Maximising student progress from mocks to the summer at KS4

28th January 2019

At this time of the year you will be focusing on key priorities you might establish to raise student progress post mocks.

The only way to raise your Progress 8 is to improve student outcomes. Your main focus must be to raise subject outcomes through improving the performance of specific targeted students.

Focus relentlessly on English language, English literature, mathematics and science. English and maths contribute (at least) 40% of each students’ P8 score. For most students Science contributes 20 or 30% as well, so having the primary focus on those three faculties is the right strategy. If you gain positive progress in these core areas your Progress 8 score will take care of itself.

  • Did other subjects perform much less successfully than anticipated in 2018 in either the EBacc or Open ‘bucket’? How are they performing based on in-year monitoring data?
  • How are your student groups predicted to perform in terms of disadvantage, gender, ethnicity and prior attainment?
  • Do you need a ‘Magnificent 7+’ strategy to stretch the most able?
  • Have you quality assured predictions with subject leaders, so you are confident you are not wading deep in shifting sands?

Alps Connect Interactive enables you to identify underachievement, focus on how to improve, including in the ‘Basics’ measure, and check the accuracy of predicted grades. If you have set a ‘Basics’ 5+ strategic goal for your school/college do you know how many ‘secure’ 5 grades you have and what proportion of ‘at risk’ 5- or ‘stretch’ 4+ grades need to be secured at 5 for your goal to be achieved?

If you use fine-grades do you know what the consequences of improving your ‘stretch’ grades would be or the consequence of ‘at risk’ grades dropping?

  • Are you ensuring subject teachers mark mocks so they identify what students have mastered and where any personal and collective group knowledge or ‘skills’ gaps exist?
  • Have underachieving students got Raising Achievement Plans detailing what support will be given by whom, what the student needs to do and, in both cases, by when? Have you identified students who are underachieving in a range of subjects for holistic support?
  • Have you mandated all teaching of new content is to be complete by Easter (or earlier), giving staff time to revisit knowledge and skills students need to master to excel in the exams?
  • Have you reinforced the need to ensure students are confidently able to know what is expected by the typical command words in exam questions in each subject?
  • Are you ensuring that students understand each subject’s mark-schemes so they know what the differences between, for example, a 5 and 4 answer are likely to be?
  • Have you asked heads of department to ensure teachers ‘walk’ their students through a past or specimen paper for the unit they are teaching to build their confidence?
  • Are you running motivational assemblies for students to ensure they believe they can and will achieve?


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