‘It’s heartening that schools are now ranked according to how well each and every student does’ – See how schools and colleges in Royston and South Cambs are doing under the new Progress 8 system
- Credit: Archant
As secondary school pupils in Royston and South Cambs got their provisional Progress 8 results for the first time since the system was rolled out nationwide this year, we’ve taken a look at the results and what they mean for schools.
The days of secondary schools being ranked on how many pupils gaining C grades or higher in five GCSE subjects including English and maths are numbered.
The emphasis previously was on achievement at GCSE level, and more specifically those whose grades were on the right side of the C/D threshold.
However the new Progress 8 is a relative measure which aims to capture progress of each pupil from the end of primary school to the completion of their secondary school studies.
The measure to go alongside this is Attainment 8, which is the students’ average achievement rather than progress made.
In Key Stage 4, students sit exams in eight subjects, and every grade goes towards their school’s score.
Bassingbourn Village College students did extremely well in their provisional Progress 8 results.
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Staff and students celebrated when they learnt government figures show the school achieved a progress 8 score of 0.27 – a feat achieved by just a quarter of schools in England.
Duncan Cooper is the principal at Bassingbourn.
“We are obviously delighted with the release of these provisional figures which show that the staff and pupils here in Bassingbourn are doing a brilliant job in comparison to all other secondary schools,” he said.
“By taking into consideration the levels achieved by students when they join us in Year 7 and then what they achieve when they leave us at the end of their GCSEs, these new performance tables really do reflect the hard work that goes on throughout all years at Bassingbourn.
“It is heartening that schools are now ranked according to how well each and every student does and that they are working to the very best of their abilities.”
Melbourn Village College’s provisional Progress 8 score is 0.45 – this means Melbourn Village College students achieved, on average, almost half a grade higher in each GCSE than similar students of the same ability nationally.
The school has stated that the focus on the progress of each student is at the heart of the school’s philosophy, ‘everybody is somebody’.
In relation to the progress 8 scores, the confidence interval can also be considered, as it is difficult to say with certainty how much of the Progress 8 score is down to the school – which may have scored higher with a different group of pupils – and how much is down to the pupils, some of which may have performed well at any school. So the confidence interval reflects this uncertainty.
If the confidence intervals for two schools overlap, then it can’t be said for certain that the two Progress 8 scores for these schools are significantly different.
Meridian School’s acting headteacher Kim Horner has said she is pleased with progress and hopes for better results next year, after the school achieved a score of -0.1
“This cohort, at KS2, performed slightly lower than the national and the Herts average,” she said.
“We are pleased, therefore, that our Progress 8 confidence interval of -0.3 to +0.1 overlaps with the national average.
“Our Attainment 8 figure of 48.2 points per pupil, however, is exactly in line with the national average.
“In spite of pupils joining with a lower than national average Key Stage 2 score, we have pupils leave with an Attainment 8 in line with the national average.
“We’re particularly pleased with our higher attainers whose Progress 8 figure of +0.26 demonstrates their achievement in making more than expected progress.”
Speaking about specific subjects and looking to the future, the Meridian head added: “We’re pleased with the progress made this year in English and maths but we’re striving for even better results next year.
“We’ve had our first separate triple science results – one third of the year group were entered – with some outstanding results with pupils achieving A* and A grades in all three sciences, enabling them to study sciences at A level.
“With a new leadership team in place, we’ve had a very positive start to the school year. This term, we’ve got underway with high expectations of students in all areas, focusing on student success – the response from pupils in school has been palpable.
“We all very excited about working together to ensure the highest outcomes for all our students.”
What is Progress 8?
Progress 8 is designed to encourage shools to offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Key Stage 4.
It is based on students progress in eight subjects – English, maths, three English Baccalaureate subjects and three other subjects that can be EBaccs or any other high-value arts, academic or vocational qualification.
A school’s score is calculated by comparing the achievement of all of its pupils against the Attainment 8 score, or the average achievement of all its pupils against pupils nationally with similar prior attainment.
Prior attainment is based on assessment results from the end of primary school so, the greater the score, the greater the progress made over the course of secondary school.
A Progress 8 score will be published as a numerical figure where each GCSE grade is equal to one.
For example, 0.5 means pupils made half a grade more progress across their subjects than expected. A score of 0 would mean pupils made expected progress.