How do we assess progress at Heckmondwike Grammar School?

We constantly assess how well our students are working. In the classroom this takes the form of their participation in class activities, contributions to discussion, questioning and written work. Teachers also judge the quality of homework, extended writing or speaking, and project or extended work. Results of tests and exams also contribute to evidence for assessing progress.

In KS4 and KS5 the exam board specifications provide teachers with a good framework for assessment as the quality of work produced can be measured against the published grade criteria.

At KS3 there are no exam board published grade criteria for each subject. Instead, each faculty and subject area has their own criteria for assessing work. In some cases this takes the form of grade descriptors which enable teachers to give feedback to students and also help teachers arrive at a projected attainment grade (PAG). These grades are reported home three times a year along with an Attitude to Learning (A2L) grade.

Attitude to Learning (A2L) grades

In addition to the PAG (projected attainment grades) we also assess how well a student is working in terms of their attitude to learning. These descriptors are the same across the whole school and are attached. Most students will be at two stars (**), which is at an acceptable level. Where engagement with learning is a higher level, it may be more appropriate to award ***. The highest level is **** and is reserved for the most exceptional students.

Whole-School Attitude to Learning (A2L) Descriptors





Significantly better than expected A2L

Asks intelligent and searching questions linked to prior and next steps in learning which displays an insightful and conscientious attitude to learning.

Participation is active and enthusiastic which contributes to and enhances the learning environment.

Shows high levels of resilience which demonstrates confidence in learning.

Anticipates changes in activities and alters learning behaviour accordingly.

Green pen work shows high engagement with the subject and is linked to progress.

Demonstrates active and informed participation in practical subjects where subsequent refinement of practice is based on reflective experience.

Homework is always completed on time and goes beyond the task showing initiative and eagerness to learn. Homework in practical subjects takes into account experience gained from practical activities.

Technology in learning is used intelligently, and sources are compared effectively.





Better than expected A2L

Asks intelligent questions and displays a positive and conscientious attitude to learning.

Participates actively in the lesson and follows instructions with enthusiasm.

Demonstrates good levels of resilience leading to improved levels of confidence.

Green pen work links the next steps with other areas of the syllabus and demonstrates learning from mistakes.

Engagement in practical lessons is demonstrated by a high level of awareness of the environment and the student’s own contribution to this.

Leads by example with regard to conduct and behaviour.

Homework is always neatly presented and completed on time to a very high standard, often going beyond the brief given, including from practical subjects.

Technology in learning is used to enhance the quality of the work produced through intelligent use of sources.





Expected A2L

Participates well in the lesson by volunteering answers and shows active engagement through positive written work.

Green pen work shows an understanding of the next steps in learning.

Resilience in learning is such that there is a willingness to succeed in all subjects, including practical subjects and responds appropriately to the level of challenge.

Conduct in the classroom is as expected, for both academic and practical subjects and shows a good level of politeness and courtesy by considering others in the room.

Homework is usually completed on time to a good standard and to the bets of the student’s ability.

Practical subjects show a good level of engagement with the activities.

Uses technology effectively to develop learning.






Below expected A2L

Follows instructions most of the time and contributes occasionally. May need reminding to stay on task.

Classwork is not checked by the student for errors and green pen work demonstrates little reflection.

There is a heavy reliance on teacher / peers on what to do next.

Resilience is low – has a tendency to give up easily, especially in practical subjects.

Homework can be late, incomplete or rushed and is not consistently recorded in the planner. Homework in practical subjects is limited to meeting the minimum expectations of the task.

Work in practical subjects demonstrates limited thought into the processes of the task/activity.

Over reliant on technology to aid learning (spellchecker, translator, etc).