Curriculum Update

Changes Ahead

You may be aware that the Government has recently announced significant changes to the exam system and accountability tables.  Below is a brief summary of these.  However, as the introduction of these changes is going to be staggered, it is advisable for parents/carers to relate to the year group their child is currently in.

Examinations and Grading

Pupils Leaving Hollingworth in Summer 2016 (Year 11)

Pupils in Year 11 will follow the GCSE exam systems and grades that many pupils and parents/carers are familiar with.  They will receive an A* – G grade.  However, please note that GCSEs are now linear, which means they are sat at the end of their 2 year GCSE course.  This restricts the possibility of pupils resitting units.

Pupils Leaving Hollingworth in Summer 2017 (Year 10)

Pupils in Year 10 will be the first to study the new English and Mathematics qualifications.  They will see a change in the grading of GCSE English and Mathematics; the current A* – G grading system will be replaced with a new 9 point scale, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest.  All other GCSE subject grading will remain the same.  This means your child will leave school with a combination of qualifications graded as A* – G and 1–9 (English and Mathematics only). 

It has been proposed by the DfE that approximately the same proportion of pupils achieving a grade 4 or above will be the same as currently those who achieve a grade C or above.  Additionally, the new grade 7 will be equivalent to the same number of pupils currently achieving a grade A.  However, the new grade 9 will be for the very highest performers.  Below is an approximate conversion scale.

Mapping

Pupils Leaving Hollingworth in Summer 2018 (Year 9)

Pupils in Year 8 (February 2015) will be the second cohort to study the new English and Mathematics qualifications and the first to study the new Science and IT qualifications.  The subjects they opt to study will also be from the new suite of qualifications (including Geography, History, MFL, Art, Computing, Drama, Dance, Music, PE, Religious Education, Cooking and Nutrition).  They will see a change in the grading of all GCSE subjects; the current A* – G grading system will be replaced with a new 9 point scale, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest.  This means the grading has moved from an 8 point system to a 9 point system allowing greater stretch and challenge for gifted pupils.  Below is an approximate conversion scale.

Mapping

Pupils Leaving Hollingworth in Summer 2019 (Year 8) and after (Year 7+8)

It is expected that the GCSE assessment reform directed by the Government will be fully completed in terms of all new GCSE subjects being introduced and embedded.  The current A* – G grading system will be replaced with a new 9 point scale, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest.  This means the grading has moved from an 8 point system to a 9 point system allowing greater stretch and challenge for gifted pupils.  Below is an approximate conversion scale.  This will affect the pupils in Year 7+8.

Mapping

Measuring Performance

For several years staff, pupils, parents/carers, employers and the media have understood how well a school or pupil performs through the 5 GCSE A* – C grade (including English and Maths) indicator.   The Government have introduced new indicators which measure both progress and attainment.  These indicators will include measures called 'Attainment 8' and 'Progress 8' and will feature in the 2017 league tables.  However, the 5 A* – C including English and Mathematics will still be a very good indicator of the school's success.

Progress 8

Progress 8 is a value-added measure based on a measured score for each child when they enter secondary school.  It indicates progress across a suite of 8 subjects promoting a broad and balanced curriculum.  The measure will be based on pupils' performance in English, Mathematics, Sciences (including Computer Science), Humanities (History or Geography) and an 'open group' and will show whether pupils have performed better than expected at the end of Key Stage 4, considering their starting point from Key Stage 2.

The diagram below shows how the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores are calculated.  You will notice that English and Mathematics grades are double counted as these are seen as critical subjects.  The 'facilitating subjects' are those which are classed as traditional academic subjects, which many top universities regard as important entry qualifications.  All remaining subjects fall into the 'open group'.

Progress 8 Measure

  Qualification Subjects Possible Weighting
1 English English Language or English Literature X 2 (i.e. double) if BOTH entries are taken. The higher grade is used and the weaker grade could be used in the open group.
2 Maths Maths X 2 (i.e. double).
3 Facilitating Subjects/Qualifications Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, History, Geography or any language X 1
No rules on how these subjects are combined. Double Science can be two slots with Separate Science subjects counting as one each.  Core Science will be one slot only.
4 Facilitating Subjects/Qualifications Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, History, Geography or any language
5 Facilitating Subjects/Qualifications Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, History, Geography or any language
6 Open Any other "not already used" facilitating subjects/qualifications, and other approved GCSEs or BTECs. X 1
Some pupils will fill these with GCSEs.
Some will fill with a mixture of GCSEs and BTECs.
7 Open Any other "not already used" facilitating subjects/qualifications, and other approved GCSEs or BTECs.
8 Open Any other "not already used" facilitating subjects/qualifications, and other approved GCSEs or BTECs.

Attainment 8

This will show pupils' average attainment in the group of subjects that make up the Progress 8 measure. This is calculated for each pupil by dividing by 10 because English and Mathematics are double weighted.  Examples of calculations are as follows:

Gillian – an able hard-working pupil who started at Hollingworth with an English and Mathematics average KS2 level of 5.4
  Qualification Grade Points Included Doubled? Total Pts

1

GCSE English Language A 7 Yes Yes because Gillian was entered for English Literature also. 14

2

GCSE Maths A* 8 Yes Maths is always doubled. 16

3

GCSE Additional Science B 6 Yes No 6

4

GCSE Core Science B 6 Yes No 6

5

GCSE History A 7 Yes No 7

6

GCSE English Literature A 7 Yes No 7

7

GCSE Religious Studies A 7 Yes No 7

8

GCSE Spanish B 6 Yes No 6

9

GCSE PE C 5 No Eight counted already   0

Attainment 8 Score

Attainment 8 Score ÷ 10 = 69 ÷ 10 = 6.9

Progress 8 Score

A pupil's Progress 8 score is their Attainment 8 score, minus their estimated Attainment 8 score.  The estimated Attainment 8 score is the average Attainment 8 score of all pupils nationally with the same prior attainment at Key Stage 2 (KS2).

Gillian's average KS2 score was 5.4. The National Average Attainment 8 score for pupils with a KS2 score of 5.4 is 60.  Gillian's Progress 8 score is 69 - 60 = +9.

This shows Gillian has shown positive progress during her time at Hollingworth.

69 - 60 = +9
Robert – an able but coasting pupil who started at Hollingworth with an average English and Mathematics KS2 level of 5.4
  Qualification Grade Points Included Doubled? Total Pts

1

GCSE English Language

B

6

Yes

Yes because Robert was entered for English Literature also.

12

2

GCSE Maths

B

6

Yes

Maths is always doubled.

12

3

GCSE Additional Science

D

4

Yes

No

4

4

GCSE Core Science

B

6

Yes

No

6

5

GCSE Geography

A

7

Yes

No

7

6

GCSE English Literature

C

5

Yes

No

5

7

GCSE Religious Studies

B

6

Yes

No

6

8

BTEC Sport Level 2

Pass

5

Yes

No

5

9

Robert dropped an Option because he needed to focus on core subjects.

0

Attainment 8 Score

Attainment 8 Score ÷ 10 =

59 ÷ 10 = 5.9

Progress 8 Score

A pupil's Progress 8 score is their Attainment 8 score, minus their estimated Attainment 8 score.  The estimated Attainment 8 score is the average Attainment 8 score of all pupils nationally with the same prior attainment at Key Stage 2 (KS2).

Robert's average KS2 score was 5.4.  The National Average Attainment 8 score for pupils with a KS2 score of 5.4 is 60.  Robert's Progress 8 score is 59 - 60 = -1.

This shows that Robert has underperformed according to his starting point at KS2.

59 - 60 = -1

The school's Progress 8 score is then calculated as a mean average of the pupils' Progress 8 score in a given year group.  A school Progress 8 score of +0.5 is considered to be good to outstanding.

Please note that the school's 'Progress 8' and 'Attainment 8' figure can be affected if a pupil does not choose 3 subjects from the 'facilitating subjects' group.  However, the score can still be positive if pupils exceed challenging targets.