New Attainment Measures

From September 2016, our school curriculum and assessment systems are changing in response to the new Key Stage 4 attainment measures. Students’ attainment grades and targets throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 will be expressed using the new 1 to 9 number grades.

To provide further information on progress, we are tiering these grades:
a – Mastery, b – Secure, c – Developing.


Why are there changes to assessment?

The Department for Education has removed the use National Curriculum Levels at Key Stages 2 and 3. In response to this, primary and secondary schools have been asked to develop their own assessment systems. At Key Stage 2 the notion of “age-related expectations” has been introduced. In addition, from 2017 for English and Maths (and then 2018 for other subjects), GCSE grades A*-G will be replaced by GCSE number grades 1 to 9.

Have the changes made assessment and exams harder?

In a nutshell, yes. The new GCSEs are intended to be more challenging. In particular there is increasing demand on:
• the use of literacy skills – both reading and writing
• memorising and re-using prior learning
• being resilient and resourceful when presented with unfamiliar topics
• performance in final exams

How does the numerical system work?

We currently have eight grades and when the new number grading is introduced, we will have nine, with grade 9 being the highest number grade and 1 being the lowest.

How will the new system correlate to the old one?

• The new system allows for greater differentiation, having nine numerical grades in place of eight letter grades.
• The new numbered grades will not translate directly from the old grades A* – G, but we do know that approximately the same proportion of students who currently achieve:
-grade A or higher will receive a grade 7 or higher
-grade C or higher will receive a grade 4 or higher
• Grade 9 will be a new grade for very high-performing students, to be set at approximately the top half of the current A* grades
• Grade 5 will be the benchmark for a ‘good pass’
• Grade 1 will be the same as grade F/G

Have the changes to GCSE grades affected how students will be assessed at Key Stage 3?

All schools have been given the freedom to decide how to assess students at KS3. At St Marylebone we will be taking the new GCSE graded numbers into KS3. Throughout Years 7-9 all targets and attainment will now be expressed using the new 1-9 graded numbers. By using the same attainment measure throughout KS3 and 4 we will provide:
• one clear, linear flight path, where the assessment measure shows progress in learning year-on-year throughout KS3 and 4
• a common language for assessment throughout KS3 and 4
• a curriculum that clearly builds and develops the skills, knowledge and understanding so that all students are ‘GCSE ready’ by the end of Year 9

What number grades should I expect to see my child achieving in Key Stage 3?

On average students will enter St Marylebone in Year 7 on a number grade 1. They will then work their way through numbers 1 up to 3 or 4 in KS3. These are the foundations for achievement of GCSE number grade 5 (the new good pass) or above, by the end of Year 11.

Individual flight paths for ALL

At St Marylebone we value the individuality of every student and fully appreciate that each will make progress at different rates and at different times. Each student’s flight path is unique, with personalised targets. As ever, you will have a number of opportunities throughout the year to discuss your child’s progress and attainment with us.

Conversion Chart

The new attainment measures conversion chart can be seen below:


New Attainment Measures FAQ
Conversion Chart

More Questions?

For any further queries on this subject, please email: