New GCSEs are being introduced by the government and will be sat for the first time in the summer of 2017. This is the same for all schools in the country. The new GCSEs will be graded on a scale from 1-9: grade 9 being the highest, grade 1 being the lowest.

The table below provides a guide as to the new grading system:

The new system does not mirror the old letter grade system of the legacy GCSEs exactly. However, the new grade 4 is in-line with the current grade C, and the new grade 7 is in-line with the old grade A.

This new system is being phased in starting with English and maths. Most other subjects will be phased in for the summer of 2018:

  • Year 11 students in 2017 will sit new GCSEs in English and maths and legacy GCSEs in all their other subjects

Where students are studying towards legacy GCSEs, we will be reporting to parent/carers using the old A*-G* grades. For subjects that will be new GCSEs, we will report using the new 1-9 grades.

  • Year 10 students in 2017 will be sitting new GCSEs in the vast majority of subjects in year 11.
  • Year 7-9 students in 2017  will be sitting new GCSEs in every subject once they reach year 11.
Reporting at Wardle Academy

Once every half term, your child’s subject teacher will assess the grade your child is currently working at. This assessment will reflect class work and any examination/test performance in that subject.  This grade will be updated on target stickers in your child’s exercise books.

This working at grade will be reported to you as interim reports and a full report. Alongside this, we will publish your child’s expected and ASPIRE targets in each subject.

Assessment in Year 7 and 8

Since September 2015 every Key Stage 3 student in school has been following a 9-1 grading system. This is in line with the new National GCSE grades which have been introduced by the government as part of the amended GCSE Programme of Study. 9 is the highest grade (equivalent to a top end A* in previous grading). National Curriculum Levels which you may be familiar with to track your child’s progress are no longer in use. All schools throughout the country will now have a different, bespoke method to track pupil progress.

At Wardle Academy, all students in all years will be assessed on the new scale of 1-9. We believe that it is very important that teachers, parent/carers, and the students themselves view progress as a journey over 5 years. All students are on a progress journey to success at the end of year 11. Students are not expected to move up the scale quickly; the average grade at the end of year 8 should be around a 2 or 3. Progress should be steady and secure over time. Students will have an Expected Target each year that they will be working towards which has been calculated using their end of Key Stage 2 data from primary SATs tests. We aspire for all our students to work beyond this target so in addition all students will have an ASPIRE Target which, if they reach, will ensure that they achieve above their end of year and GCSE targets. Targets will be reviewed to ensure they are challenging for all students.

For some of our younger students, being assessed on a 1-9 scale does create an element of challenge.

We feel the benefits of this system are:

  • it encourages all students to stretch themselves as they travel on their progress journey;
  • the 1-9 scale is linked to the new GCSE grades therefore it is easier to understand as we have one system for tracking for all students
  • it is easier for teachers, students and parent/carers to monitor progress over time. As students are measured against the same criteria from year 7 through to year 11, we can clearly see the progress each individual is making in all subjects. Students who need stretching further, or who need more support, are easier to identify.
Example Flight Path Tables

The example below shows  targets for a student who arrived with either a Key Stage 2 level of 4b or a scaled score of 100 (which represents the Key Stage 2 national expectation):


Wardle Academy Targets (4b / 100 scaled score student)

NEP target ASPIRE target
Year 7 1 = 1 +
Year 8 2 – 2 =
KS3 (Year 9) 3 – 3 =
KS4 (Year 11) 5 6

If students come in with higher or lower Key Stage 2 scores then their targets will reflect this accordingly.

NEP stand for Nationally Expected Progress and represents the average progress made by a student from this starting point. The ASPIRE target reflects the fact that we aspire for our students to achieve more than just the average and so should push themselves to achieve at and even above this higher target in many of their subjects.


In Years 7 ,8 and 9 parent/carers will receive reports 3 times per year. Two of these reports will be an interim report, they will show students current grades and attitude to learning and homework. It is colour coded to show where they are achieving their expected end of year grades.

As we get closer to the end of the year, where a student is on target, the reports will become increasingly colourful as the students meet or exceed the expected standard in their subjects. As a school, we place greater emphasis on students’ final grade, while ensuring they are on track throughout the year.

Colour Explanation
Excellent progress
Mastering – Reached ASPIRE
Secure – Reached expected
Developing – Working towards target

The 3rd report will be a full report that will contain additional staff comments, student strengths and next steps:

Guide to teacher effort (Attitude to Learning) codes:

A = Maximum effort is put into their work, they are always very positive.

B = A lot of effort is put into their work most of the time.

C = Very little effort is put into their work and this is affecting their progress.

D = They need to consistently put more effort into their work and have a more positive attitude.

Guide to homework codes:

A = Maximum effort is put into completing work on time and to a good standard.

B = Some effort has been put into completing work on time and to a good standard.

C = Very little effort is put into work (although it is completed on time).

D = Very little effort is put into work (and homework is often late).

E = No effort is put into work (and homework is rarely handed in).



In year 10  parent/carers receive an interim report 5 times in the year and in year 11 4 times. In addition, parent/carers will also receive a full report.


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