At St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, we no longer use National Curriculum Levels to assess progress in Year 7/8. Instead, students work towards completing the SBSJ Christus Lumen Gentium Diploma (Foundation) by the end of the academic year. To do this, they must achieve the following:
- Show improvement in tests for English, Maths and Science provided by GL Assessment
- Gain a qualification in Public Speaking from The English Speaking Board
- Complete the Arts Award
- Complete the Young Leader Award
- Take part in one extra-curricular activity or trip each term
- Make one contribution to the spiritual/charity/community life of the school each term
- Meet the age and ability related expectations for every subject.
To make sure that teachers have realistic but challenging expectations, students are divided into Progress Plan Pathways, based on a combination of the Standardised Age Scores achieved in Key Stage 2 SATs at the end of Year 6 and the CAT4 tests which they take in the first weeks of Year 7. The CAT4 test scores provide a reliable and up-to-date check on the current ability of each student in four areas: quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning and non-spatial reasoning. In cases where there is a discrepancy between the two scores, we have used the higher score to fix the Pathway; in borderline cases, we have always opted for the higher pathway; we firmly believe students should be challenged to achieve their maximum potential.
To ensure that students make sufficient progress and learn at the correct pace, Faculty and Subject Leaders have devised separate Progress Plans which specify exactly what a student is expected to be able to do in each unit of work. These expectations are linked back to the Key Stage 2 starting point and forwards to the appropriately challenging GCSE grade in that subject for each student. So, in effect, the Progress Plan Pathway shows the expected flightpath for each student, as long as they continue to meet expectations. Progress Plans for every subject will soon be available to view on our website under Curriculum.
To keep parents up-to-date with how their child is measuring up to the expectations, there are five Progress Reports in the year; in each one, teachers will report one of three progress descriptions:
- Meeting expectations
- Working towards expectations
- Working beyond expectations.
All students are monitored by the Progress Leader and Deputy Progress Leader. The majority of students should be “Meeting Expectations” in all subjects.
Where students are still “Working towards expectations” in any subject, this will be investigated by the Progress Leader and Deputy Progress Leader and, if necessary, parents will be contacted to explain what support is required.
Where students are consistently “Working beyond expectations” across two Progress Reports and in the majority of subjects, their Progress Plan Pathway will be reviewed to check whether a move to a higher pathway is required. Again, the Progress Leader and the Deputy Progress Leader will fully involve parents in any decisions about changes to pathways mid-year. All Progress Plan Pathways will be reviewed at the beginning of the summer term.
Any questions about assessment in Year 7 or Year 8 or the SBSJ Christus Lumen Gentium Diploma should be directed in the first instance to: