Purple and Blue Assessments

Students are given two types of assessments; these will be categorised as ‘purple’ and blue’ assessments. Both purple and blue assessments must be completed. Purple assessments are the ‘significant’ assessments that are submitted to be marked by the teacher and will provide the evidence for a student’s achievement grade in an assessment period. Blue assessments, such as wider reading of articles, periodicals, completion of quizzes etc., need to be completed but will not be formally assessed. The completion of blue assessments is necessary because the knowledge and understanding gained from this work will underpin further work undertaken in lessons.


Progress Reports

The information below should help you to interpret the data included within your son/ daughter’s Student Progress Report.


This is given as a percentage. Evidence suggests that attendance provides the clearest indication of success in the sixth-form. Research indicates that a drop in attendance of 10% can result in under-performance by at least one grade in a course. All learners should strive for 100% attendance and anything lower than 95% is unacceptable.

Excellent attendance is an indicator of motivation and dedication to learning. It has proven to result in a greater likelihood of progression to higher education, improved grades, engagement, friendships, and better social skills. With this excellent attendance level, your child will have the best chance of achieving their full potential.


These grades should reflect the overall performance of the learner, based on all assessments to date, in each of their courses. The achievement grade for a course  replicate the external grading criteria used by the awarding bodies e.g. WJEC, BTEC etc.:

  • AS Level: A-E grades for ‘AS’ Level course (with a ‘U’ grade being ‘Unclassified’);
  • A Level: A*-E grades ‘A’ Level courses (with a ‘U’ grade being ‘Unclassified’)
  • BTEC Level 1, 2 and 3 courses: Pass, Merit, Distinction, *Distinction; and
  • GCSE courses A*-G (with a ‘U’ grade being ‘Unclassified’)

For AS/ A level and GCSE courses, we ‘fine grade’ our achievement grades to give students and parents a little more information regarding how secure we think the grade is. Therefore, a learner’s achievement grade will be in the format of A1, B1, C3, for example.

Fine Grade Meaning Explanation
1 Secure This grade can be achieved and with additional work and support may achieve the next grade.
2 Likely This grade can be achieved provided that the work and support continue to be in place.
3 Vulnerable This grade could be achieved if further work and support is put in place, but could slide to the next lower grade without this.

For example:

  • A1 – a secure ‘A’ grade – further work/ support may push this to an ‘A*’.
  • B2 – a likely ‘B’ grade – continued work/ support will mean that this grade is achieved.
  • C3 – a vulnerable ‘C’ grade – further work or support may secure this grade, but it could drop to a D.

This approach should enable learners to know how close they are to the next grade category and whether they need to focus more to achieve the grade stated.

All AS/A level and GCSE courses should complete at least two ‘significant’ assessments per assessment period. These are graded and recorded on Student/ Parent Advantage.  One assessment per unit should be included on Student/ Parent Advantage for BTEC courses (grades are only awarded on unit completion).

‘Significant’ assessment should reflect the external requirements of the course. Most ‘significant’ assessments for AS/ A level courses should take the form of questions from past external examination papers, for example, essays or data response-type questions. Assessments for BTEC courses at Level 2 and 3 are likely to be may be more varied, including presentations, formal reports etc. Assessment for GCSE courses are likely to be past-paper questions.

Please note – the achievement grade is an indicator of progress to date, not a guarantee of future performance.

Engagement Grades

The Student Engagement grade is a measure of the extent to which a student willingly participates in their subject activities 

Engagement grades are live grades that can be updated during an assessment period and, used by tutors to set targets for improvement to help students develop their attitude to learning (e.g. how we expect our students to approach their studies). The engagement grade is selected on a best fit of the statements below:

1- Excellent Engagement 

  • Excellent engagement means the student is committed to getting the most out of all learning opportunities available. It is what all students should aim for and is likely to include:
  • Always being focused; with engagement having a positive impact on the learning of peers;
  • Very high levels of participation e.g. always answer questions, often in depth; and, completes class work with enthusiasm;
  • Undertaking regular wider reading so can debate issues further than others.
  • Actively seeking and responding to feedback on how to improve the quality of work;
  • Showing great determination and viewing setbacks and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow;
  • Using their initiative in a range of situations without always having to be told what to do;
  • Showing dedication and enthusiasm for learning always, reflecting a serious devotion to academic thought.

2- Good Engagement 

  • Good engagement means the student is a responsible and hardworking student who is clearly engaged in their subject and:
  • Shows a good interest in their learning and is attentive and focused;
  • Demonstrates high levels of participation e.g. provides answers to questions in class and often in good depth; occasionally volunteers thoughts; and, completes class work with enthusiasm;
  • This student participates positively to class discussion;
  • Responds well to feedback and targets and completes work to the expected standard;
  • Shows determination and is willing to persevere when things are difficult;
  • Takes responsibility for own learning and work is well organised;
  • Seeks help when needed
  • Willingly does all that is asked of them and sometimes more.

3- Satisfactory Engagement 

Satisfactory engagement means that the student is probably doing most of what they are supposed to do but is failing to push themselves or make the most of the opportunities available. A student engaging satisfactorily:

  • Regularly participates in lessons and is generally focused and well-behaved;
  • Answers all / most questions asked of them, though answers may lack detail or development;
  • Sometimes, but not regularly, volunteers’ thoughts in class discussion;
  • Could try harder to improve their work after feedback;
  • Is usually well organised, mostly follows instruction to do what is asked of them but not much more;
  • Makes a good level of effort some of the time but this is not consistent.

4- Poor Engagement 

Poor engagement means that a student is occasionally not actively engaged in the classroom lessons and this is limiting their progress. A student displaying poor engagement:

  • Makes little effort to be involved in the lesson at times, may lack focus at times and can be a cause for concern;
  • Rarely contributes to classroom discussions
  • Pays insufficient attention to guidance and / or feedback provided and therefore, makes limited progress;
  • Is not interested in being challenged and can give up without really trying;
  • Misses some deadlines;
  • Shows little devotion to learning which makes it unlikely that this student is developing their subject knowledge or skills effectively.

5- Very Poor Engagement 

Very poor engagement means that a student shows little focus and participation in classroom lessons. A student showing very poor engagement:

  • Makes little effort to participate in the lesson and is frequently a cause for concern;
  • Misses most deadlines;
  • Will produce work that is often incomplete or inadequate
  • Does not attempt to act on feedback
  • Is not interested in being challenged and will give up without really trying;
  • Can distract others and takes little or no responsibility for their own learning or behaviour;
  • May refuse, or not take up the offer of support.


Target Grade

The target grade is derived from a student’s GCSE score on entry to the College. For an Upper 6 student, their target grade is based upon their GCSE score on entry, however, if a learner’s performance in their AS examination exceeds this target grade, then the target grade may move upwards accordingly. The target grade is a ‘live’ grade and can changed if a learner performs above their initial target grade consistently.