Exams, Assessment & Reporting KS5


We offer a broad and balanced KS5 curriculum, which includes over 25 A level and 6 BTEC courses. Our curriculum is purposefully designed to ensure that students are able to progress onto competitive degree courses and apprenticeships.

All our A ‘Level courses are linear in nature, with students sitting their final external assessments at the end of Year 13. To prepare students adequately for this, we run a cycle of assessment weeks throughout Year 12 and Year 13 (see assessment calendar – put link to website here).  Many of our BTEC courses do have external assessment throughout the year too.

To give students the opportunity to sit a substantial assessment in each of their courses, we run high-profile mock examination week both in Year 12 (summer term) and in Year 13 (February).  These grades can be used to form UCAS Predicated grades (Year 12 Mocks) and as a summative assessment of their current understanding before embarking on a period of intense revision (Year 13).

We recognise that exams, whether mocks or final A level 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 and our 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 13, following their February mock exams, students will participate in a mock exam results day, with the aim to simulate the real thing in August of Year 13.

In KS5, parents receive an academic progress report 3-4 times per year (dependant on their year group) which indicate the progress being made in Level 3 courses. The ‘emerging grades’ on KS5 reports show the grade (A-E for A’ level and D*-P for vocational courses) that a student is on track to achieve by the end of Year 13. 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 13. 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 [3] 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 [4] for an example KS4 progress report.

Targets in KS5 are set using a student’s end of KS4 attainment as a benchmark. All targets are reviewed throughout Year 12 and 13 and can be increased where a student is consistently achieving at or above their target in a particular subject.