GCSE Reforms

As you may have heard, the government have begun a process to reform GCSE qualifications. The first changes to the teaching of new GCSEs was introduced in September 2015 and they will continue to go through a period of change until September 2017. There will also be changes to the way in which the examinations are graded. The changes at GCSE will impact on all those currently in Year 10 and below. New GCSE courses in mathematics and English have been introduced from September 2015 and will be first examined in June 2017. Further new courses will be taught from September 2016, for examination in June 2018 and the remaining new courses will be taught from September 2017 and examined in September 2019. The new courses have more content, are more demanding and in many cases require more extended writing. There is also a greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy, with higher percentages of marks being awarded for spelling and grammar.

Grading the new GCSEs in 2017

Assessment Changes for Key Stage 3

In addition to these changes for our Year 10s and Year 11s the Department for Education has given individual schools the task to develop an assessment method that suits the needs of the school for their KS3 students. National Curriculum levels will no longer be used for statutory assessments. What is the reason for this change? It is felt that too often NC levels become more important than ensuring students were secure in the knowledge and understanding outlined in the programmes of study. Depth and breadth of students understanding has been made a focus moving forward. There is also a missed opportunity to monitor students progress with a range of skills necessary to successfully work within the community and professional world once finished in education. Combining the two changes at CTC Kingshurst Academy The two assessment systems changing at the same time, provides the academy with an opportunity to develop a new assessment structure for all year groups. This will be based on the new GCSE model, for all students in Years 7 – 11.

Changes to Assessment 2016

What will the assessment look like? All students from Year 7 – 11 will be graded using the new GCSE 1- 9 system. In addition to this, we have developed sublevels entitled ‘emerging’, ‘establishing’ and ‘mastery.’ The grading criteria will be in line with each subject’s GCSE requirements and all subjects will use the exam board’s assessment objectives. The descriptors of each level, for each subject will be available on the academy website. What will ‘Life Long Learning Skills assessment look like? We are currently working with our student voice representatives to develop a successful system that rewards students for their efforts in developing life long learning skills such as:
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
How will I know my child is making progress? Tudor Grange Academy Kingshurst is committed to ensuring you are fully informed of the progress your child is making in all subjects. This will be presented in reports through the form of a flight path. We know that students will make progress at different speeds and at different points of the year and so with a visual flight path, we can identify areas of under performance to work together to offer support and guidance to students. Flight paths will also offer the opportunity to celebrate successes in subjects along with any accelerated progress. Pathways of Progress This sheet gives details for each of the eight pathways and what grades/levels are anticipated for expected, good and outstanding progress at the end of each year. Select the image to enlarge it.
9 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
8 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
7 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
6 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
5 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
4 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
3 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
2 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
1 — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
Launch — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
Foundation — Mastery — Securing — Emerging
Access — Mastery — Securing — Emerging


  • James is in Year 9.
  • He achieved level 5As for his SATs in Year 6.
  • He is on Pathway 8.
  • He is set the target of getting 8s for all of his GCSE subjects in Year 11.
James has the following targets for the end of Year 9:
  • Expected progress – 5M
  • Good Progress – 6E
  • Outstanding Progress – 7E
  • Zoe is in Year 8.
  • She achieved level 4As for her SATs in Year 6.
  • She is on Pathway 5.
  • She is set the target of getting 5s for all of her GCSE subjects in Year 11.
Zoe has the following targets for the end of Year 8:
  • Expected progress – 2M
  • Good Progress – 3E
  • Outstanding Progress – 3S
  • Omar is in Year 7.
  • He achieved 106 for his SATs in Year 6.
  • He is on Pathway 5.
  • He is set the target of getting 5s for all of his GCSE subjects in Year 11.
Omar has the following targets for the end of Year 7:
  • Expected progress – 1M
  • Good Progress – 2E
  • Outstanding Progress – 2M

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