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Middlewich High School

Excellence in Learning – Achievement for All

Achievement & Progress


Raising Standards in Achievement and Progress

Through careful analysis of our students’ prior and current attainment we set, aspirational, personalised targets, which aim for accelerated progress for all our students. In Key Stage Three students are allocated to one of four thresholds (foundation, developing, secure and excellence) in each subject area. These are based on baseline assessments in each subject area during the first term of Year 7 or other prior attainment data – see table below for an approximate guide.


New KS2 scores

KS3 Thresholds


GCSE (New)















Having set high minimum expectations, we regularly assess student progress across the school, tracking academic achievement and progress every term through departmental progress review meetings and whole school data drops. Our Student Services team also monitor the pastoral and personal development of students through our well-developed pastoral system, including analysing attitude to learning scores at each data drop. Our dedicated Heads of Year and Inclusion teams ensure that every student feels valued and safe as they strive to achieve their academic targets.


Quality First Teaching

There is an expectation of consistently high standards of quality first teaching to drive progress and attainment for all students in all subjects, including SEND, disadvantaged and vulnerable students. As such there are clear expectations that all staff have full awareness of groups of students in all classes, such as disadvantaged students, so that effective quality first teaching can be in place to ensure no gaps exist in attainment and progress. The student progress performance management objective is very clear about the minimum expectations for each class and there is an insistence that these expectations are met consistently:

  • Specific seating/working groups plan, with clear rationale for SEND/PP (for every room including ICT, practical classes etc.)
  • Book proud
  • Marking effective, misconceptions identified and explored (SPG included)
  • Probing questions for all PP in every lesson to check knowledge & understanding
  • Insistence on work completion (of a high quality) and exemplary BfL
  • Active participants, with focus on PP in every lesson
  • Clear learning objectives and explicit success criteria
  • Be positive role models


Monitoring and Tracking Programme

Students are allocated thresholds or target GCSE grades in all subject areas to provide an indication of their potential level of achievement by the end of Key Stage Four. These are clearly indicated on SIMS mark sheets. Subject teachers are expected to provide data on progress relative to thresholds/target grades every term in the following format:

  • Progress relative to threshold/target grade (KS3 & KS4)
  • Current working grade (KS4 only)
  • Current predicted grade at the end of KS4 (based on professional judgement and performance in all assessments/classwork/homework) (KS4 only)
  • Attitude To Learning score (A2L 1 = poor, 6 = excellent) (KS3 & KS4) 


The progress data, generated for data drops, is held centrally on school databases in SISRA and in SIMS. The Curriculum Support Officer is responsible for maintaining the school databases and supporting staff analysis of this data where required.


All staff are expected to use Personalised Learning Checklists (PLCs) in each subject to support progress. These should be completed as part of the marking & assessment process and updated regularly during a unit of work. PLCs inform students, parents and staff about what a student can or cannot do, and allows staff to plan appropriate intervention during a unit of work.


This formative assessment data must be updated regularly in SIMS during the academic year. Staff must ensure the data is up-to-date at each data drop, as it is published to parents via the parent portal at this point. There is no requirement for departments to keep additional records of this data, as it can be accessed easily by all in SIMS. However, HODs may wish to export the data from SIMS to Excel for further analysis.


Progress data will be RAG rated to track progress in thresholds:

RED = below expected progress

AMBER = expected progress but no added value

GREEN = good or above expected progress (added value)


The Senior Leadership team will review progress data with Heads of Department/Subject at regular Raising Standards meetings which follow the KS4 data drops. Heads of Department/Subject are expected to moderate department data and student work prior to completion of each data drop. Department Moderation meetings have been built into the meeting schedule.


Heads of Department should then review all of their own progress data at Department Progress meetings scheduled after the data drops. At these meetings, departments will be expected to identify underachievers and produce clear action plans to introduce intervention measures to reduce underachievement. At this stage, the use of the department data in SIMS, generated from the PLCs, will prove invaluable. These action plans will be reviewed and evaluated at regular Raising Standards meetings with SLT line managers. Progress against targets will be fed back to SLT.

Student progress and the use of PLCs will also be monitored via Raising Standards Learning Walks and regular SLT Progress Checks as scheduled in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. Details of these will be issued in advance.


Fig.1 KS4 Student Progress Summary 2018-19



Mon 1st Oct - Fri 5th Oct 18

RS Learning Walk 1

Wed 17th Oct 18

Data Drop 1 (KS4)

Mon 22nd Oct - Fri 9th Nov 18

Progress Check Fortnight 1

Mon 12th Nov - Fri 16th Nov 18

RS Learning Walk 2

Wed 9th Jan 19

Data Drop 2 (KS4)

Mon 14th - Fri 25th Jan 19

Progress Check Fortnight 2

Mon 21st Jan - Fri 25th Jan 19

RS Learning Walk 3

Mon 4th Mar - Fri 8th Mar 19

RS Learning Walk 4

Wed 27th Mar 19

Data Drop 3 (KS4)

Mon 1st - Fri 26th Apr 19

Progress Check Fortnight 3

Mon 29th Apr - Fri 3rd May 19

RS Learning Walk 5

Mon 10th Jun - Fri 14th Jun 19

RS Learning Walk 6

Wed 26th Jun 19

Data Drop 4 (KS4)

Mon 1st - Fri 12th Jul 19

Progress Check Fortnight 4



Fig. 2 KS3 Student Progress Summary 2018-19



Mon 1st Oct - Fri 5th Oct 18

RS Learning Walk 1

Fri 19th Oct 18

Data Drop 1 (KS3)

Mon 22nd Oct - Fri 9th Nov 18

Progress Check Fortnight 1

Mon 12th Nov - Fri 16th Nov 18

RS Learning Walk 2

Fri 11th Jan 19

Data Drop 2 (KS3)

Mon 14th - Fri 25th Jan 19

Progress Check Fortnight 2

Mon 21st Jan - Fri 25th Jan 19

RS Learning Walk 3

Mon 4th Mar - Fri 8th Mar 19

RS Learning Walk 4

Fri 29th Mar 19

Data Drop 3 (KS3)

Mon 1st - Fri 26th Apr 19

Progress Check Fortnight 3

Mon 29th Apr - Fri 3rd May 19

RS Learning Walk 5

Mon 10th Jun - Fri 14th Jun 19

RS Learning Walk 6

Fri 28th Jun 19

Data Drop 4 (KS3)

Mon 1st - Fri 12th Jul 19

Progress Check Fortnight 4


Teaching staff should regularly refer to progress data when planning the learning experience of their students, especially using the PLCs to inform the planning of their intervention lessons/sessions (a requirement in each SOW).



Effective intervention will enable our students to make progress towards their targets, whether these are academic or personal development-based. Additional interventions must be recorded and evaluated through use of department records. These must be evaluated after each data drop or at the end of each intervention.


The Student Services team will assess students’ needs and provide appropriate intervention which may include in-class support, input from an Inclusion Mentor or Head of Year. External agencies may also provide support such as CAMHS or School Health.


Departments have developed a range of successful intervention strategies and these will be shared through Raising Standards meetings and staff INSET. It is recognised that there are three ‘waves’ of intervention:

  • Wave 1: Quality First teaching in classes
  • Wave 2: targeted intervention support programs
  • Wave 3: increasingly individualised programs


Wave 1: Quality First Teaching - as subject staff regularly use progress data to inform their planning, the learning and progress of students should develop and improve. Quality First teaching takes into account students’ prior learning and achievement. All departments are expected to use specific intervention (therapy) lessons/sessions within each SOW to provide targeted specific intervention and support during a unit of work. These should be resourced appropriately and good practice has been shared at previous SIM and staff meetings. The SEND Code of Practice has an expectation that subject staff are aware of any additional needs and provide appropriate support and differentiation to ensure progress. Equally, Pupil Premium and/or disadvantaged students must also be identified and supported in class.  Student profiles have been created for both SEND and PP students and are updated regularly. Staff must refer to these to ensure they are aware of any barriers to learning and suggested support strategies. Effective use of PLCs should support the progress of all students in a class.


Wave 2: At Department Progress Review meetings, HODs must identify students who are under-achieving and ensure that appropriate additional support is put in place. Departments have introduced regular subject booster sessions, including lesson six for English and Maths. Departments also hold targeted revision sessions during the approach to the GCSE exams. Immediately prior to each GCSE exam, Heads of Department/subject are expected to conduct an ‘Exam Warm-up’ session with their students to focus on key exam techniques and knowledge & understanding to demonstrate.

There are other intervention strategies, which should be considered including developing study & revision skills, homework clubs, one-to-one mentoring, extension activities, controlled assessment catch-up sessions & Easter School. The use of external organisations has been well received by targeted students within the Maths Department previously and should be explored for other subject areas. Assertive mentoring targets a small cohort of students who are at risk of underachieving in a number of subjects. Key mentors will oversee identified students and support the intervention provided by departments.

Students are identified from the progress data, and any intervention must be evaluated and used to update progress data where appropriate.


Wave 3: This is likely to target students identified with individual needs that limit progress; and may include personalised timetables, tutorial support, behaviour support, reduced GCSE content, support from external agencies and numeracy & literacy intervention. The Student Services team will lead this intervention.


Engaging Parents

Engaging parents in the learning and progress of their children is key to raising achievement. Parental support of learning at home as well as learning in school has a huge impact on achievement. Parental engagement is more than parental involvement, which can include a range of school-based activities. Parental engagement involves:

  • Supporting parents to help their children learn
  • Personalising the provision for parents as learners
  • Effective reporting
  • Enhanced pastoral care


Subject staff and form tutors should make regular contact with parents to celebrate success as well as to report concerns. Parental engagement is positively influenced by the level of their child’s attainment. This should include an opportunity for parents to review achievement in assessments and see the feedback provided to students including teacher evaluations and student reviews of their own progress.


Personalised Learning Checklists are to be used in all exercise books or folders, to clearly track progress during the year. This replaces the use of progress record sheets on the front cover of books. SIMS will generate an ‘on-line’ PLC for each subject, which will inform parents of student progress. These have replaced the previous annual reports, and will supplement the interim progress reports after each data drop.


One of the key occasions when parental engagement is required is during the Pathways selection process in Year 8. As such, parents are invited to attend a Pathways Information evening in January, to provide information and guidance about the guided choices available and the specific subjects on offer. This includes advice about post-16 options too.


At the start of Year 9, parents are invited to attend a ‘Welcome to Key Stage Four’ evening where a variety of speakers and sessions will be provided to support parents as their children begin their GCSE courses. This will include aspirational sessions from higher education as well as practical advice about supporting learning at home.


Parents of targeted Year 11 students will be invited to attend ‘Supporting Success’ interviews, early in the autumn term and following the first set of trial exams, where academic feedback and practical advice will be provided. All Year 11 parents will then be invited to attend a ‘Supporting Exam Success’ evening following the first trial exams, where exam preparation and revision guidance will be given.


Each year group will have a targeted Progress Evening, where parents will use the online booking system to book appointments with subject teachers to receive feedback on their child’s progress. The Student Services team and SLT will also be available to meet with parents. The Year 8-11 progress evenings will also provide post-16 information through the attendance of our partner colleges and apprenticeship providers.






Wed 12th Sept 18

Y9 Welcome to KS4 Evening

6:00 -7:00pm

Wed 19th Sept 18

Y11 Supporting Success Interviews

3:30 - 6:00pm

Thu 27th Sept 18

Open evening


Wed 3rd Oct 18

Y7 Tutor Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm

Thu 18th Oct 18

Y7 STARS launch


Wed 7th Nov 18

Y10 Progress Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm

Thu 15th Nov 18

GCSE Certificate Evening


Thu 6th Dec 18

Y11 Supp. Succ. Int. & Progress Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm

Wed 12th Dec 18

Y11 Exam Success Evening

5:30 - 6:30pm

Wed 16th Jan 19

Y8 Pathways Evening

5:30 - 6:30pm

Tue 5th Feb 19

Y8 Progress Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm

Wed 6th Mar 19

Y9 Progress Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm

Thu 21st Mar 19

Y7 Progress Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm

Wed 10th Jul 19

STARS Celebration event


Tue 16th Jul 19


All day

tbc June/July 19

Y7 Tutor Evening

4:30 - 7:30pm


During the academic year, parents will be able and encouraged to access their child’s progress data through the parental portal. This will be updated after every data drop. The process will be explained to parents at the start of the year via written communication.


Years 7-8 will complete practice assessments each year in the key subjects English, Maths and Science, which will be held in the civic centre, to provide experience of GCSE exam conditions.


Year 9-11 will complete key assessment periods, in the form of either internal school exams or trial exams. The results of these will be included within the related data drops. In addition, the results of the Year 11 trial exams will be delivered to students through a mock GCSE results assembly, where students will receive a mock GCSE results certificate based on their trial exam performance.


Reporting to parents

An Open Evening is arranged each year when prospective students' parents are invited to tour the school and see it at work. In addition, a meeting is held in early July for parents of each year's new intake of students from Primary Schools to introduce them to the School and to the members of staff who will be particularly responsible for Year 7 students.

Apart from being invited into school for these meetings, parents are always welcomed into the school and encouraged to contact the school whenever they feel concerned. If teachers are concerned about any issues concerning the progress or behaviour of students in their groups, then they are encouraged to seek parental involvement at an early stage. In these instances, the appropriate Head of Department, Form Tutor or Head of Year should be consulted as necessary. Parents and other members of staff should also be involved when there are things to celebrate. It is important that communication with staff and parental contact is not always for negative issues.


Parents are always welcomed in school and are encouraged to contact school with any concerns or positive feedback – appointments with staff can be made through Reception. The first point of contact should be the form tutor. They will involve other staff, such as the Student Services team or subject teachers as required. Year 7 parents are invited to attend a Year 7 Review evening with tutors in late September to review their child’s first few weeks at Middlewich High School. This provides an opportunity for parents, tutors and students to discuss any issues of concerns as well as provide feedback. The Student Services team will also be available. An additional Y7 tutor evening is planned for July – details to follow.



Year on year we strive to improve the mentoring system for students in our school. Our assertive mentoring scheme is designed to support those students who are not on track to meet their targets. Targeted students and their parents are invited to attend Supporting Success Interviews with senior staff in September and December.


Communication between staff is a vital part of the mentoring process. It is therefore very important that the Progress Tracker booklets be used to inform mentors, class teachers, students and parents of any celebrations and concerns that are relevant.


Assessment and Examinations


Fig.4 Summary of Assessment 2018-19





Mon 1st Oct - Fri 12th Oct 18

Y7 Baseline Assessments

All subjects - in class

Mon 5th Nov - Fri 16th Nov 18

Y11 Trial Exam fortnight 1

Civic & DS

Mon 3rd Dec 18

Y11 Results Assembly 1


Mon 7th Jan - Fri 11th Jan 19

Y11 CIDA exams

ICT rooms

Mon 14th - Fri 18th Jan 19

Y8 Exam week

E/M/S in civic

Wed 6th Feb - Wed 27th Feb 19

Y11 Trial Exam fortnight 2

Civic & DS

Mon 11th Mar 19

Y11 Results Assembly 2


Tue 23rd Apr - Fri 3rd May 19

Y10 Exam fortnight

Civic & SH?

Mon 13th May -  Fri 21st Jun 19

Y11 GCSE exams

Civic & SH?

Mon 24th Jun - Fri 5th Jul 19

Y9 Exam Fortnight

Civic & SH?

Mon 1st Jul - Fri 5th Jul 19

Y7 Practice Assessment Week

E/M/S in civic



 (a) Year 9-11 students sit internal and external examinations in formal conditions following JCQ regulations. Year 7-8 will sit practice assessments in English, Maths & Science in formal conditions.

(b) The internal school examinations will take place as indicated on the school calendar.

(c) HODs are responsible for the production of the examination papers via the Reprographics Department - four weeks’ notice is required.

(d) Core Year 7-11 exams plus other large cohorts are held off-site at the Civic Centre.

(e) The set-up of the examination room is the responsibility of the Curriculum Support Officer for formal exams. Head of Departments are responsible for supplying exam papers (including modified papers), texts/case studies (e.g. in English and Business Studies) and any other necessary materials for the internal exams.

(f) Students are normally seated in teaching groups (although students sitting external examinations are seated according to their candidate number). These vary from subject to subject and therefore question papers must be presented in appropriate groups with an instruction sheet. This is the sole responsibility of the HoD.

(g) Where students need MORE than a single question paper sheet then ALL of the sheets are to be fastened together (staple, paper clip, treasury tag, etc.) so that each student may be handed one wad of paper at the beginning of the session.

(h) It is the HoDs’ responsibility to ensure that all papers and additional materials are given to the Curriculum Support Officer at least one week prior to the exam. This includes papers that have been colour photocopied or enlarged for students with access arrangements.

(i) The invigilator must collect in the papers in the order in which students are seated (either in teaching groups for internal exams and numerically for external exams). All examination papers must be handed to the Curriculum Support Officer.

(j) HoDs are responsible for ensuring that the internal examination questions are of an appropriate standard for the particular set concerned and that the rubric is both CLEAR and COMPLETE. (If answers are to be written on the question paper, please make sure that there is a place for the student's NAME).

(k) A checklist for invigilators will be issued by the Curriculum Support Officer prior to the examinations.

(l) INVIGILATION must be done strictly in accordance with JCQ Regulations:

  • Invigilators must give the WHOLE of their attention to the examination.
  • Invigilators must not stand together or converse.
  • One invigilator should be at the back and one at the front.
  • Invigilators should take writing paper to the student when asked.
  • Students must not leave their seat.
  • Invigilators may not give any help to the student.
  • Unfair practice of any description in any examination should be reported to the Curriculum Support Officer.
  • The script must not be marked in any way.

(m) Students are responsible for bringing their own writing implements, mathematics equipment and a fully working calculator. This should include two black pens, a pencil, rubber and ruler.

(n) Bags are not allowed at the students' desks in the exam room. Only designated material may be taken to the desk.

(o) Students may use a highlighter pen to highlight questions, words or phrases within the question paper or question/answer booklet. Highlighters must not be used in the written answer.

(p) The working condition and the ability to use a calculator is the responsibility of the student.

(q) Potential technological/web enabled sources of information such as mobile phones, MP3 players, iPods and smart watches are forbidden in both in-house and external examinations. Possession of unauthorised items could lead to disqualification.

(r) Assistance from the Curriculum Support Officer can be requested if further advice or information is required.

(s) Please refer to the Examinations Policy for further information.



Disadvantaged Students and Pupil Premium Definitions

According to Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook “Inspectors will take particular account of the progress made by disadvantaged pupils from their starting points”. It is therefore vital to ensure you have a clear understanding of the difference between disadvantaged and pupil premium.


The most recent DfE guidance defines Disadvantaged students as those who are "eligible for free school meals at any point within the past six years and students looked after by the local authority". This is not the same as ‘FSM Ever 6’ and ‘Looked After’ as it combines both aspects. Additionally, Pupil Premium often differs from Disadvantaged as it includes Armed Forces students. The diagram below summarises this:


Fig.5 Summary of Disadvantaged groups

* Previously Looked After Students are those who are adopted or subject to a Special Guardianship Order.