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Key Stage 3

At Harborne Academy we are constantly striving, looking for newer and better ways of raising standards, in short pursuing excellence.  We have embraced positively the challenge given to schools and academies by the Department for Education to review our assessment methods and put into place a curriculum that not only meets statutory requirements in September 2015, but also one that looks beyond this, to meet the aspirations of our school community, preparing our young people for their future lives.


KS3 – Curriculum and Assessment

Our new KS3 assessment is outlined below.  The curriculum itself emphasises Ebacc, and through our celebrated Skills School, a special emphasis on providing a strong foundation in literacy, and the development of strong study skills and good study habits.


Tracking progress over time

Recent years have seen significant changes in education.  Between 2015 and 2019 we will see the phased introduction of new GCSEs, no longer graded A* to G, but graded 9 to 1. In the interim, therefore, students will be sitting combinations of these GCSEs.  This mixed economy will inevitably lead to some confusion and our aim has been to introduce a simple model that acts as a transition from old to new. 


New grade: 1 to 9 for new GCSEs

In this model, you can see a reference to Bloom’s Taxonomy, a well-known classification of levels of intellectual behaviour.  In the second column, NS refers to National Standard, and 100 will represent the national average for year 6 students from 2016.  In column three, a rough approximation is made to current average end of key stage 2 levels.  The following four columns show what this will look like in our Academy.  Students will be set targets that are aspirational, determined by their prior attainment in the first instance but constantly reviewed to ensure there are no ‘glass ceilings’ (because students do not always learn in straight lines – or to use an old fashioned term, they ‘blossom’ later).  In subjects yet to transition to new GCSEs, progress will be reported by a grade, but as they transition over the coming years progress will be reported in numbers (matched to grade criteria), as shown in the final column.  Reporting progress using the new number scale will be applicable in English and mathematics from September 2015 but not other subjects.  (Please see the PDF titled GCSE Timeline Chart for further information about the introduction of new GCSEs)

In blue, assuming a straight-line progress trajectory, we can visualise the rate of progress for a student joining us in year 7 having achieved the national average at the end of key stage 2 and graduating in year 11.


How can I find out more about individual subjects?

In the curriculum section of our website we will share, subject by subject, the assessment plans and curriculum, and every subject will highlight links between the development of knowledge, understanding and skills at key stages 3 and 4.  Every subject will report on progress according to our common format (see above) and this will be driven by test and examination outcomes over time.


Assessing character

In addition to reporting on the progress of students in individual subjects, we also recognise at Harborne, the need to develop an individual’s character.  Character will focus on ‘measuring’ ways a student’s confidence and self-assurance develops.  This area of assessment is under development but will be introduced during the next academic year.  

KS3 Assessment New For 2015 - please here click to view

KS3 Long Term Plan by Subject - please click here to download

GCSE Timeline Chart 2014-18 - please click here to download




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