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Raising the achievement of All


Assessment at Icknield

Assessment is part of the learning journey. And as with most journeys, it helps to know where you are going, why you want to go there and how you plan to get there. It’s also important to know where you are before you begin the journey!

At Icknield, accurate and robust assessment is crucial to support learning. Our aim is for students to know precisely how well they are doing and what the next steps for improvement are.

At Icknield we strive to ensure that assessment:

  • Is underpinned by the belief that all learners have the potential to achieve and that effort, resilience and practice are essential for success.
  • Promotes a clear understanding of the standards required for and criteria upon which assessments will be made.
  • Actively involves learners, engaging them in decision making and motivating them to take responsibility for their learning.
  • Focuses on learning through regular conversations, purposeful interventions and interactions that actively promote self and peer evaluation and reflection.
  • Utilises a variety of approaches, appropriate for learners, the nature of the activity and the context in which their learning is taking place.
  • Reaches beyond knowledge and understanding to include skills, attitudes and capabilities.
  • Is constructive and task-related, in order to develop learners’ confidence and self-esteem and to minimise potentially negative effects.
  • Generates feedback for both learners and teachers that inspires improvement and indicates how this can be realised.
  • Results in consistent, accurate information that is meaningful and useful for pupils, parents, teachers, school leaders and governors.

New 9 -1 GCSE

GCSEs are now graded on a new ‘reformed’ scale of 9 to 1, with 9 the highest grade (rather than A* to G for the ‘unreformed’ GCSEs), to distinguish clearly between the reformed and unreformed qualifications. The government and Department for Education (DfE) specified that the new GCSE syllabuses will include more challenging and knowledge-based content, with exams only at the end of the course. English and Maths were graded 9 to 1 in 2017, and in 2018 the following 17 subjects were reformed and have numbered grading: ancient languages, art and design, biology, chemistry, citizenship studies, computer science, dance, combined science, drama, food preparation and nutrition, geography, history, modern foreign languages (MFL), music, PE, physics, and religious studies (RS). Most others follow in 2019. During this transition period, students will receive a mixture of letter and number grades.

The main features of the new GCSEs are:

  1. A new grading scale of 9 to 1 will be used, with 9 being the top grade. This will allow greater differentiation between students and will help distinguish the new GCSEs from previous versions.
  2. Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.
  3. There will be new, more demanding content, which has been developed by government and the exam boards.
  4. Courses will be designed for two years of study – they will no longer be divided into different modules and students will take all their exams in one period at the end of their course.
  5. Exams can only be split into ‘foundation tier’ and ‘higher tier’ if one exam paper does not give all students the opportunity to show their knowledge and abilities.
  6. Resit opportunities will only be available each November in English language and maths.

What is the new grading scale for GCSE qualifications?

The reformed GCSE qualifications will be awarded on a grade scale of 9 (the highest grade) to 1 (the lowest). This new scale will be aligned to key grades on the current A* to G scale:

  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above.
  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as currently achieve a grade A and above.
  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 1 and above as currently achieve a grade G and above.