Frequently Asked Questions
Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8)
- Why does my child no longer work with National Curriculum levels?
In 2013 the Department for Education announced that as part of their reforms to the national curriculum ‘the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed. It will not be replaced’. Therefore schools nationally had to decide what to use to replace the old levels for pupils arriving in Year 7
- What did Wellington School decide to do?
We have implemented an online system called Doddle which tracks the national curriculum elements in all subjects. In some instances staff will manually RAG rate a skill where Red represents novice, Amber is developing and Green is secure. On other occasions pupils may complete homework, assignments or quizzes which are automatically RAG rated. These ratings will be collated within the Doddle system for staff, pupils and parents to view.
- How will parents know how their child is progressing in Doddle?
Parents of all Year 7 and 8 pupils will receive a letter with details about how to log in and view the progress of their child. They will have access to detailed information on all the skills completed so far for every subject.
- How often can parents view the progress in Doddle?
There is no limit to how often a parent can log in. Information that is entered into Doddle either by teachers or by pupils completing tasks will be visible to parents within three days.
- How will progress be measured?
Each skill is assigned a level of difficultly and once it is RAG rated staff can track if pupils are making the required progress. If a child is rated as red for a particular area they can use Doddle to access further resources and try any progress tests again. They can also attempt quizzes as many times as they wish. Any pupils identified by Heads of Department or the Director of Year as underachieving in relation to their starting point (their Year 6 SATs) will receive the relevant support or intervention.
Key Stage 3 (Year 9)
- What do Key Stage 3 levels mean?
Criteria for levels are subject specific. They can be found on the Wellington School website at ‘Parents / Key Stage 3 Levels’
- What are sublevels?
Sublevels split levels up into three, called a, b and c. Level 5a is classed as a high level 5 and level 5c is classed as a low level 5
- How many levels should I expect my child to progress over a year?
Government guidelines suggest that pupils should progress two full levels over key stage 3, between the end of Year 6 and the end of Year 9. However, this could be from a level 4a to a level 6c, which is only four sublevels. Therefore, at Wellington School we also use sublevels as a measure of progress and would expect 2 sublevels progress from year 6 to the end of year 7, 4 sublevels progress by the end of year 8 and 6 by the end of year 9.
- What if my child has not made 2 sublevels progress by the end of each year?
Pupils often do not make progress at a linear rate. Therefore a pupil may make 1 sublevel of progress in one year and 3 the next. Do not panic! Your child’s teacher will contact you if there are major concerns about progress.
- What if my child makes more than 2 sublevels of progress?
If teachers feel that it is appropriate they can raise a pupil’s target level. So if a pupil with a target of 6c achieves 6b at the end of year 7, their end of year 8 target can be adjusted to 7c rather than 6a.
Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11)
- How much progress should my child make between year 6 and year 11?
Government guidelines state that pupils should make 3 full levels of progress over five years. This equates to:
Level 3 in year 6 → Grade D
Level 4 in year 6 → Grade C
Level 5 in year 6 → Grade B+
- How much progress should my child make between year 9 and year 11?
As a guide the progress should be:
Level 5 in year 9 → Grade C+
Level 6 in year 9 → Grade B+
Level 7/8 in year 9 → Grade A/A*
Some pupils excel at Key Stage 4 particularly in some practical subjects. Therefore the grades above should be viewed as a minimum target.
- What grades should my child be aiming for?
This depends on their previous attainment. For college courses, training or apprenticeships pupils should check the individual requirements. However, a lot of educational establishments require a minimum number of grades Cs and above. With regards to the new grades mentioned below, access to some courses may demand grade 4s or 5s. However, with certain subjects pupils may need to achieve grade 6 in that subject to continue studying at A2 level.
- What about A* and A grades?
If pupils have targets of A* or A grades they should not be content with a grade B! Achieving the top grades can set pupils apart when they complete application forms or attend interviews.
This table shows the levels and grades that pupils should aspire to. Pupils can start on very different levels for different subjects (such as modern foreign languages which they may not have studied before Key Stage 3) so each subject should be considered separately. Horizontal arrows show expected progress, but pupils can strive to achieve higher.
- Why are some grades letters and others are numbers?
The Department for Education are gradually replacing all letter grades A* to G with numbers 9 to 1. Pupils taking mathematics and English in 2017 will receive the first number grades, with many other subjects using the new system from 2018. Please click this link to see how the old grades compare to the new ones.