A levels – 1080 GLH) in:
- Public Services
- Health and Social
Two personal tutor evenings will also be calendared to give interim feedback to parents and students on progress in lessons and careers guidance.
All Post 16 students will have a regular meeting with their ‘Personal Tutor’ to discuss all aspects of their learning, both academic, pastoral, well-being and careers advice. NUSA16 students will also comment on their own reports to self-assess their own progress in agreement with their Personal Tutor.
To ensure all students are on track to secure their minimum expected grade, there will be a number of mock exams and coursework review sessions throughout the year. An initial review will take place in October to ensure the suitability of the course meets the students’ needs. If at this stage it is deemed that the progress, and attitude to learning, falls short of our expectations student will be directed to other colleges or options.
A key feature throughout the year will be the importance of completing UCAS applications (January deadline) to ensure our year 13 student’s aspirations are secure for university courses.
Report Format: The 6th form report will be the same as the KS4 report apart from the following key changes:
- Tutors to be called ‘Personal tutors’
- Personal tutor comments are included
- Students comments based on their reflections on the progress they are making are included
- Reading ages have been replaced with ‘Post 18 intentions’
NUSA Reporting Summary
We hope that the information contained in this document has provided you with all the information you need in relation to our reporting systems. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need any further information.
Academic progress information will be collected and reported on 3 times a year. ‘ATL’ and ‘IST’ grades will be collected every half term (6 times a year). This information will either be included in our reports or communicated to you via our ‘BROMCOM MCAS’ system. Please contact us should you not have access to this.
In support of this we will hold at least one ‘Parent’s Evening’ per year for us to discuss all of the information we provide, with the aim of ensuring we work closely together to maximise the chances of pupils succeeding at NUSA.
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