Maximising Achievement with Y11 in the final 15 weeks before the 2024 examinations in England

12th December 2023

A companion piece to our Alps Champions Webinar on Wednesday 17th January 2024.   

At Alps, we are aware that you are facing significant challenges again in 2023-24:

  • Y11 students’ last undisrupted pre-pandemic academic year in education was Y6 in 2018-19.
  • Their KS3 was extremely disrupted by the pandemic and its consequences.
  • It seems likely the overall KS4 results in 2024 will be awarded to a similar standard as in 2023 and 2019. Once more it will be more competitive to achieve grades compared to 2022. Table 1 shows the relative proportion of grades by year from 2019 to 2023.

  • Tracking P8 in 2022-23 was fraught with difficulty as the DfE A8 estimates, based on the generously awarded 2022 results, were always going to show significantly more negative scores than the actual 2023 DfE A8 estimates did, once available. However, these 2023 A8 estimates should provide a good guide to 2024 P8 (if you achieve the grades in your in-year monitoring grade-point(s)).
  • However, as in 2023 (when our A8 estimates based on client data were an extremely accurate guide to the official estimates), Alps will create 2024 Customer A8 estimates as swiftly as possible after 2024 Results’ Day.


We are here to support you with our Nine Top Tips:

1. Get everyone on board if you want to achieve your goals. Ensure that every middle leader and every set teacher understands their role in achieving the school’s ‘goals’ and feels responsible for helping to achieve them.

2. Your goal might be your P8 score, your A8 score or your Basics at 4 or 5+. In our experience few teachers understand what grades they must gain to help achieve a specified P8 score. If the main goal is the Basics at 4 or 5+, that clearly makes all maths and English teachers involved, but leaves all other teachers on the sidelines. If you want a goal based on raw outcomes, we suggest picking 4, 5 or 7+ and setting appropriate subject and set targets right across the curriculum so that all teachers know who their key ‘Target Students’ are.

3. Benefits of using Alps Connect effectively include keeping all teachers involved in your quest for success, and analysis based on student progress. Using Connect ensures you are on top of the subjects, sets, and student groups that need to improve to gain outstanding Alps Grades and a Well Above Average P8 score. Table 2 compares the % of Alps clients with positive / negative 2023 P8 scores with the figures for all schools in England in 2023. The good news is that Alps customers have a higher % of positive P8 compared to ‘all schools’.

4. In terms of P8 our advice is to keep a tight focus on the Core:

  • If both English and maths deliver, and all of science does too, then each student can fill between 70% and 80% of the buckets with those qualifications.
  • If English Language comes closer to matching English Literature, then most students will also have an English grade in their Open Bucket.
  • Beyond that, your other most populous subjects will have the biggest impact on student outcomes, post-16 pathways and your P8 score.

5. Focus on raising outcomes and progress by concentrating on improving the performance of targeted students in specific subjects.

6. Use Connect to ensure you are on top of the students who are underachieving and need support to achieve their Post-16 goals, especially PP and SEND students.

7. Ask Heads of Department to run department meetings based on:

  • Past papers and mark schemes (especially 2023)
  • Command words
  • 2023 Examiner reports – identifying those ‘silver bullets’ that will improve grades.

Share this invaluable information with your students.

8. Ensure Mock exams are marked to identify individual and collective learning gaps (skills / knowledge) so that these can be addressed, re-assessed, and closed before the summer. Based on what commonly lost students marks & grades in your Mocks and what the Examiner Report reveals lost students marks & grades in 2023, ask HODs to identify their five main priorities to work on from January to May to aim to make sure students do not make these same errors in the summer.

9. Make sure sustaining / improving performance at 7+ is also a priority in your school as many schools had a lower HPA P8 in 2023 than they did for LPA or MPA students.


In Connect:

1. Discuss with Heads of Department and teachers which students on their course have the greatest potential to improve their mock / predicted grades. Use the ‘What-if’ tool in Connect to demonstrate the impact on subject Value Added of those students achieving a higher grade. Ensure that all teachers understand what needs to be done to enable each of these students to master the skills or knowledge the lack of which currently blocks them from achieving the next higher grade.

2. Use our comparison and filter tools to understand how the student groups in each subject or set are predicted to perform by disadvantage, gender, ethnicity & prior attainment.

3. Because the percentage of higher grades dropped so sharply in 2023, our analysis shows that many schools struggled to make strong progress with students with higher KS2 prior attainment (110+). Therefore, we recommend a sharp focus on the mock and predicted grades of HPA students and your achievement of grades at 7+. Many students will require these grades to access their chosen post-16 courses.

4. Use our Monitoring Accuracy tools to identify:

  • which subjects predicted most accurately in 2023?
  • which subjects are predicting outcomes most different to previous monitoring grade-point or are predicting much higher outcomes / higher VA than in 2023?

5. Identify students who are underachieving in a wide range of subjects for intervention.

Register for the webinar

If you are an Alps user, you can register via your Connect homepage, for our free Alps Champions Webinar on Wednesday 17th January 2024.

If you do not use Alps, but are interested in how Alps could support you, do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team at [email protected]. You can also call us 01484 887600 and we will be delighted to speak to you, or you can book a demo with one of our knowledgeable team here.

About the author: John Philip

John started working with Alps in 2008, while he was working at Little Heath Comprehensive School. At Little Heath, John used Alps to achieve top 2% performance in value-added terms. He also worked with schools regionally and nationally through the Raising Achievement Partnership Programme. Since leaving Little Heath in 2010, John additionally works as an associate for 22 secondary schools through PiXL.

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