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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Life After Levels 

As you may be aware National Curriculum levels have been discontinued by the DfE. In future, students will leave KS2 with a score between 80-130 rather than a test level. There has been no other provision stipulated by the government for what to replace the sublevels with. As a result, schools around the country are designing their own internal schemes to work with students across KS3 (Years 7 and 8 at The Buckingham School). As you will probably be aware by now GCSE grades in the future will also move to 9-1 grades rather than the existing A*-G.

At The Buckingham School over the past year we have been developing and implementing our own internal grading system. For a number of months we have been using this scheme in lessons alongside the existing national sublevels to develop an understanding with our students. At this stage we are also piloting its use amongst Maths, English and PE.

Please see the attached reference sheet 1) which will help you understand the equivalent grades across the old and new schemes. For example a sublevel ‘4b’ is equivalent to a current ‘E’ grade at GCSE which will be a ‘2’ in the new 9-1 scheme. The ‘expected’ progress table helps you to understand what typical progress will be from the end of KS2 (Year 6) to KS4 exams (Year 11).

Please note; the DfE have not provided expected progress guidelines for the new GCSE 1-9s so this is just a professional projection at this stage. I expect that we will receive official information regarding ‘expected progress’ from the DfE following the first full summer exams in 2017.

Please also note; the DfE are making a ‘good’ grade (which is currently C and above) a ‘4’ for 2017. However, this will rise to ‘5’ from exam results 2018 onward. To ensure that we are aspirational with our students and to make it as clear as possible we are aiming for ‘5’ for both years onward.

If you have a question regarding Life After Levels, please email: