Grades and Definitions Policy

Working Grade (WG)
The working grade is designed to give a parent an ‘at-a-glance’ idea of how the student is currently performing.  Based on evidence obtained from preps, coursework and tests, on the topics covered so far, the working grades are the grades that the subject teachers and Heads of Faculty judge are likely to be achieved at the end of this academic year by the pupil if they continue to work at the current level.  The working grade may go up and down throughout the year and should be the most important performance indicator for parents.

It is important to note that, especially at an early stage in the course, we expect, the working grades to be below final grade achieved.  Data from ALIS and YELIS may be useful when listing initial working grades.

Target Grade (TG)
The target grades are not predicted grades but are based on what teachers believe a student should be aiming to achieve by the end of this academic year.  Target grades could and should change throughout the year and will normally be at least a grade higher than the working grade.  ALIS and YELIS again can be used for target grades.

Predicted Grade (PG)
The predicted grade is what the teacher believes is the most likely final grade achieved by the pupil by the end of this academic year. This is a professional judgment.  It should not necessarily be based on the outcome of a single mock exam but should be a realistic prediction based on the relationship between teacher and student.

A2 personal tutors will use the PG for UCAS purposes although they will be allowed flexibility to alter the predicted grade if, in their opinion, it is in the best interests of the student or the College to do so.  For example the personal tutor may elevate the predicted grade by one grade (say from B to A) to ensure the student has a target to work towards, that they are made an offer to aspire to or to give them the opportunity of attending a more prestigious university.  The onus will be on the student to demonstrate they have earned this flexibility.

With all grades the following should be noted:

1) Each grade should reflect student’s performance in the whole subject and not just an individual unit, group or class.  This may require teachers to collaborate in order to avoid confusion.

2) Teachers should reflect on the working grades from one term to another. The grades can go up or down by two grades, but if the change is three grades, this must be approved by the Head of Faculty.

3) The target grade should not be more than two grades higher than the working grade; unless approved by the Head of Faculty.

4) The working grade and target grade should not be the same; the target grade should be seen as ‘aspirational’.

5) If the target grade is A*, then there should be a teacher comment outlining additional targets that the student should aim for.

6) If the mock grade is higher than the working grade, this must be explained in the teacher comment.

7) The grades stated should reflect the year and level that the student is currently studying. Therefore year 12 grades should reflect performance, targets and predicted outcomes for year 12 (AS) examinations and not their final A2 results.

8) Past performance must be taken into consideration. In some cases a student may have scored very highly in previous examinations, but be struggling with one current unit or module.  This is common in maths when a student has a high score from five of six units but is struggling in the sixth.

E.g. a student has scored 480/500 for five units but is underperforming in the sixth.  A score of 480 means that the student already has enough points for an A grade.  They should therefore not be predicted any grade lower than an A and their working grade should be A.  If the student is underperforming in class, this can be reported through the report comment or to personal tutors.

Entry into GCSE and A2 at Ashbourne
A reminder that the following grades expectations are required for students to enter GCSE and A2 respectively.

GCSE to AS level – minimum 6Bs for GCSE examinations
AS to A2 level – minimum 3Cs for AS examinations

If you have any concerns about this, please do not hesitate to contact Lee Kirby, Director of Studies.

Authorised by The Principal
Date November 2019
Effective date of the policy November 2019
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2020