Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community


Assessments, marking and reports at OA Silvertown

Understanding KS4 Formal Examinations

What is Progress 8?

From 2016 all students and schools will be measured on how much progress they make from when they start year 7 to when they complete their exams at the end of year 11. It is based on progress across 8 subjects across a broad and balanced curriculum.

Scores will always be determined by dividing the student's points total by 10 (the 8 qualifications with English and Mathematics counting for double) regardless of how many qualifications are sat.

Below is a 3 minute video from the DfE to help explain Progress 8 further.


What is Attainment 8?

Attainment 8 is similar to Progress 8, however this measures attainment rather than progress accross the years over the same 8 subjects.

How does the new GCSE assessment system work?

Many of you will know that the courses and exams for GCSE students were recently changed. The reason is to ensure that young people have the knowledge and skills they need to suceed and be graded fairly. They cover more challenging content and are designed to match standards in the strongest educational systems throughout the world.

  • GCSEs in England will have a new scale from 9 (the highest) to 1 (the lowest)
  • The old GCSE grading system do not directly compare, however alignments can be made between the letters A*-F and the Scale 9-1
  • They have been designed this way to differentiate between student performance, and support those students who sit at the top of their grade banding

Please see this short video from AQA to help you understand how the grade system translates.

In Year Assessments

Assessment for learning is a crucial element of effective teaching – our students need:

  • to know their target, to know where they are now, and to know how to achieve their target;
  • high quality, diagnostic marking and feedback;
  • dialogue with their teacher so they own their learning journey;
  • ppportunities to self and peer assess.

It is important to remember that assessment is not just driven by marking. The skilful use of questioning in the classroom enables the teacher to assess the level of understanding and where necessary adapt their teaching.

Students will be assessed four times per year at the beginning and end of termly units of work. Within each assessment unit, teaching and learning will follow this cycle:

  • Curriculum planning;
  • Pre-unit assessment – adapt planning based on student learning needs;
  • Teach unit – ongoing assessment for learning;
  • Post-unit assessment;
  • Data entry and analysis;
  • Reporting to students and families.

Students are assessed informally throughout all lessons and regularly through quizzes of core knowledge.

Additionally, all students sit formal assessments in week five of each half term as outlined below:

  • Autumn 1: Interim assessment. % mark.
  • Autumn 2: Summative assessment. % mark and 1-9 grade.

Reports given out at parents’ evening following Autumn 2 assessment.

  • Spring 1: Interim assessment. % mark.
  • Spring 2: Summative assessment. % mark and 1-9 grade.

Reports given out at parents’ evening following Spring 2 assessment.

  • Summer 2 week 2-3: Global assessments, using full GCSE papers where appropriate. % mark and 1-9 grade.

Reports sent home following Summer term assessment.

Recording assessment data

Teachers will record assessment data at the end of each assessment unit.

Progress tracking will be based on progress made towards their end of year target which is extrapolated from their minimum expected GCSE grade (MEG). 

Reports and Progress

When you receive your child’s report, for each subject you will be able to see your child’s:

  • current grade (calculated through recent assessments)
  • end of year target grade
  • end of year 11 target grade
  • a progress judgement (exceeding, on track or below)
  • effort, behaviour and homework grades

Effort, Behaviour and Homework are all graded 5 – 1 with the following meaning:

5 – Excellent

4 – Very good

3 – Satisfactory

2 – Needs improving

1 – Cause for concern

Current and target grades will be broken down into ‘+’, ‘ ’ and ‘-’ so you can see where you are within a grade.

  • + = very secure and almost achieved the grade above.
  •    = secure and exactly at the grade.
  • -  = achieved the grade but close to the grade below.

Target Grades

We work out what you need to achieve at the end of every year to meet your target at the end of Y11

  • Based on your KS2 results at the ned of Y6, we work what you are expected to achieve at the end of Y11 if you make national progress.
  • We set you a target for the end of Y11 in every subject.


Teachers at Oasis Academy Silvertown mark work following a new policy that focuses on students taking ownership of their own learning.  This approach is very different from more traditional marking and you might notice some changes in your child’s book.

How do teachers mark?

  • Teachers set specific pieces of independent work which students know they will receive feedback on
  • Teachers read every book
  • Teachers take notes on presentation, best examples of student work, literacy and spelling errors and areas of learning which need more work.
  • Teachers feed back to the class in the next lesson, sharing best examples on the board and reteaching areas of learning which need more work.
  • Students correct their spelling and literacy mistakes and choose a ‘praise point’ (PP) and ‘action step’ (AS) which are appropriate for them.
  • Students complete a new piece of work which helps them to improve in an area that they need more work on.

What will I see in my child’s book?

  • Green pen corrections where your child has edited, improved or corrected their work.
  • A red and white sticker containing a PP and AS specific for your child.
  • Improved work below the sticker and in green pen.
  • You will not see any writing from the teacher!

Why is this marking style good for my child?

Research has repeatedly found that when students have to find and correct their own mistakes, they work harder and learn better. Not only does this approach mean that students improve faster, but it also motivates them to take more ownership of their learning.  When students take ownership of their learning, think more carefully and deeply for themselves they also develop in the five Bes, particularly in being independentprofessional and resilient, essential qualities for success later in life.