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How we measure progress at DPA

How we measure progress at Derby Pride Academy

Most subjects at KS4 are assessed using the new GCSE grading structure of 9-1, while Childcare, Health & Fitness, Music and Health and Social Care remain on the old A*-G and pass, Merit and Distinction grading structure. Meanwhile, pupils in KS3 are assessed using the new grading structure with the exception of the Level 1 Award Caring for Children which is graded as a pass.

Since some students may be working at a level below Grade 1, or Grade G, there are four further grades; SL, GL, IL and W. These stand for ‘supported learning’, ‘guided learning’, ‘independent learning’, and ‘working towards Grade 1’.

SL GL IL W 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

At Derby Pride Academy, many of our pupils have experienced disruption to their studies. As a result, normal routes of progress cannot be assumed.

Whilst we look to support our pupils in making their expected progress from KS2 levels, we realise this is not always possible. On entry, all pupils sit a baseline assessment for the subjects we deliver. These baseline assessments are usually specimen or past exam papers. One way in which we measure progress at DPA, therefore, is by setting a target for each subject based on the baseline assessment they complete and the time they have remaining until the end of their key stage. Pupils can subsequently focus on narrowing the gap that may have been created due to disengagement in education whilst with us.

Meanwhile, we still focus on the national progress measure of expected attainment since many of our pupils are capable of progressing towards this. Pupils progress is measured in relation to what they are expected to achieve based on their KS2 levels. For KS3 pupils, we take an appropriate proportion of their expected attainment in order to measure progress to the end of Year 9.

It is in light of this measure that specific intervention, including 1:1 tutoring, are planned in order to support pupils to achieve as close to their expected progress as possible. To this end, teachers monitor the progress of each pupils and submit end of key stage predicted grades throughout the year so that interventions can be re-evaluated and redirected if necessary.

Further, and specifically at KS3, we have found many of our pupils enter with Reading Ages below their actual age. As a result, we focus on making progress by improving reading ages each full term. This is through rigorous assessment using the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) on entry and retesting throughout the year. 1:1 intervention is also provided for those with significantly low ages.