Frequently Asked Questions

What are grade reports?

A system of reports to keep parents/carers informed of their child’s academic progress at each stage of their education at Edgbarrow.

What do the reports show?

The subjects your child is studying and their achievement in those subjects, as well as any areas requiring improvement. The reports use a number of subheadings which give specific information such as a Baseline, an End of Year Target, a Progress Grade, an Attainment Grade, a Predicted Grade, Positives/Successes and Areas for Development.

What is a Baseline band?

This is given in Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3) in the first term of the academic year. It is the student’s starting point in a particular subject i.e. how competent they are in that subject at the start of the academic year. Teachers use formal or informal measures and classroom observations to ascertain a baseline grade.

What is a Target?

This is the band or grade a teacher thinks the student should be achieving by the end of the academic year. Teachers base targets on all available data such as previous performance levels, tests and exam results, as well as an element of realistic challenge:

  • Year 7 Targets – these are based on SATS (KS2) tests taken at the student’s primary school and also CAT tests which your child took at Edgbarrow before joining the school. Once your child has settled into Edgbarrow, targets are modified if required, according to performance.
  • Years 8 to 11 Targets – these are based on KS2 tests, CAT tests and the student’s performance and exam scores from the previous academic year.
  • Years 12 -13 Targets – these are based on the student’s average GCSE point score.
What is an Attainment band?

Years 7 to 9 are given attainment bands. This is the current band achieved by the student based on either a departmental assessment or more formalised testing.

Why is the word ‘Band’ used rather than ‘Grade’ in Years 7 to 9?

During these years students are building the skills they needed to achieve GCSEs. For example, a student given an attainment band 5 in Year 7, is unlikely to be able to achieve a grade 5 at GCSE, if they sat the exam there and then. What it demonstrates is that the student is acquiring a skillset, which if they continue on the same track, could lead to a grade 5 GCSE in Year 11. The band achieved by the student at the end of year 9 should give a good indication of the type of grade the student could achieve at the end of Year 11 in GCSEs.

Years 10 to 13 are given ‘grades’ because at this stage their attainment can be matched more precisely to their KS4 and KS5 courses.

What is a progress grade?

Years 7 to 9 are given progress grades. These are colour coded and show how a student is progressing in a particular subject.

What are predicted grades?

Years 10 to 13 are given predicted grades. These are the grades a student is most likely to achieve at the end of their course of study, whether this is GCSE, A Level or Vocational, taking into consideration their current performance and any test results or mock exams they have sat.

Why are some grades given as a number and others as a letter?

As you are aware, the Government has introduced reformed GSCEs. The grading system for these new exams is 9 - 1 rather than the well-known A*- G with the highest achievable grade being a 9. Edgbarrow has introduced this system for all year groups from Year 7 through to Year 11 (when GCSE exams are taken).

Whilst most subjects are now examined using the new 9-1 grading system, there are still a few subjects that have the old A*-G mark scheme, although this will be phased out by 2019. You will, therefore, see grades for most subjects based on the new numerical grading system.

Additionally, to make it clear exactly how likely a student is to achieve their predicted grade, Edgbarrow use a set of symbols (plus, equals, minus). The table below shows how these symbols work:

A grade of 7+ This indicates a student is achieving at the top end of the 7 grade and has the potential,
with effort, to move to a grade 8
A grade of 7= This indicates a student is secure in the grade they have been given and would need to
show determined effort to move up to the next grade
A grade of 7- This indicates a student is just achieving that band and could slip to a lower grade if
effort levels drop
 
What about those GCSE subjects that are still using the old A*- G system?

Although there are only a few subjects which haven’t yet swapped over to the new numerical grading system, Edgabrrow indicates how likely a student is to achieve their predicted grade in these subjects, by using numbers next to the letter grades:

A grade of B1 This indicates a student is achieving at the top end of the B grade and has the potential,
with effort, to move to a grade A
A grade of B2 This indicates a student is secure in the grade they have been given and would need to
show determined effort to move up to the next grade
A grade of B3 This indicates a student is just achieving that band and could slip to a lower grade
if effort levels drop

Is a grade 9 GCSE equivalent to an A grade using the old grading system?

The table below from Ofqual gives an indication of what the new 9-1 grades mean in relation to the previous letters:

ofqual


For further information about Ofqual GCSE 9 to 1 grades select this link

What do the colours behind predicted grades mean?

Edgbarrow uses colour coding to make it easier to see how students are performing against their targets. The table below shows what the colours mean:

Green

The grade is equal to or exceeds the student’s target

Amber

The grade is close to but not yet reaching the student’s target

Pink

The grade falls below the student’s target


Will the grading system change for students taking vocational courses?

There are currently no plans for this to happen. The courses will continue to follow the current system as follows:

Vocational Qualification

Equivalent To

Grade Equivalence

BTEC Level 1/2 First Award

1 GCSE

Pass L1 = E/F grade GCSE
Pass L2 = C grade GCSE
Merit L2  = B grade GCSE
Distinction L2 = A grade GCSE
Distinction* L2 = A* grade

OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate

1 GCSE

Pass L1 = F/G grade GCSE
Merit L1  = E grade GCSE
Distinction L1 = D grade GCSE
Pass L2 = C grade GCSE
Merit L2  = B grade GCSE
Distinction L2 = A grade GCSE
Distinction* L2 = A* grade

Level 3
Subsidiary Diploma / Introductory Diploma / Extended Certificate

1  A Level

Pass = E grade A Level
Merit  = C grade A Level
Distinction = A grade A Level
Distinction* = A* grade A Level

Level 3 Diploma

2   A Levels

Pass = Two E grade A Levels
Merit  = Two C grade A Levels
Distinction = Two A grade A Levels
Distinction* = Two A* grade A Levels

Why do Grade Reports show two grades for a BTEC Diploma?

This is because a Level 3 Diploma is equivalent to 2 A’ Levels, so a double grade is given. Students are given points for each module they study. These points are totalled at the end of the course of study and depending on what score they gain, they will get a double grade, as follows:

Diploma  
720 GLH  
Grade Points Threshold  
U 0

What do the double grades, such as MP or DM mean?
The table explains what the letters represent. The highest grade achievable is D*D*

U Ungraded
PP Pass, Pass
MP Merit, Pass
MM Merit, Merit
DM Distinction, Merit
DD Distinction, Distinction
D*D Distinction Star, Distinction
D*D* Distinction Star, Distinction Star
PP 72
MP 88
MM 104
DM 124
DD 144
D*D 162
D*D* 180

As with A Levels, Edgbarrow indicates how likely a student is to achieve their predicted BTEC grades, by using numbers next to grades:

MP1

indicates a student is achieving at the top end of the grade band and has the possibility, with effort, to move to the next grade band

MP2

indicates a student is secure in the grade band they have been given and would need to show determined effort to move up to the next grade band

MP3

indicates a student is just achieving that band and could slip to a lower grade if effort levels drop


How do Universities measure BTEC qualifications for entry into University?

As with A Levels, universities convert grades into points and offer places based on the total points required for a particular course of study:

 BTEC grade UCS Tariff 
 Starred Distinction  56
 Distinction  48
 Merit  32
 Pass  16

 Is the grading system changing for  A ‘Levels?

No, the recognised scale of A*-E or U for ungraded will continue to be used. With A Levels, Edgbarrow indicates how likely a student is to achieve their predicted grade, by using numbers with the A*-E grades.

A grade of B1

This indicates a student is achieving at the top end of the B grade and has the potential,
with effort, to move to a grade A

A grade of B2

This indicates a student is secure in the grade they have been given and would need to show
determined effort to move up to the next grade

A grade of B3

This indicates a student is just achieving that band and could slip to a lower grade if effort
levels drop


What is ATL (Attitude to Learning)?

This reflects the student’s attitude to classwork and homework. It is a good measure of how hard they are trying. Either they are Exceeding Expectations (E), Meeting Expectations (M), Below Expectations (B) or Significantly Below Expectations (S). These are colour coded blue, green, yellow and pink, respectively.

What are Positives and Areas for Development?

For Years 7 to 9, this highlights where a student is displaying positive behaviour or where they need to focus more attention to improve. The table below shows the different codes used on grade reports.

B - Behaviour C - Coordination/motor skills F - Focus G - Group work
H - Homework I - working Independently O - Oral participation Q - Quality of work in lesson
R - Readiness to learn T - Task completion W - presentation of Work  


What are Successes and Areas for Development?

Years 10 to 13 (Key Stage 4 and 5) use a set of ‘terms’ to express positive behaviours or areas for improvement. These terms have different meanings depending on the subject. The table below shows the set of terms used for both positive behaviours and areas for improvement. Further details about the definitions of these terms can be found here.

Analytical Ability Evaluation Skills Numerical Skills Quality of Homework Subject Comprehension
Applying Knowledge Exam Technique Oral Participation Readiness to Learn Use of Terminology
Behaving Positively Extended Writing Persevering with Tasks Responding to Feedback Working in Groups
Being Focused Independent Study Practical Competence Seeking Help  
Catching up Work Meeting Deadlines Punctuality and Attendance Spelling and Grammar  

 How often will I receive a grade report for my child?

Each year group receives a different number of reports to reflect the different stages of learning, as they move toward national examinations. The table below is a general guide and could vary, so please refer to the school calendar for precise details and timings.

YEAR GROUP

NUMBER of Reports

School TERMS

Year 7

3 reports

Autumn, Spring & Summer

Year 8

 2 reports

 Spring & Summer

Year 9

2 reports

Spring & Summer

Year 10

3 reports

Spring & Summer

Year 11

3 reports

Autumn & twice in Spring

Year 12

4 reports

Autumn, Spring and twice in Summer

Year 13

3 reports

Twice in Autumn & Spring