Weekly Newsletter – Target Setting and Tracking

Target Setting and Tracking

At Thistley Hough Academy we firmly believe that it is important to set challenging, aspirational targets for students. However, we do appreciate that these should be based upon some logical reasoning and not using a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Targets are therefore set accounting for a student’s prior ability (KS2 scores from Year 6 in primary school) and national performance benchmarks in each subject studied. Where a student has no prior data we use a nationally recognised assessment of ability, CAT4 tests, to establish a starting point. CAT4 assessments are used to provide additional information for all students to ensure they are being challenged appropriately in all lessons.

A student is assigned a target based on the most likely GCSE grade they should achieve. This generates a flightpath of targets for the student. These grades are now based against the new 9 – 1 numbering system for GCSE grades (see section below). The lowest flightpath is T3 (Targeting Grade 3) and the highest is T9 (Targeting Grade 9).

Students are then tracked at 4 points (Data Capture Points – DCPs) each year (6 in Y11), to measure their progress against their target flightpath in each subject. The data entered for each student at a DCP is based on targeted assessment tasks that are built throughout all schemes of learning. They will receive a colour coded report against the following system:

Significantly above target
Above target
Slightly above target
On target
Slightly below target
Below target
Significantly below target

Students who consistently perform above their flightpath in a subject will be promoted to the next flightpath and have their targets in that subject recalculated. This enables all students to be challenged throughout their life at the Academy by individual subjects.

Students will be actively encouraged to work towards promotion and this will be rewarded at each data capture point (DCP) with particular rewards given to those who are promoted to the top T9 pathway.

A student’s report will indicate the subject, flightpath and colour. It will not specify an actual grade. This is because we would like the major focus of reporting to be on what the student needs to do to improve.

The report will also provide an Attitude to Learning (AtL) score for each subject.

The Academy website will contain a number of support guides/videos to enable parents/carers to understand the reports and how best they can support learning from home. After each report there will be the opportunity to have detailed information about what a student needs to do to improve.

Additional achievement recognition awards

In addition to rewards, which recognise promotion on flightpaths, students can aspire to receive other awards which acknowledge outstanding attainment and/or progress:

  • Dawson Scholars (Y7)
  • Robinson Scholars (Y9)
  • Bamber Scholars (Y11)
  • Bamber Scholars with Honours (Y11)
  • Academy Half Colours (Y9/10)
  • Academy Full Colours (Y11)
  • Academy Honours Boards (Y11)

New GCSE grades:


July 2017(affecting current Y11) will see the first year of new numbered GCSE grades given out. These will be in English and mathematics only. In July 2018 (affecting current Y10), all other subjects will convert to this new system.

This new system has been introduced alongside new GCSE syllabi which are far more demanding of students’ knowledge and especially their application of this knowledge. The grades range from 1 to 9 and align to old GCSEs as illustrated: this is taken directly from the GOV.uk website.

A new Grade 5 will be the ‘Good Pass’ measure, previously a C grade.

A grade 9 is higher than a current A*.

Should you have any questions, or wish to discuss this information further, please contact Mr Donlan – Assistant Principal, at the Academy who will be happy to assist you.