Progress Reviews - Update June 2020

As a result of the special circumstances we are all facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have decided to carry out an additional Progress Review in July 2020 for our A1 students.  This takes the place of the formal report on students’ A1 Progression Exams which, as you know, were cancelled this year.  This Review reflects the progress students have made in their subjects both prior to and since the college’s enforced closure in March.  The key principles and methodology of the Review remain the same as previously [and which are explained in full lower down this page].  However, a few additional features apply to the July Review which are worth drawing to your attention:

  • The Progress Grade awarded to each student is also their working UCAS Predicted Grade.  This is shared with students now to help inform their decisions about progression [e.g. their choice of Higher or Further Education courses and institutions].  Their final, official Predicted Grade will be updated and confirmed in the Autumn Term before being sent to UCAS and other FE institutions.  This does allow teachers to take in to consideration students’ most recent performance between now and the Autumn Term.
  • The Progress Grade will not include fine tuning symbols “+” or “-“. 
  • Students who are not succeeding on a course will receive an N grade and a standardised sentence as follows below, highlighting the importance of making a one-to-one with their teacher, during week beginning 29 June: “Your teacher has not been able to predict you an A*-E grade at this stage. There are serious concerns about your progression to the second year of this course. You need to meet with your teacher in a 1-2-1. Please make sure you communicate with them, urgently.” 

What is a Progress Review?

  1. An opportunity for students to reflect on their progress in each of their subjects and overall at BHASVIC.
  2. An opportunity for the teacher and student to formally assess progress, review and update relevant mark books and target grades and to provide this information to other audiences (e.g., parents/carers, personal tutors).
  3. A short teacher assessment of progress for each subject the student is studying, along with an emphasis on ‘dialogue’ between the student and teacher (rather than a written comment from teachers, which may be recorded via Advantage at the teacher’s discretion).
  4. A published report to parents/carers, which includes both of the above along with an attendance report and college information.
  5. A one-to-one meeting between the student and teacher for at least one of the Progress Review rounds.
  6. An important opportunity to take stock of progress and for teachers to use the Support Planning system where students are a concern and/or need support and no formal record has been made up to this point.

When and how often?

  1. Round 1 in November with one-to-ones for A1 students.
  2. Round 2 in March with one-to-ones for A2 students.
  3. Round 3 in July - Due to Covid-19 round 3 has been added due to exceptional circumstances.

How to Access Progress Reviews

Guide to Grade Terms Used at BHASVIC

‘Approach to Learning’

A student’s approach to learning is made up of a huge number of different elements, for example whether they complete their homework on time and to the best of their ability, whether they participate actively in lessons, how much productive time they spend on revision and consolidation to name just a few.  It is impossible to comment on all of these elements so teachers will make a professional assessment to give an overall judgment.  The descriptors are:

  • “Excellent”; “Good”; “Acceptable”; “Concerning”; “Very Concerning”

In the case of a student’s approach to learning being rated as either concerning or very concerning, brief additional comments should be provided. In these circumstances students should normally have a Support Plan which gives further details.

Statistical Target Grade [STG]

  • The Statistical Target Grade (STG) is the grade which, on average, the student would be expected to achieve. The STG is subject-specific and is generated by analysing the grades students achieve nationally in the subject in relation to their GCSE point scores. At BHASVIC we always ‘round up’ where a student falls between two grades.

Why do we use it?

  • We want students to have an informed and realistic starting point for the grades they would like to achieve at the end of the subject. It is to be seen as the ‘minimum’ we expect them to get and not the likely outcome. The STG does not take into account the individual or their circumstances.

Personal Target Grade [PTG]

  • The Personal Target Grade (PTG) is generated by the student and entered by them into their individual learning plan (ILP). It indicates the grade they are aiming to achieve at the end of the subject. It is informed by their STG but not limited by it. The target grade will be visible to the student, teacher and parent/carer.

Why do we use it?

  • It gives an indication of how ambitious and/or realistic the student is and is the starting point for their self-reflection, becoming a better learner and discussions with their teacher about progress, action planning and target setting.

Progress Grade

  • The progress grade is the grade the student is likely to achieve given all the evidence of their work and progress so far. It is teacher generated at the time of the student’s progress reviews and it is visible to the student, teacher and parent/carer.  To provide a more accurate sense of progress within a grade the teacher may also add the fine-tuning symbols “+” and “-“.  Put simply, a “+” indicates performance at the higher end of the grade, edging towards the next grade up and a “-“ indicates performance  at the lower end.  No fine-tuning symbols indicates performance in the middle of the grade boundary.

Why do we use it?

  • It provides a realistic assessment of the student’s current progress from their teacher, based on evidence of the work that the teacher has seen so far. The progress grade informs the student’s own self-reflection, informs any adjustments to the target grade they have set at the start of the year and allows for consideration of what the student can do in order to further improve and stretch themselves through meaningful target setting.

Attendance - Student Behaviour Policy

Please check the current attendance. The attendance reported dates from the September start of term. Attendance that is below 90% at this stage in the year is of concern. We recognise that sometimes absence is unavoidable. However, ongoing communication is essential and students should always endeavour to find out what work they have missed via e-mail and/or the VLE. On their return to college, they can also arrange time to catch up at subject extensions or in discussion with the relevant teaching staff. 

Personal Tutors will work closely with students whose unauthorised absence is high, offering support to help them improve. Towards Easter, we will identify those students whose overall attendance remains below 90% with largely unauthorised absence rates, and they may be charged a £50 contribution towards their assessment costs. Please remember that you can also support this by monitoring your young person’s absence: ‘live’ attendance figures are available to you online via Parent / Student Advantage. If the attendance record does not appear to be accurate, please contact your young person’s Personal Tutor. 

What to do if a subject, grade or other part of the Progress Review seems to be missing 

Please check with your young person regarding this in the first instance. They may know the situation with that particular course or Progress Review. If an error or omission has occurred, please ask your young person to speak to their Personal Tutor who can investigate the matter with them and arrange for any missing content to be provided to you. 

What happens after Progress Reviews?

Detailed feedback to students is given in lessons, and via one-to-one meetings on Study Days with their teachers (in November for new, A1 students; and in March for final year, A2 students). 

The college recommends that you look through the Progress Reviews carefully and discuss these with your young person. In particular, look for any significant mismatch between your young person’s own personal target grade (what they would like to achieve), their STG (a statistical guideline on what they could at least achieve) and the teacher’s current target grade. The grades here can lead to open and supportive conversations. 

However, studying is not only about grades: a student’s own reflections are also very important. They have been asked to comment on how they are feeling about their studies, how they are progressing and what this all means for the future. Your young person may not have written much, or they may have written an essay! The most important consideration here is the tone of what they have written.