Key Terms Explained
New style GCSEs
How do the new grades relate to the old ones?
The examination boards have designed the grading so that there are comparable points at key grades. The bottom of a grade 7 is comparable to the bottom of the old grade A, the bottom of a new grade 4 is comparable to the bottom of the old grade C, and the bottom of the new grade 1 is comparable to the bottom of the old grade G. For employers, universities and others that previously set entry requirements of at least a grade C, then the equivalent now would be to require at least grade 4.
Comparing old GCSE letter grades to new number
Progress 8 and Attainment 8
Progress 8 is a measure of the progress children make between the end of primary school and the end of secondary school.
It was designed to encourage good quality teaching across a broad curriculum.
Progress 8 and Attainment 8 are based on pupils’ performance in eight qualifications. These are English and maths, up to three subjects from the Ebacc* list, and students’ three highest scores from a range of other qualifications, including GCSEs and approved non-GCSEs. English and maths are given double weighting to reflect their importance.
The raw point score from these eight qualifications is average to give the school’s Attainment 8 score. You would expect it to be higher in schools that have more academically able students, such as grammar schools.
The Progress 8 score is calculated by comparing each student’s Attainment 8 score to those nationally of other students who had the same KS2 SATs results. This is designed to measure how much progress each student has made from Year 6 to Year 11.
This information is usually released in January, though some schools will publish provisional scores in August.
In theory, all schools have an equal chance of getting a high Progress 8 score.
A school’s Progress 8 score is usually between -1 and +1. A score of +1 means that pupils in that school achieve one grade higher in each qualification than other similar pupils nationally. A score of -1 means they achieve one grade lower.
The average Progress 8 score of all secondary schools nationally is 0. Schools with a Progress 8 score of below -0.5 are not achieving the minimum standard expected by the Government. A score of +0.5 of above shows that pupils in that school are making well above the expected level of progress.
*The EBacc is:
- English language and literature.
- the sciences.
- geography or history.
- a language.
See more details about the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) here · https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-baccalaureate-ebacc/english-baccalaureate-ebacc
Government’s Guide to GCSE results https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guide-to-gcse-results-for-england-2018