Assessment, Progress and Reporting

Please click here for the current A&R Timetable

Some students in Years 10-13 will also undertake public exams, details of these can be found here.

Please click here to download our Assessment and Reporting Schedule for the Year

All students within Herne Bay High School benefit from a minimum of a five-year journey with us, with many of our students choosing to stay on at school for another two years to study post-16 courses within, what OFSTED in June 2022 have assessed is an ‘outstanding’ 6th form, with these students then progressing onto universities or apprenticeships or into the world of work.  

As such, our students’ educational journey, is split into three phases:  

  • Years 7, 8 & 9 - Key Stage 3 (our Lower School) 
  • Years 10 & 11 - Key Stage 4 (our Upper School)  
  • 6th form 

Each of these phases are discrete educational journeys in themselves, however each phase lays down a students’ academic and personal foundations on which the next stage of their education is built. In other words, a student who excels in the Lower School will not automatically achieve excellent GCSE grades unless they remain fully dedicated to their studies in the Upper School and conversely a student who maybe did not necessarily excel within the Lower School can, with hard work and commitment, achieve outstanding GCSE and post 16 results and outperform their peers.  

We recognise that all young people are different - some may be strong in literacy-based subjects such as English and the humanities, other students may be stronger in science or maths-based subjects, whereas other young people may excel in the arts.  

When students join us in Year 7, they sit nationally developed ‘Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs)’, which will help us to understand their developed ability (i.e. where a child is now) and likely academic potential (i.e. where a child could be) for each of their subjects. These CATs indicate the likely progress of our students in each of the different subjects they study, as they compare the young person’s CATs’ results with thousands of other students nationally who have sat these tests and establish what the majority of students with a similar set of results achieved in each of their different exams. 

This process is not exact, and some young people with similar CATs’ results will outperform their peers in assessments if they work hard and prepare well for their tests, whilst others may do less well if they don’t commit to their studies – as such, CATs are simply an indicator of likely progress and not an absolute guarantee of what a young person will achieve in their exams.  

In our Lower School we use these CATs results to establish the expected progress that our students should be able to achieve. As such three times a year, in November, February and June, Lower School students will sit assessments and following each of these assessment windows parents/carers will receive a ‘Progress Report’.  

These Progress Reports will indicate what percentage mark their child achieved in each of their assessments and, for each of the subjects that their child studies, whether their child’s progress is:  

  • in line with what is expected of them – in such cases the student will be given a Progress Indicator of a ‘P’ for that subject 
  • is above that which is expected of a student with a similar CATs starting point, if this is the case the student will be given a Progress Indicator of a ‘P+’ 
  • is below where they should be, if this is the case the student will be given a Progress Indicator of a ‘P-‘ 


Please see the illustration below for a possible outcome of this: 

Mrs Brown has twins (Jane and John) in Year 8 at Herne Bay High School, and both Jane and John sat their CATs in Year 7. 

  • The children’s CATs results indicate that Jane, as long as she works very hard and maintains an excellent approach to her studies, is likely to outperform John in physics and maths, whereas John is deemed likely to outperform Jane in English.  
  • Mrs Brown recognises that CATs are only an indicator of likely progress, and as such she recognises that either of her two children can achieve fantastically high results with hard work and dedication. 
  • Both Jane and John sit their November assessments and the results are as follows: 


Jane’s result 

John’s result 










On first glance, the children’s CATs results are indeed accurate, Jane has outperformed John in physics and maths, whereas John has outperformed Jane in English. However, when Mrs Brown receives the children’s Progress Report, it looks like this: 


Jane’s result 


John’s result 















So to explain: 

  • Physics 
    • Jane achieved 67% in her physics exam, this is in line with her expected progress and hence the fact that she receives a ‘P’ for physics.  
    • John achieved 59% for his physics exam, this is 8% less than Jane’s result, but he has been allocated a ‘P+’ Progress Indicator - this is because John’s CATs results indicate that he has outperformed other similar students in this physics’ assessment. 
  • Maths
    • Jane’s 63% for maths is better than John’s 56% maths result, however she has received a Progress Indicator of a ‘P-‘ and John has received a ‘P+’. This is because Jane has achieved a maths result that is below that of students with a similar aptitude for maths as identified by her CATs results, whereas John has outperformed similar ability students to himself. 
  • English 
    • Jane has received a Progress Indicator of a ‘P+’, having achieved 62% in her English assessment, whereas John achieved 71% in his English assessment and has been given a ‘P’ Progress Indicator.  This is because Jane’s English mark is higher than students with a similar CATs predictor for English, whereas John’s English percentage mark is in line with other students with a similar English CATs predictor.  

As is evident, the Progress Indicator (P- P, P+) that a student receives for each subject is personalised to individual students and considers how students perform in their assessments in comparison with other students of a similar ability. 

This Progress Indicator approach to monitoring students’ progress will mean that a young person who, through their CATs results, has demonstrated that they are one of the most able students in, say, geography and who subsequently gets an extremely high percentage mark in their geography assessment, may only receive a Progress Indicator of a ‘P’ not a ‘P+’ in their Progress Report, as, although they have achieved a great result in their assessment which may be one of the highest marks in the year, their result is in line with their expected progress, as such this student should not be downhearted that they haven’t received a ‘P+’, but rather immensely proud of their achievement as they are maintaining an excellent approach to their studies and remain one of the highest performing students in their year with regard to geography.   

On the other hand, a young person whose CATs results suggest that they may not perform quite as well in geography as they may perform in some of their other subjects, may achieve a Progress Indicator of a ‘P+’ for achieving a much lower percentage mark than the high ability geography student above, and this will be because they have outperformed other students of a similar ability, with this being something to celebrate.  

Foundation subjects 

For some of our subjects, their curriculum does not have assessment at punctuated points and their assessment framework is ongoing and developmental. Also, for some subjects an assessment, test or exam is not a suitable method to ascertain if a student is doing well in this subject as they are made up of various interconnected parts which are harder to measure. Subjects such as Art and PE are examples of these. Therefore, depending on these subjects’ curriculum, some subjects will give a “P” indicator but instead of this referring to progress, it will refer to the students holistic’ progress in their journey on this subject. Due to the nature of these subjects, we understand that there is holistic judgement to be made on areas such as resilience, character, problem solving and teamwork that are important for a student to be successful. There also may be more fluctuation in how well they are progressing depending on what they are doing. For example, in PE a student may excel at gymnastics but may not have an aptitude for other sports due to certain physical characteristics or experiences. Likewise, for example in Art, they would consider their reflection. evaluation and visual risk, alongside the development of their artwork. All these Foundation subjects will give a dedication indicator of ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’, ‘Inconsistent’ and ‘Poor.  


At Herne Bay High School, we use Accelerated Reader, a programme that allows us to track student’s progress in Reading. Students are set targets using the results from the Star Reading Test, taken four times a year. It measures reading speed, comprehension, recall and understanding of vocabulary. Using this data, the programme sets an achievable reading target for every student, which is renewed every two terms (three times a year). 

To achieve their target, students must read a book within their reading range for 20 minutes every day (Monday to Friday), and quiz on every book they finish within 24 hours. Students that engage with this fully will achieve 100% of their target every two terms.  

  • The student is on track to reach 100% of their target by the end of term. They have been reading for 20 minutes every day and quizzing on their books when they have finished them. They are making good progress in their reading and will be given a ‘P’ indicator 
  • The student is on track to reach above 100% of their target by the end of term. They have been reading for more than 20 minutes every day and quizzing on their books when they have finished them. They are making excellent progress in their reading and will be given a ‘P+’ indicator. 
  • The student is not on track to reach 100% of their target by the end of term. They have either not been reading for 20 minutes every day or not quizzing on their books when they have finished them. They are making below expected progress in their reading and will be given a ‘P-‘ indicator. 

To conclude, after each assessment, students will have the opportunity to review how they are doing and will look at areas within each subject area that they know, can remember, and can do, whilst also considering areas that need improving. This is a really important aspect of the learning process as students can identify what and how to make progress.  

To maintain a familiar approach for students and families we also use a Progress indicator at KS4 when reporting on students’ progress. Students are calculated a minimum expected grade or MEG – a single grade that is applicable for all subjects they are studying at GCSE / level 2. This MEG utilises Key Stage 2 SATs information and CAT4s tests (likely taken in year 7 or when joining the school), to give a likely minimum expected outcome and most students should be aiming for above this minimum.  

As in key stage 3, we know and understand that the process is not exact, and we want all students to achieve as highly as possible. The MEG should not be seen as a target but a means to gauge if they are making progress. Some young people will outperform their MEG if they truly dedicate themselves to their studies, whilst others may do less well if they don’t commit to their studies. 

Please note, that due to that nature of some course, students may sit exams for certain modules or have to produce non-exam assessments (NEA) e.g., coursework, controlled assessments at certain points in both year 10 or 11 and you will be notified accordingly. These will go towards their GCSE / level 2 qualification. 

Year 10 

In year 10 sit two assessments as in the lower school: in January and June. The first report will contain information including their MEG (see above) as well as a Progress indicator. As the students have only just started the course, even though they may have studied the subject lower down the school, then the progress indicator at this stage represents whether at this stage in the teacher professional opinion they are likely

  • to achieve their MEG - a student will be given a progress indicator of a ‘P’ 
  • to exceed their MEG - a students will be given a progress indicator of a ‘P+’ 
  • not reach their MEG – a student will be given a progress indicator is a ‘P-‘  

As the students are at an early stage in their 2-year journey of this stage then we understand that some sections of the course may not have been covered and that there is time for students to create links, process which may come later in their journey to make connections to prior learning. Or sections/topics that they may be more familiar with, and this may then increase the likelihood of them performing well and possibly achieving or exceeding their MEG. 

In the final assessment in year 10 which occurs in June, students will sit exams for applicable subjects. Some of the exams will take place in the exam hall, usually the sports hall (or similar) to start to give students experience of the settings, regulations, and rules for formal externally assessed exams. Further information can be found here.

Year 11 

In year 11 students sit mock examinations in November and pre-public examinations (PPE’s) in February / March. Most courses will complete delivery of the required content by February so in these mock exams, students they may not sit a full past paper. These mock examinations provide students with a mock grade (if applicable) and a predicted grade based on this assessment. Using this predicted grade, a progress grade is generated if a student is: 

  • in line with their MEG, the student will be given a Progress Indicator of a ‘P’  
  • is above their MEG, the student will be given a Progress Indicator of a ‘P+’ 
  • is below their MEG, the student will be given a Progress Indicator of a ‘P-‘ 

Students take another round of assessments, their pre-public examinations (PPE’s), in February / March, and students are more likely to sit a fuller suite of papers to give them a more accurate sense of what the full examination will be like. However, each subject area decides on their best assessment model for each cohort. Students will be issued another report of a similar nature of the first one as described above. The predicted grade given to students at this time is one that most likely reflects what they will achieve.

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview on aspects that are the interconnected parts of being a learner. Whilst we maintain high expectations of academic aspiration, we also greatly value a student’s personal development as we provide them with opportunities to develop into good citizens. Our values of kindness, respect and dedication are ones which we feel are important not only in school but also in life. This report focusses on these values as they are used to support our Personal Development Programmes. Each student’s mentor selects a comment in three key areas:

  1. Attendance & punctuality – these are significant factors that directly link not only progress and achievement but also to a student’s wellbeing. It is essential that all students maintain the minimum attendance requirement of 95% and above. There may be incidences in which a student has higher than the attendance range yet given a lower indicator. In these incidences, this may be due to their punctuality to school and / or lessons.  
  2. School values & ethos – our core school values and rules are built upon the foundations of kindness, respect, and dedication. We believe that if students understand, develop, and demonstrate these values, they will have a greater chance to make good choices that will enable them to be successful. Further information can be found on our website here: Values and Ethos - Herne Bay High School 
  3. PSHEE (Personal, social, health, economic education) – this statutory subject is now delivered every week in morning mentor times. Every student’s mentor sees them daily and they are the best placed person to deliver this subject as they get to know each young person. We place a high importance on PSHEE as it helps children and young people to stay healthy, safe, and prepared for life – and work – in modern Britain.  

Please find below an explanation of the best-fit indicators for each area.  


Attendance & Punctuality 

School values & ethos - Kindness, Respect, Dedication 

Personal, social, health & economic education (PSHEE) 

1 = Excellent 

The student’s whole school attendance is 100%* and/or they are always on time to school and lessons. 

The student supports our school ethos and demonstrates our values in all that they do.  They frequently look for ways to show high levels of kindness and respect to all in our school community.  Their dedication to learning is excellent and enables maximum learning for themselves and their peers. 

The student is committed to their personal development programme and demonstrates empathy and insight in their discussion contributions. They show great confidence and dedication by reflecting on the tasks given in PSHE. 

2 = Good 

The student’s whole school attendance is 96-99%* and/or they are on time to school and to lessons the vast majority of the time. 

The student conforms to our school rules and understands the importance of our values.  The student is kind and respectful to all in our school community.  They are dedicated to learning the vast majority of the time and this supports their own learning and that of others. 

The student demonstrates interest in their personal development programme and for the vast majority of the time, engages with the discussion in a way that is helpful to others. They show developing confidence and dedication by reflecting on the tasks given. 

3 = Inconsistent 

The student’s whole school attendance is 92-95%* and / or they are sometimes late to school or lessons. 

The student usually conforms to our school rules and is aware of our school values, but there are times when they do not learn from their mistakes. They are not always dedicated to their learning, and this can prevent themselves and others from learning. 

The student sometimes struggles to engage with their personal development programme depending on the topic and does not always engage with discussion, however, when they do it is helpful to others. At times they can lack confidence or motivation but do demonstrate the ability to reflect on the tasks given. 

4 = Poor 

The student’s whole school attendance is 91% or below* and / or they are also frequently late to school or to their lessons. 

The student does not conform to our school rules and does not engage with our school ethos or our values. Frequently, they do not show kindness or respect to others, nor appear dedicated to their learning.  They do not choose to learn from their mistakes. This frequently prevents themselves and others from learning and often results in negative behaviour points being issued. 

The student does not engage with their personal development programme and sometimes their comments in discussion can be unhelpful to others. They do not always have the confidence in their own ability, the motivation, or the resilience to reflect on the tasks given in PSHE. 

*or there are extenuating circumstances why this is not the case. A student may have high attendance but is rated at a lower end due to poor punctuality to school and / or classes

Supporting Your Child During Exam Time (Young Minds)

As we start to move towards exam season, Young Minds have launched advice for parents about supporting their children.

Tips include:

  • Encourage your child to take revision breaks and find a balance between studying and doing things they find enjoyable and relaxing.
  • Make sure they are eating and drinking at regular intervals.
  • Reassure them – reinforce that you are and will be proud of them no matter what happens.
  • Remain positive and hopeful!
  • Let them know their feelings are valid and normal, but also offer support and solutions where possible.
  • Anxiety is often worst at night and this means it is useful to encourage good bedtime routine

You can find out more here:

Taking the Stress Out of Exams

Tips for Healthy Eating Habits During Exam Time

Study Power : Brain Foods for Exam Time 

10 diet changes to help your kids top exams 

Revision Sites
Please click here to view the School revision presentation
This is a copy of the presentation slides from the school for supporting students through the exam period.

Please click here to go to BBC GCSE Bitesize
This is a revision site provided by the BBC and covers most subjects. It is one of the most popular revision sites.

Please click here to go to BBC Professor John Dunlosky Interview
This link takes you to a really useful interview with Prof. John Dunlosky covering revision techniques.

Please click here to go to Get Revising
This site offers tips and advice on how to revise and is well worth a look.

Please click here to go to Spaced repetition: a hack to make your brain store information
A guide to Spaced repetition: a hack to make your brain store information

Please click here to view spaced repetition video
This link is to a video on using spaced repetition.

Please click here to view a YouTube Revision Techniques Playlist
This link is for a Revision Techniques playlist that has been compiled on youtube.

Please click here to download the 'Prepare to Perform' planner
This is a diary to help students plan their revision and exam days effectively.

Please click here to download the parental guide to 'Prepare to Perform'
This is a guide to help parents/carers support their child through their exams

Please click here to download the 'Prepare to Perform' recipe booklet
This guide provides 20 healthy recipes designed especially to enhance performance, concentration and energy in exams

09. Parent Flyer Schools

The school has subscribed to GCSEPod to support our students in the run up to their GCSE exams. As parents, you can utilise the resources to help support your child's revision. This video will tell you a little more:

Click here to go to GCSEpod