Pupil Reports – Further information
We have continued to receive lots of feedback from parents about our new style reports and there have been a number of issues raised through our Facebook page. In light of all of the comments we have received I felt it would be helpful to give parents and carers some more information about why we have made the changes and how we intend the system to work moving forward.
Firstly the changes are primarily driven by the way that the government wish schools to monitor the academic progress of pupils. They intend that schools move away from the national curriculum level system that has been in place for most of the last 25 years and they are also moving away from a GCSE grade system based on A* - G to a system based on 9 -1 where 9 will be the highest grade. These changes are being phased in over a period of time and in the interim there is inevitably going to be some confusion as we move to the new system.
The other significant change is that at the end of Year 6 pupils will be given a KS2 points score rather than a level. At the moment as a secondary school we receive a level and a score for pupils joining us in Year 7. Based on this KS2 points score the government will then make predictions about the progress they expect a pupil to make by the end of Year 11 and the effectiveness of a school will be measured by how many pupils make the expected progress from these predictions.
Our new reporting system is being designed to allow pupils and parents to see how their child is progressing against these expectations over time and this leads to the colour coding within the reports.
In Years 7 – 9 pupils are set targets for their progress within each of those years and of course we expect that by the end of each year the pupils are meeting those targets and so their colour coding at the end of the year would be at least green At the end of the first term in the colour coding reflects how well the pupil is on track to meet their target and we would hope that by the end of the year the pupil would be at least green in all of their subjects. Parents should be aware that this colour coding is simply based on the PROGRESS that the pupil has made at that point. The success codes on the report are intended to indicate what the pupil is doing well and the barriers to learning are areas that the teacher believes could be improved to help the pupil progress more quickly.
In some cases the barrier to progress may be the behaviour of the pupil or a lack of effort but in MANY cases this will not be the reason why a subject is flagged as red. A red box simply means that a pupil has not made the expected progress at that point in time and we would hope that what follows from that is a discussion with the pupil and parents about what needs to be done to get the pupil on track. This conversation may well be about specific learning points and skills that the pupil needs to focus on, it doesn’t mean that they are not trying.
Our aim in all of this is to make sure our young people achieve the results they are capable of. We very much welcome parents contacting Year Leaders, Form Tutors or Subject Teachers to have a discussion about how we can help young people make progress. We will continue to reward pupils for good behaviour, attendance, effort and attitude through certificates, stamps, phone calls home and special trips and prizes etc. The termly reports however are deliberately focussed on the progress that young people are making and we sincerely hope that they will lead to a better discussion with parents, carers, pupils and teachers about exactly what needs to be done to help a young person succeed instead of simple generic statements like ‘do more work’ or ‘work harder’. We of course want our students to do that but they also need more detailed guidance to improve their work.
Parents are always welcome to contact us, we always aim to respond to parents within 24 hours although if key members of staff (like Year Leaders for example) are absent from school this is not always possible. This is a period of change which is not unique to York High School and we will continue to listen to your comments and seek to explain what we are doing.