Norton College

Norton College

11 - 19 School & Sixth Form Centre

"Pupils are prepared well for life after school"

Ofsted, 2023

I work hard to achieve my full potentialI am resilient and believe that anything is possible with effortI take pride in myself, my college and my communityI am confident, self motivated and ambitious to achieveI am known and respected as an individual.I engage in all aspects of college life with enthusiasm
a s p i r e

4) Assessment

4) Assessment

In June 2021 we reviewed our approach to assessment. Following this review we introduced a more cohesive and transparent assessment system designed to support students to measure their progress across a consistent scale of assessment throughout Year 7 to Year 11. 

As part of this redevelopment, we made the decision to assess at Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) using GCSE exam-style grades. In reaching this decision, we consulted with a range of students and staff. From this consultation it was resoundingly clear that this would be their preferred approach to assessment.  This system allows similar assessment criteria to be used from Year 7 until Year 11 and ensures a greater degree of continuity between Key Stages 3 and 4. Under our new system students can see how the progress they make in Key Stage 3 is related to GCSE (Key Stage 4). When students move into Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11), we will write to you to share a copy of your child's estimated GCSE grades. These are produced by the Fischer Family Trust which is a charitable organisation which uses a student’s prior achievement at Key Stage 2 to estimate the grade that she/he is most likely to achieve in each subject at GCSE. Please note that students will already be familiar with these estimated grades in most of their subjects as they will have been shared during Year 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3). 

In each of the sections below we have provided guidance to support you to interpret and understand the information that we will report to you within your child's report. These reports are distributed twice per year. The first of these is at the mid-point of the academic year and the second is an end-point report at the end of the summer term. You can find the specific date for each of these reported in the table below. 


Reporting Schedule for Achievement and Progress

Assessment Week Report Issued Assessment Week Report Issued
Year 7 15 January 2024 02 February 2024 29 April 2024 17 May 2024
Year 8 27 November 2023 15 December 2023 20 May 2024 14 June 2024
Year 9 11 December 2023 12 January 2024 03 June 2024  21 June 2024
Year 10 09 January 2024 26 January 2024 24 June 2024 12 July 2024
Year 11 07 November 2023 08 December 2023 29 January 2024 08 March 2024
Year 12 04 March 2024 22 March 2024 24 June 2024 19 July 2024
Year 13 23 October 2023 17 November 2023 29 January 2024 01 March 2024

In addition to these achievement and progress reporting cycles, we will also have an additional cycle focused exclusively upon your child's attitude to learning. This will be reported on the same 3-point scale that we use when on the achievement and progress reports. The attitude to learning report will be shared with you shortly after WC 16 October 2023. This report will be collated for all students and in all subjects across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. 



In Year 7 we report students’ achievement on a 5-point scale: grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4 and grade 4+. A grade 4+ is the highest grade on this 5-point scale. We have included a 4+ grade to ensure that we do not artificially cap a student’s achievement. In Year 8 we will introduce grades 5 and 5+ and in Year 9 we will introduce grades 6 and 6+. We report all these grades alongside sub-levels (+, = and -). For example, a grade 3 would be split into 3-, 3= and 3+.  A grade of 3+ would indicate the student has mastered the assessment criteria at this grade. A 3= would indicate a secure understanding and a 3- would reflect an understanding of some elements of the requirements of this grade. A grade 3- is directly above a 2+.  

For each of these grade points teaching staff refer to grade descriptors during lessons and in assessed tasks. These descriptors can be accessed through our school website to support you to understand how teaching staff have reached their grading decisions. The descriptors will allow you to identify your child’s strengths in each subject area as well as any areas for development required to secure further achievement.  

Expected progress 

Your child’s report will also outline a flight path (expected progress) for each subject. The information that we use to generate students’ flight paths uses a student’s prior achievement at Key Stage 2 (primary school) to estimate the grade that she/he is most likely to achieve in each subject at GCSE. Where this information is not available (e.g., students’ absence in KS2 assessments or revised assessment arrangements in primary schools in response to the pandemic) we will use baseline assessment data collected internally (e.g., through MidYis) when students join us in year 7.    

Baseline data is used to calculate the expected progress that we will share with you. Expected progress reflects an average of how students with similar prior achievement profiles to your child, in similar schools to Norton College, have achieved in each GCSE subject in the past.  They are not, therefore, a prediction of what your child will achieve in the future. In most cases, these estimates reflect realistic and ambitious target grades for students to aim for at GCSE.  There will always be individual students for whom these grades may seem unrealistic. 


The information that we will provide to you will indicate whether your child has progressed between the previous and most recent assessments undertaken in each subject area. Our system has been deliberately designed to avoid a direct comparison against a student’s flight path. Although the expected progress grade provides a useful benchmark, the most important concern is whether the student has progressed since the last assessment. We will use the terms Above, No change and Below to indicate whether progress has been made between these assessment points (mid-points and end-points). We will not report on progress in the first reporting cycle as earlier assessments will not have been conducted using a comparable reporting system.   

Behaviour, effort and home learning 

We will report on your child’s attitude and home learning in each subject that they study. We will report this to you using categories. These are: 

  • Excellent 
  • Good 
  • Requires Improvement

You may find that your child has less excellent grades than you might have expected. Please do not be concerned by this; it is simply that we are reserving this to recognise genuinely excellent performance demonstrated consistently. A grade of good under any of the headings indicates that there are no significant problems or concerns. 

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