The Key Stage 3 Curriculum is made up of all of the subjects your child will study in Years 7, 8 and 9. The purpose of studying these subjects at Key Stage 3 is to ensure your child is fully prepared for their GCSEs. At Reading Girls’ School, our aim is that all students make outstanding progress, and to help in this they will be set challenging targets based on the new 9 to 1 GCSE grading system.
The Key Stage 4 Curriculum is made up of both the compulsory and optional subjects your child will study in Years 10 and 11. The teaching will build upon skills that have been embedded in Key Stage 3 and will prepare your child for a path into further education and their chosen career.
How are targets set?
Targets for students are set using the results achieved in the Primary School Year 6 SATs. The marks for these tests are used rather than the overall level to make the targets as accurate as possible. The government publishes the progress made by students in from Year 6 SATs to the different subjects in Year 11 and we use this information to set our students challenging targets.
The targets may vary slightly for different subjects and individual students, but a guide is given below:
The government is still calculating how to determine progress from the new scoring system introduced for the Year 6 SATs in 2016.
How do the 9-1 grades compare to the old GCSEs
Ofqual published this chart to show how the new 9-1 grades compare to the old A*-G grades. As you will see, the bottom of new grade 4 will align with the bottom of the old grade C, but the government has decided that a “good pass” required to progress to further study will be a Grade 5.
How do teachers assess progress?
Teachers will mark your child’s work regularly and we expect students to act on their feedback using green pen. Every eight weeks, your child will be given a formal assessment in each subject and will be awarded a grade from 9 to 1 to show the current grade at which they are working. Teachers will also provide a predicted end of Key Stage 4 grade to show the final GCSE grade your child is on track to achieve in Year 11 at the current rate of progress. This gives you an indication of how well your child is progressing and if they are on track to achieve their target.
The assessments will be different in each subject. For example, in Maths students will often learn about and be assessed on one strand of the subject like algebra or statistics, but in French students might be assessed on all of the strands (reading, writing, speaking and listening) as they gradually develop their skills in each area by studying different topics. In subjects involving practical skills, like Technology and PE, teachers are likely to assess both theory and practical skills.
How do I know what my child is learning in each subject?
At Reading Girls’ School, we publish on our website a Curriculum Booklet for each subject. The Curriculum Booklets show you what topics (or units) are being studied in each year and briefly tell you what the students will learn. It is also really useful to review your child’s books as each piece of work will have a very specific learning objective.
What happens as a result of assessment?
Teachers will mark the assessments, award a grade and tell students how to improve. When students are exceeding their targets, you will be informed of the outstanding progress that your child is making, and their target might be adjusted. If your child has not reached their target, the teacher will intervene with extra support.