King James' School

Key Stage 3 Assessment

Following the government’s decision to remove levels as a method of tracking pupils’ progress in primary schools and Key Stage 3 of secondary schools, we are proud to have developed our own methods of assessment to aid pupil progress. The government said that:

  • National Curriculum levels were ‘best fit’ and could leave students with gaps in their knowledge and understanding
  • Removing the ‘label’ of levels can increase pupils’ aspirations and improve their mindset about their own ability 
  • Levels could sometimes lead to the most important thing for students being ignored: formative assessment (i.e. helping them to understand what they can and can’t do as well as how they can improve)

At King James’s School, we have seized the opportunity to remove the potentially limiting effect of National Curriculum levels and - in Years 7 and 8 - focus entirely on what the students can and can’t do and the detailed verbal and written feedback their teacher and peers provide. Research shows that when students are given a mark/grade/level on their work, they can sometimes focus too closely on this to the detriment of taking on board the specific feedback from the teacher. Now, our students focus solely on their specific targets which, when acted upon by them, will lead to greater gains in knowledge and understanding. In fact, good quality feedback is proven to add up to an additional 8+ months progress for students. Parents and students can find specific targets in their books and folders; these are always recorded on green sheets following a learning cycle.

We track our students’ progress at whole school level using a bespoke system that allows us to quickly identify if a student/group of students is falling behind. We report pupils’ progress to parents using our KJS Flight Path which uses students’ primary school test scores to establish a benchmark for their achievement and then uses their learning cycle assessment information to ensure they are remaining in-line with the trajectory we expect. An example of a student flight path can be seen by clicking here.

We are currently rolling our assessment system through KS3 and therefore, it will be in place for Years 7, 8 and 9 from September 2017.

For more information, please contact Dawn Morgan (Deputy Head) or Stuart Giles (Assistant Head).

To see an example Flight Path click here.