Once students have taken the internal college examinations, their average grade from across the assessments is calculated and a rank order is produced to establish where the student’s achievement is placed in the year group.
Each time a student takes a new set of exams, they have an opportunity to raise their position in the rank order. A similar rank order is produced for all subject areas and these ranks provide the curriculum leaders with set lists. Therefore, if a child is successful in their examinations, they may maintain their position or move up a set. However, if a child achieves a lower position in the rank order, this will mean that the student may move down a set.
The purpose of this system is to ensure that all students are taking full responsibility for their learning and working hard to achieve aspirational outcomes for themselves.
GCSEs in England are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. English literature, English language and maths will be the first subjects to be graded in this way from August 2017. The subjects with the highest numbers of candidates (e.g. arts, humanities, languages) will follow in 2018 and most others in 2019. This is happening as GCSEs are being reformed to make them more challenging, to keep pace with employers’ and universities demands.
In the first year each new GCSE subject is introduced, students who would have got a grade C or better will get a grade 4 or better. Students who would have got a Grade A or better will get a 7 or better in the first year. Grade 9 will be more difficult to achieve than a grade A*. The extra top grade will also make it easier for employers and universities to distinguish between the most able students
To see how the numbered grades compare to the current A* to G system, Google "ofqual 9 to 1 postcard". More information about when subjects will switch to the new grades is available on the Ofqual website here.
More detailed information is available here on the Ofqual Web Site