Grade Descriptors

The ways in which students in schools in England and Wales are assessed is currently the subject of considerable change.

Year 7 students arriving at Arena Academy from September 2016 onwards came to us with a new form of KS2 data.

In September 2015, the Government announced that National Curriculum sublevels would no longer be used by schools to assess and promote progress of students in Years 7 and 8.

And for students working towards GCSE qualifications between 2016 and 2019, reforms to the specifications have been introduced. You can find out more about these reforms by watching this short video, produced by Ofqual.

In the midst of such a challenging and evolving national assessment landscape, Arena Academy remains committed to a timeless principle – that we will work collaboratively with parents and carers to ensure that students are constantly stretched, challenged and supported to make the most progress in all of their subjects.

On these pages you will find Term-Specific Grade Descriptors for each year group. These will detail for students the content and skills they must master in each subject if they are to be considered ‘On Target’ to meet their individual Target Grade by the end of Year 11. Staff have worked hard to produce these term-by-term descriptors, mapping backwards from the new specification GCSE grades in order to identify what students must be able to do at any point in their educational journey if they are to meet that Target Grade.

If, for example, your child’s target is a 5, they must consistently be demonstrating that they are working at a Grade 5 each time they are formally assessed at the end of each term. Each term (Years 7-11), the expectations made of each grade either become more challenging or give students the opportunity to consolidate their learning.

Lessons will be taught to enable them to access this level of skill; marking and feedback will develop them towards it, and homework will be used to further practice their development of these skills.

We hope that these descriptors will simplify students’ understanding of their target performance in each subject, as well as challenging them to work to the very best of their ability.

If you have any questions about Assessment, please do not hesitate to email Nathan Jones (Assistant Headteacher, Assessment & Data).