Key Stage 3

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

These guidelines aim to provide an overview of the school’s practice for assessment, recording and reporting the progress and attainment of students. At the same time, these overriding guidelines have been adapted by each individual faculty and subject in order to meet the differing requirements of assessment within each subject area. The policy will be updated in line with national changes and recommendations in these areas.

Background and Rationale

As of September 2015 the school made the decision to stop using National Curriculum Levels to assess students at Key Stage 3. The decision to remove levels was a welcome change and one that has allowed the school to re-think and re-focus the methodologies teachers use to mark, assess and report the progress of students. This has led to the development of our bespoke Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).

We have used the removal of levels to create an assessment system at KS3 that:

  • Is based on developing the key knowledge and skills and understanding required to access the rigorous GCSE specifications.
  • Is based on our high expectations of students.
  • Is simple and easy to understand – for staff, parents and students.
  • Enables pupils to demonstrate evidence of progression before they proceed to the next stage.

Key Stage Three (KS3)

Curriculum for Excellence Model

Below is the Curriculum for Excellence model, this enables teachers to grade students based on their work over a particular unit or units during each term. We are following a three year KS3 model to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum so that learners get a rich curriculum experience.

The Foundation content is for Year 7, Intermediate content is for Year 8 and Advanced content is for Year 9.

Content is split by term:

  • Year 7 will be split into F1, F2 and F3
  • Year 8 will be split into I1, I2 and I3
  • Year 9 will be split into A1, A2 and A3.

For subjects in Year 9, all will deliver the Curriculum for Excellence Advanced content.

Progress will be measured at the end of each term against the target for progress generated from the student's ability banding (KS2 scaled scores or CATS scores if KS2 is not available).


F1 /  F2 /  F3 I1 /  I2 /  I3 A1 / A2 / A3


EXCELLING Demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of all concepts and skills in a unit of work.
EXTENDING Grasped the main concepts and skills in a unit of work and can apply to new contexts.
SECURE Has a SECURE understanding of the main concepts and skills when applied to familiar contexts.
DEVELOPING Grasped some of the main ideas, skills in a unit of work, others require development.
ASPIRING Beginning to grasp some of the main ideas and skills in a unit of work.


The Target Setting Process

Pupils will be expected to perform at an assessment grade/end of unit grade which is consistent with their prior attainment band as shown in the table below.

This would replace how a teacher assesses whether a pupil is 'Above, On or Below' against their end of year target grade. If a pupil is working below their BAND requirements, they will appear as 'Below'. This replaces a subjective judgement being made against end of year target and instead focuses on progress to date.

It is important to note that assessments gradually become more challenging as students move from year to year, so students can continue to achieve 'Secure' for example, and be making expected progress.

Band  Assessment Expectations
Higher Learner To achieve 'EXCELLING' on most assessments
Proficient Learner To achieve 'EXTENDING' on most assessments
Standard Learner To achieve 'SECURE' on most assessments
Foundation Learner To achieve 'DEVELOPING' on most assessments
Entry Level Learner To achieve 'ASPIRING' on most assessments

Example Section 1 Curriculum for Excellence Summary Progress.jpg  Example Section 2 Curriculum for Excellence Test Resutls.jpg