Assessment, Marking & Feedback

Caldew School takes our responsibility for ensuring the quality and reliability of assessment very seriously. High quality assessment of students’ learning and progress is a fundamental aspect of the everyday function and purpose of the school

The Purpose of Assessment

Assessment is an essential part of any high quality curriculum and the information gained plays a crucial role in raising standards of learning and achievement. The primary purpose of assessment at Caldew School is to make students and teachers aware of how much progress is being made by individual students in each subject. This then allows departments and the school to accurately measure progress against the challenging targets that are set.

How Do We Set Targets?

When students join Caldew, we set them targets in every subject. These grades are what we expect students to achieve at the end of Year 11 and have been set taking into account their Key Stage 2 Maths and English levels. Our targets are ambitious and challenging, but achievable: we want to secure the very best outcomes for our students, so that they are successful today and prepared for tomorrow.

It is important to take into account the following:

  • Different children make progress at different rates
  • Some children do go on to exceed their target grades
  • Students’ progress towards their targets is affected by their approach to learning. We expect all students to have a positive approach to their learning and to try their best.  If students fall below this expectation, this will affect their academic progress.

A Guide to the New Grades: 

The targets set range from 9 (highest) – 1 (lowest), corresponding to GCSE grades. A grade 5 is equivalent to the lower end of the old grade B and the upper end of the current grade C. The chart below shows how the 1-9 grades equate to the old A*-G ones

DfE guidance on the new grades can be found here:

How Do We Assess Students’ Progress?

When students are assessed, we will use the grade that they are on track to achieve in Year 11 e.g. If a student is on track to achieve a grade 5 in Year 11, they should be getting grade 5s in their Key Assessment Tasks in Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. If the grade matches the target, they’re on track; if it’s higher, they’re on track to exceed their target and if it’s lower, they are not on track to achieve their target.

Students will know what skills and knowledge they need to demonstrate to achieve each grade from the mark schemes used in class when preparing for an assessment and used by the teacher when giving feedback.

English Mark Scheme Example

DT Mark Scheme Example

History Mark Scheme Example

Students’ performance in Key Assessment Tasks throughout the year will be recorded on the inside of each subject’s exercise book, along with details of targets for improvement.


Inside each book, students will record key feedback from their Key Assessment Tasks, explaining what they need to do to make further progress:

Examples of Marking Feedback

How Do We Report Students’ Progress to Parents & Carers?

You will receive regular information about your child’s progress and attitude to learning throughout the year.

Key Stage 3

  • Underachieving - Making significantly less than expected progress and achieving well  below target.
  • Not Yet Secure - Making less than expected progress and achieving below target.
  • Secure - Making good progress and is on track to achieve their target.
  • Exceeding - Making excellent progress and on track to achieve above targets

Key Stage 4

Progress data will give the predicted grade that students are expected to achieve at the end of their course. These will be fine graded so that you can see how securely your child has achieved the grade and how close they are to the next one. For example, a student graded 4+ is securely on track to achieve a grade 4 and close to achieving a grade 5; a student graded 7- is only just on track to achieve a grade 7, with a risk that they could move to a grade 6 if skills and knowledge aren’t secured.


You can also access information about your child’s progress, attendance and attitude to learning via the SIMS Parent App.

Leaders have made significant progress in improving the school since the previous inspection. They have focused on creating a broad and ambitious curriculum which meets the needs of pupils and students, including those with special educational needs and /or disabilities (SEND).

Ofsted 2022

Pupils including students in the sixth form, are proud to attend Caldew School. They feel well supported, happy and safe in this welcoming community. There are high level of trust and respect between pupils, students and staff.

Ofsted 2022

Leaders provide effective careers guidance to pupils from Year 7 through to Year 13. Clear guidance, including preparation for interviews and ‘Work Ready Days’, helps pupils and students to make considered choices for their next steps.

Ofsted 2022

Staff have high expectations for pupils’ and students’ behaviour and learning. Pupils and students behave well in lessons and around the school site. They are polite to each other and look out for others in the school.

Ofsted 2022

There is a strong culture of safeguarding in place, with clear systems to record any concerns. Leaders keep safeguarding relevant to all members of the school community through regular updates, training, alerts and reminders.

Ofsted 2022