FAQs about the Robert May’s School progress and attainment tracking
Why has the school made changes to the appearance of the review reports to parents?
National changes to exam grades, the removal of National Curriculum Levels and changes to Year 6 SATs have resulted in all secondary schools having to redesign their Assessment and Reporting systems. We have invested a lot of time in designing a system that enables us to show individual student performance compared to what similar students from this school and nationally have achieved in the past.
This system has underpinned our reports for the past two years but, having had feedback from parents and students who suggested that it could be simplified, personalised and more visual, we have introduced colour coding to the reviews in 2018/19. The information contained within the reviews is the same.
How does Robert May’s School calculate the starting point by which individual students’ progress will be measured?
We take the student’s average end of Key Stage 2 English and Maths score as the starting point, because that is an externally agreed standard which the majority of our students come with when they join Robert May’s. For students who did not sit Key Stage 2 tests, we use our analysis of CAT scores and align these to Key Stage 2 data to enable us to estimate the starting point for these students.
How does Robert May’s School then set aspirational target grades?
We use our analysis of the GCSE grades achieved by students nationally to calculate the average GCSE grade for each individual’s starting point. We then raise this by approximately 1 grade to build in aspiration and based on the fact that students at Robert May’s historically achieve better than the results nationally..
How does the aspirational target grade for the end of Year 11 relate to the end of year target that is on my child’s report?
This is a work in progress as the new GCSE grading system has only been in place 1 year for the majority of subjects. However, what we have tried to do is work backwards from this end point to estimate an expected level of progress which would enable them to build towards their Year 11 aspirational target each year. For each individual student, progress is not linear and can vary.
How does the colour coding work?
The colour coding system introduced in this set of reports is there as a guide to performance in relation to other students nationally with similar key stage 2 scores. We have used Green, Yellow, Orange and Red to indicate differing levels of performance in each subject. Please note that this is highly personalised to your child.
Green shows that at this point in time that they are making better than expected progress for them. This is excellent.
Yellow indicates that a student is broadly in line with national expectations for them which shows that they are broadly making expected progress. This is good.
Orange indicates that, at this point in time, progress is a little lower than expected for them and an area that may need more focus on.
Red indicates that, at this point, progress is lower than expected for them and is an area to concentrate on.
It is important to remember again that progress is not linear and therefore performance can vary throughout an academic year. It is not uncommon to see rates of progress to be more rapid towards the end of an academic year as students build up their knowledge and understanding of each subject and show accumulated mastery of a wider range of skills.
What do the AUSR grades mean?
In order to get a snapshot of how your child has settled into working in each subject, teachers have judged classwork (CW), homework (HW) and behaviour and attitude (BA). The statements below are used to describe the level of effort and then marked accordingly with an A (Always), U (Usually), S (Sometimes), or R (Rarely).
CW = S : (Your child sometimes completes classwork to the best of their ability)
HW = U : (Your child usually completes homework to the best of their ability)
BA = A : (Your child’s behaviour and attitude is always exemplary)
As a general rule any ‘S’ or ‘R’ marks are a cause for concern.
What should I do if I am concerned about my child’s progress?
Your first point of contact will be either your child’s form tutor (if you are concerned across a range of subjects) or your child’s subject teacher if the concerns are about one or two subjects. They will be able to best guide you in terms of what your child needs to do to improve. It will be important for you to cross-reference to your child’s AUSR (effort) grades to help to establish whether more effort is required or if there are more subject specific improvements that need to be made.
My child’s report also has a graph on it showing various flightpaths. What do these mean?
We are experimenting with using graphs to demonstrate each individual student’s personal flightpath throughout their time at Robert May’s School so Year 11 and 10 students will see these as the year progresses. These graphs show the average grade of all subjects at each review and set out a potential flightpath which would enable them to reach their aspirational target.
What does the top line on my graph show?
It shows high aspiration – what you could achieve if you were working one whole grade above national expectations. This is excellent progress at this point in time.
What does the bottom line show?
This shows the grade you would be getting if you are working at the average for students across the nation with similar starting points at Key Stage 2.
If your child is working within the ‘zone’ between the two lines then this is very good progress and should be celebrated. If they are consistently falling below this ‘zone’ then that is suggesting that they are not quite on track.
Will my child receive individual subject written reports?
Following research and parent voice activities, we have modified our approach to reporting this year. We recognised that often there was a time lag between teachers writing comments and targets and parents and students receiving the reports. There is considerable research to suggest that individual subject reports have a negligible impact on learning. Therefore, we have decided to produce an enhanced review once a year which will include a general comment from the form tutor about your child’s progress as well as their overall attitude and contribution to school life. In so doing, we are emphasising the importance of prompt and regular feedback to students through verbal and written feedback on specific pieces of work.