In 2019, our Year 11 students performed very strongly and achieved the highest EBacc attainment in Cheshire East. We were also pleased that the progress from their starting point in Year 7 was above the national average. This means that students can be proud not only of their final results but that they did their best to maximise their performance.
For many years we gave students target grades but last year made the change to guidance grades to reflect the fact that we are guiding them to achieve their best rather than setting a fixed target.
What are student guidance grades?
They are a guide to the grade that a student should aspire to achieve by the end of the Key Stage (Year 9 or Year 11). It forms the basis of a professional conversation between teachers and students over what level of attainment we will be guiding them towards and they should be seeking to achieve. Some students will aim to achieve more than their guidance grade while others will need support to move them towards their guidance grade. What matters is that all students do their best to make as much progress as possible.
How is the student guidance grade calculated?
Essentially, we seek to maximise attainment for every young person in every class. Using students’ KS2 data matched to the most recent GCSE subject performance nationally, we can provide each student with personalised guidance over what they should be aiming to achieve. The maths grade is based on the KS2 maths results and the English based on the KS2 reading results. The other subjects are based on an average of these. We recognise that, although these grades are generally accurate, some students may have a greater talent in a subject than shown by the KS2 tests and that is why students are able to discuss them with their teachers and they may be changed if appropriate.
They are based on the GCSE grades in the reformed qualifications which will help students understand the grading system over a five year period rather than having a different system in KS3 and 4.
How will we use the grades?
The guidance grades inform a dialogue with students. In no way should a child feel capped by that grade. It shows what someone of their KS2 profile can realistically aspire to achieve but some will exceed that and some may not reach that grade and we are happy to adjust the guidance grades to support students.
Are there any circumstances by which a Student Guidance Grade can be changed?
Yes. In addition to national data being updated to reflect performance and progress we will use our professional judgement to maintain aspiration whilst considering the welfare of a student and the circumstances that they are working under. Grades will be moved up or down either on a temporary or permanent basis when appropriate if the student and teacher agree.
Who should I contact if I want to discuss this further?
Please contact the Director of Learning for the Year Team.