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The Marlborough Science Academy


Our aim is to provide an assessment system that is understood by students, staff and parents so that everyone can see how students are progressing. 

How we track progress

Key Stage 3
In Year 7 and 8 staff indicate where a student is currently working in relation to their expected progress based on their starting point (usually Key Stage 2 tests results). Staff indicate if a student is meeting expectations by indicating if the student is “working towards”, “working at” or “working beyond" expectations.

Key Stage 4
As students in Year 9, 10 and 11 are working towards their Key Stage 4 courses teachers predict the grade (MLO - most likely outcome) they think the student is likely to achieve at the end of Year 11. This prediction can then be compared with their end of Year 11 target to see if they are on track.

Target Setting
Targets are set to challenge students and encourage them to strive for their best. At Key Stage 4 students have targets to aim for by the end of Year 11. The targets are the grade a student would achieve if they were to make progress from their starting point that would put them in the top 20% of the country. We are supported in producing these by the Fischer Family Trust (FFT) who have access to the progress of all students nationally from prior years.

Whatever their targets are we encourage all students to aspire to exceed them. At Key Stage 5 we are supported by the DfE to produce similar targets for our sixth form students. Key Stage 4 targets are based on a student’s performance in their Key Stage 2 tests and at Key Stage 5 they are based on their GCSE performance.

Changes in Grades and School Performance
Since 2017 GCSE grades have changed from A*-G to the 9-1. For more information on how the grades compare, please click here. The measures that are used to compare schools has also changed over recent years, particularly with the introduction of Progress 8. For more information on Progress 8, please click here.

How we report to parents

Once a term we send a grade card home showing the progress of each student.  As well as progress information we also include the following:

Diagnostic tests used by the school to test the principal forms of reasoning.  Scores range from 60 to 140 with scores between 85 and 115 showing an average ability in each area for a student’s age. Scores above 115 show a student is above average in a particular area and scores below 85 suggest a student is below average for their age and may need some extra support. For more information on understanding MidYIS please click here

The percentage of sessions a student has been present in school this year. There is strong correlation between a student’s attendance in school and the progress they make.

The number of times a student has been late to their lessons this year. 

Achievement Points
Broken down into the total number of:

  • House points
  • Values - worth 5 house points
  • Pinkies - worth 20 house points

Communication and Teamwork, Engagement with Learning and Home Learning Completion
For each grade card that is sent home, alongside the assessment information, staff also report on other aspects of a students work. These include:

  • Communication and Teamwork - how effectively a student communicates both with staff and other students.  How well a student works collaboratively.
  • Engagement with Learning - the attitude a student shows to their learning, both class learning and home learning.
  • Home Learning Completion - this indicates how effective a student is at meeting home learning deadlines.

Each of these is graded by the class teacher as:

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Requires improvement
  • Not acceptable

Most Likely Outcome (Key Stage 4 and 5)
For each grade card the class teacher reports a prediction for the end of Year 11 for students in Key Stage 4 and for the end of Year 13 in Key Stage 5. 

Fine Grades (Key Stage 4 and 5)
When a teacher predicts an MLO they use a fine grade, For example, a student who is predicted a grade 5 will be given a 5c, 5b or 5a. A 5c is just starting to show the grade 5 skills, a 5b is a solid grade 5 and a 5a is the top end of grade 5 almost working at grade 6.

Meeting Expectations
In Year 7 and 8 staff indicate where a student is currently working in relation to their expected progress based on their starting point. In Years 9 to 13, each time we send a grade card home we compare the MLO predicted by the staff to the student’s target. 

Working Beyond

Indicates a student is working above expectation.

Working At

Indicates a student is working at expectation.

Working Towards

Indicates a student is working below their expectation.






Meeting expectations should always be considered in conjunction with the Communication and Teamwork, Engagement with Learning and Home Learning Completion grades. If all of these are Good or Outstanding then a student should be congratulated even if they are working towards as the targets are challenging and students’ progress at different rates.

Should you have any questions about assessment at Marlborough then please contact Mr A Stanton, Deputy Headteacher.