Our Assessment System
KS3 & KS4 Assessment Overview
How do we reach ‘target grades’ when students join Harris Greenwich?
- We establish a ‘target grade’ based upon the student’s KS2 data. Using the most recent data set of national GCSE results, we estimate the likely GCSE achievement of a student based on their KS2 data. As an ambitious academy, we strive for students to exceed this target grade by +0.6.
How do we reach starting point judgements when students join Harris Greenwich?
- For all subjects students are categorised into High, Middle and Low prior attainers, based on their average KS2 reading and maths scaled scores. Students achieving an average of ≤95 in reading and maths are categorised as low prior attainers, 87.5 – 105.5 are categorised as middle prior attaining students, and those achieving an average of ≥106 are high prior attaining students. As an academy, we continually review the progress of each group to ensure every child is stretched and that every teacher ‘pitches high’.
How often are students assessed?
- Students sit formal, summative assessments twice per year in KS3 and three times per year in KS4 and KS5. For KS3 this is in the spring 1 (Feb) and summer 2 (June) half terms. For KS4 and KS5, assessments will be termly. Assessments will generate a TMLG, which will be reported home to parents/guardians and analysed within the Academy to ensure that our high standards are being met.
What is a TMLG?
- A Teacher Most Likely Grade (TMLG) is assigned to a student following an assessment. A TMLG is the likely grade that a student will attain at the end of year 11.
The description of TMLG that we send to parents with their reports:
“We will report to you a Teacher Most Likely Grade (TMLG). TMLGs are assigned from a 9-1 scale with 9 being the best. Depending on the subject, the TMLG is generated by either pooling test results for the year group and assigning a grade based on where the result sits compared to others, or by comparing the test result to examples of level 9-1 work. Assuming the student maintains their position in the cohort the TMLG represents the grade they are likely to achieve in their GCSEs at the end of year 11.”
How are high quality assessments designed and administered?
- Our assessments for English, Maths, Science, Humanities and MFL are designed and/or quality assured by Federation Consultants or Senior Leaders in Education (SLE) who have been trained by examination boards.
- Computing and non-EBacc subject areas devise valid and reliable assessments with input from SLEs. All staff responsible for assessment design have been exam board trained.
- There is an agreed format in each department for how to manage the preparation and administering of assessment so that no students are inadvertently advantaged by their teacher.
Marking and moderation
How do we know that assessments are being marked accurately?
- English, Maths, Science and MFL use a common assessment framework devised by the Federation. Once assessments have been sat marks are submitted centrally which provides a large sample against which to compare our student progress. Key aspects from the common assessments are also moderated and standardised via consultants.
- There are around 10 hours per half term of time given to departments to mark, moderate and plan. Judicious use of summative assessment (twice per year in years 7-9, three times per year in 10-13) allows for powerful action steps from meaningful data. This also allows teachers more time to mark and moderate. We have encouraged the use of question based assessment and use of exemplars rather than vague rubrics to increase the validity of judgements.
Reaching progress and TMLG judgements
How do we make effective judgements about progress?
- The progress of students is judged by examining the ‘gap’ between TMLG and target grade.
- SISRA Analytics provides a direct indication of how a pupil, class, subject or any group of pupils has performed compared with pupils in the same subject with same KS2 prior. This ‘subject progress index’ allows us to directly reference the progress made of our students with those nationally, and ensure that every cohort is judged against a norm rather than purely against their own cohort so that standards do not slip e.g. with a weaker year group.
- Subject gap analysis is conducted centrally by JDY, and dashboards with progress per group, per class, and per student are produced per department. This is for consistency and for the avoidance of needless middle-leader work. SLT line links use these data dashboards to lead conversations with department leaders.
How do we know that teachers are making effective judgements about TMLG?
- In English, Maths, Science and MFL we submit the data from our assessments to the Federation to compare our student performance against a sample of many other high performing secondary schools. The Federation data team ascribe an AMLG using the bell curve model.
- Broadly speaking the 9-1 performance of a large cohort of students should conform to the bell curve distribution of results. For example, most TMLG grades will be in the 4-6 range as is to be expected.
- There will be a ‘long tail’ of student performance with a significant minority in the 3-1 MLG range
- 7-9 grades are reserved for high performers on any assessment, in line with the results the department typically produces.
- The TMLG which describes the position a student is on a bell curve which is representative of the year group cohort. The data team supports departments to generate a bell curve for any assessment. This is then moderated using norm referencing in order to generate a TMLG.
- With smaller cohorts, the sample size is too small to be reliable so we use norm referencing and external scrutiny from Federation consultants to support us in our judgement.
- After Federation standardisation SLT compare the AMLG’s with the internally generated TMLG’s and challenge any potential issues.
- Over time, departments will continue to build examples of student work from assessments, which will exemplify what, for example, a 9, 5, 2 looks like in English by the time of their summer exam. It also means that every cohort is judged against a norm rather than purely against their own cohort so that standards do not slip e.g. with a weaker year group.
- In KS4, if we are using full exam papers from previous years as a means of assessing student mid-year (e.g. mock exams), grade boundaries are adjusted accordingly, or a result is norm referenced to a child taught the previous year, before a TMLG is reported.
KS3 as a preparation for KS4
How do we know that ‘good progress’ at KS3 prepares students to secure a ‘good pass’ at KS4?
- Our aim is for all students to be ‘KS4 ready’ by the end of KS3. Work on making our KS3 curricula more ambitious, sequenced and specified in detail has laid the groundwork to ensure all pupils are successful at KS4.
- Departmental curricula detail what students should know and/or be able to do by the end of Year 7, 8 and 9 if they are to be ready to thrive at KS4. Assessments are designed with these standards in mind and thus avoid purely ‘cohort referenced’ analysis, which means that any inadvertent low expectations in the system are nullified.