Exams, Assessment & Reporting KS4


Having made their options choices at the end of KS3, students study these subjects for 2 years before sitting external examinations at the end of Year 11. We currently run a wide variety of courses in KS4, all of which are high-value and rigorous qualifications.

We recognise that exams, whether mocks or final GCSEs are an extremely stressful time for students and we place huge importance on ensuring access to expert mental health support, which we’ve recently expanded. Students can access academic support through their subject teacher or the Head of Faculty, and pastoral (inc. mental health) support via their form tutor, Head of Year, pastoral manager and wider Student Services team, and we urge all students to ask for support as soon as they need it or have any concerns. In Year 11, following their December mock exams, students will participate in a mock exam results day, with the aim to simulate the real thing in August of Year 11.

In KS4, parents receive an academic progress report 3 times per year which indicate the progress being made in GCSE and vocational subjects. The ‘emerging grades’ on KS4 reports show the grade (9-1 for GCSE and D*-P for vocational courses) that a student is on track to achieve by the end of Year 11. Emerging grades include fine grading: a ‘+’ indicates that a student may reach the grade above; a ‘-‘ indicates they are at risk of dropping to the grade below. Emerging grades that match the overall target at the top of the report indicate that they are on track, but it is important to remember that the overall target will not fit perfectly with every subject – a student might have made particularly strong progress in some subjects meaning they are above target and may find another subject more difficult and be just below target. Please encourage your child to engage in individual conversations with their subject staff and to act on advice and recommendations in order to maximise progress.

Progress reports also include an ‘Attitude to Learning’ grade which indicates on a scale of 1-4, students’ engagement with that subject and any concerns there might be. It is our expectation that every student should have at least ‘Good’ Attitude to Learning (AtL) grades, enabling them to achieve the best possible set of examination results at the end of Year 11. To clarify which, if any, areas may be of concern or needing improvement, there are additional columns which will be marked with an ‘X’ if required. If columns are blank, this indicates that there are no concerns. If your child has any AtL grades that are less than good or any concerns in the 5 boxes, please speak to them about it and agree what they can do to rectify the situation. Click here for information about looking at a progress report with your child.

If parents are separated, (please ensure we have both parents’ email addresses in this instance), we are able to send progress reports to both parents. Click here for an example KS4 progress report.

Targets are created in Year 10 for KS4 but are reviewed at the end of Year 10 and can be increased where a student is consistently exceeding their target in any 1 subject. On progress reports, a general target is given (as in KS3) but individual teachers will discuss with students specific targets they think a student should be aiming for in a subject. This creates an ongoing conversation around assessment and feedback and allows teachers to support students and address any specific barriers to progress.