Changes in curriculum and national performance and accountability measures
In the next few years we will see many changes to the National Curriculum in secondary schools; some will affect all students and some will affect only a few. The changes are many, however please be assured that the Academy has considered these changes for some time and we have planned appropriately in order to embrace them and ensure a smooth transition.
A new National Curriculum came into force in September 2014. This includes some changes to content and we have adjusted our schemes of work accordingly. National Curriculum Levels have been abolished and the Academy is moving to a system in Years 7 and 8, initially in English and Maths only, of monitoring performance against key performance indicators (KPIs).
Key performance indicators are a set of criteria that students of a particular year group will need to meet in that subject over the course of the year to properly access the next year’s programme of study. For example in Mathematics there are 24 KPIs in year 7 and there are 15 KPIs in English. The expectation is that all KPIs are met over the course of the year. Hence if students fail to meet these KPIs under assessment, they will be expected to do additional work and assessments to catch up. A full list of the KPIs with descriptions can be found on the VLE.
KPIs are currently being used in year 7 for mathematics and for years 7, 8 and 9 for English. Science will transition to KPIs in 2016-17 and other subjects will follow. Details will be released in due course. These will be reported as a number of successfully demonstrated KPIs out of the total for the year. It will be indicated to parents whether the student is progressing on above or below expectations, this will be further elucidated when reports are sent out at AP3.
GCSE examinations are the focus of a number of changes, some of which have already taken place and some of which are quite significant. New GCSEs are being introduced in Mathematics, English Language and English Literature for first teaching this September with the first examination in 2017. Pupils in Year 10, therefore, will be the first to sit the new examinations. Teaching for the remaining GCSE subjects will start from 2016 onwards. The new GCSE will be graded on a numerical scale, 9 to 1, rather than using the existing alphabetical scale, A* to G. This means that from 2017 until 2019, a mix of numbers and grades will be awarded. The proposed grade that will constitute a good pass (grade C under the old system) is a grade 5. In addition students will sit all examinations at the end of Year 11 – there will be no opportunity in future to sit GCSE examinations early.
The Government is changing how it measures the performance of schools. No longer will it simply measure the proportion of students securing 5 A* to C grades, but will instead look at a system of measuring progress students make from joining the school in Year 7 to leaving in Year 11. We are delighted that this measure so far has indicated that Stockport Academy is adding value to students from their starting points at a figure significantly above National Average.
Schedule of Changes
Year 11: These students will be the first year group to sit the new GCSEs in some subjects (Mathematics, English Language and English Literature). They will take new linear A-levels in all subjects.
Year 10: and below: These students will take the new GCSEs in most subjects and will receive a mix of grades (A*-G) and numbers (9-1 - 9 being highest) in their results.
Year 9: These students will take a full suite of 9-1 GCSEs.
Year 8: These students will take a full suite of 9-1 GCSEs. In addition this cohort, it is suggested, will be the first for whom it will be compulsory to study EBACC; Maths, English, Science, languages and either history or geography.