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The John Bentley School

An Outstanding Centre For Learning

JBS Assessment Guidance

The JBS Assessment Guidance

In 2013 the Department for Education removed the system of assessment levels that was used in primary schools and in Years 7-9 at secondary schools.  At JBS, we have used this decision as a great opportunity to develop a new assessment system which monitors how students progress from the moment they start in Year 7, to Year 11 when they sit their GCSE exams.  By 2019, students’ attainment in all GCSEs will be awarded as a number rather than a traditional letter. Therefore we will now assess students’ work using numbers.  This guide will explain the rationale behind this decision as well as answering some other questions about assessment and reporting at JBS.


Until Year 10, we don’t emphasise the importance of graded targets with students. Instead of worrying about such targets, we believe students should enjoy and develop a positive attitude to learning. However, it is important that parents/carers should be aware of how targets are calculated as they influence how we record your child’s progress in reports.  Student’s targets are reviewed at the start of Year 10 to take into account individual needs and their progress between Years 7-9.

When a student leaves primary school they achieve an attainment score. In 2016 this changed from a level e.g. ‘5C’, to a score between 80 and 120.  Using either levels (year groups 10-11) or a numbered score (years 7-9), JBS have placed each student in a band and then using national tables, given a base grade for each subject. This base grade equates to students making expected progress that is predicted nationally. This is the minimum expected grade in Year 11, based on their prior performance. Base grades are calculated from a KS2 average grade with the exception of English and maths. These subjects use only the English KS2, and maths KS2, respectively. Teachers in collaboration with students then set targets that are motivational for students when they enter Year 10 that are inline or higher than their base grade.

Reporting Progress

Throughout student’s entire time at The John Bentley School, their progress can be tracked towards their final GCSE assessments.  Teachers will assess students on a grade between WT1 (working towards grade 1) and grade 9, the highest grade that can be achieved. The equivalent will be used in vocational subjects. Therefore, if a teacher awards a student a grade 5, they have assessed that they are currently producing work to the standard of a GCSE grade 5.  For some students, particularly in Year 7, they will not yet be working at a current GCSE grade standard so they will be awarded a grade at WT either at developing, securing or mastering. 

In KS3 it will be reported if students are achieving a grade that equates to them exceeding their base grade, meeting their base grade, developing towards their base grade (on track to achieve one grade below) or are below their base grade. In KS4 this will be reported along with their predicted grade in their GCSE exams. Their predicted grade will be fine graded.

Fine grades indicate how confident a teacher is that they will achieve the predicted grade.

  • 5a indicates that teachers believe a student is likely to get a Grade 5, but with a significant chance of getting a Grade 6
  • 5b indicates that teachers believe a student is highly likely to get a Grade 5.
  • 5c indicates that teachers believe a student is most likely to get a Grade 5 but there is a significant chance it could drop to a 4.
  • WT1a represents they are working towards a 1 and have almost reached Grade 1.

Each band has an expected progress flight path that gives an indication of the attainment we want our students to achieve at the end of each academic year. Each flight path colour is the expected flight path for the given Year 6 attainment. This is illustrated in the graph below. It can be used to give an indication of the current grade in KS3 if a student has been given meeting or developing in their report.

Although this graph is useful in showing where students should be at the end of each academic year, progress is rarely as linear as this. Every student is different and will make more or less progress at different times during their journey at JBS. The school will intervene if a student strays too far from the expected progress to ensure that there is support if they need it. If a student is reported to be developing or below in a subject then a conversation with the subject teacher at parents evening is recommended to determine whether any changes need to be made to enhance progress.

Reporting Process

At the John Bentley School  an emphasis is placed on students attitude to learning. This will be reported on at least twice year, three times after transition (Year 7,10,12). Students will be graded in four learning attributes: homework, behaviour, pride in work and engagement as shown in the table below.

At the end of each year a full tutor report is also included. In Years 11, 12 and 13 a subject comment is also completed to provide information on the next steps necessary before the summer exams.


If you have any feedback on the new assessment please email Mary Goldsmith (Assistant Headteacher for Outcomes) at