Key Stage 3 assessment

The purpose of assessment is to make both teaching and learning as effective as possible. 

  • It provides a means of ensuring that teaching is clearly targeted and that any shortcomings in learning are identified and remedied.
  • It provides encouragement to pupils to improve their ability to learn.
  • It makes parents aware of their child's progress using a set of cleary defined assessment objectives.

The Key Stage 3 assessment system is based on a 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest) grade scale. The knowledge, understanding and skills needed for each grade have been set using the level descriptor matrix accesible below. Subject areas have broken down the knowledge, skills and understanding required by pupils across a range of assesment components which make up their subject.

While the grade a pupil achieves during Key Stage 3 may be an indicator of possible achievement at GCSE they are not the school’s prediction of a pupil’s GCSE outcomes and it is important to note that pupils at FICS complete a 3 year key stage 3 and 2 year key stage 4 model, in line with current UK Ofsted curriculum guidance.

Subjects assess and grade pupils once per module (6 times a year) using a knowledge assessment that links to a knowledge organiser. Each subject will then set an assessment calendar to include formal end of topic tests under exam conditions or other forms of assessment that will provide the best evidence for each attainment judgement.

Judging progress and attainment


The diagram identifies how progress develops with each level increasing in challenge year on year. Progress can also be judged with pupil improvements between grades from years 7-9. A student maintaining a grade throughout years 7-9 also represents progress as the assessment criteria becomes more challenging.

The reporting process

Progress reports are published to families regularly with one knowledge assessment every half term and holistic progress reports three times a year. The purpose of the reports is to clearly indicate the progress being made by pupils in all of their subjects, so that good progress can be celebrated and poor progress addressed through intervention. The reports also reflect attitude to learning and homework using an O/G/S/U (Outstanding/Good/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grading.