Note: as of February 2012 I published a much simpler method for calculating expected progress KS2 – KS4. I’ll keep this post available because it does show several techniques that are useful elsewhere.
Recently several schools have approached me asking if it’s possible to identify the pupils who are expected to make 3 whole levels of progress between KS2 and KS4. It’s not easy within SIMS Assessment Manager, but it is possible, as I hope this example shows.

Some time ago, the DfE produced this table to help schools identify pupils who had made ‘expected’ progress:

GCSE ‘E’ GCSE ‘D’ GCSE ‘C’ GCSE ‘B’ GCSE ‘A’ GCSE ‘A*’
Level 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Level 3 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Level 4 No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Level 5 No No No Yes Yes Yes

(See latest DfE guidance document (new for 2011) for the full table)

Converting the GCSE Grades into points we have a ‘threshold table’ like this:

KS2 Level GCSE Grade Threshold GCSE Points
2 E 28
3 D 34
4 C 40
5 B 46

From the table above we can see that anyone with a level 3 at GCSE needs at least 34 GCSE points to be classified as having achieved 3 levels progress.

Now we can convert this table into some Assessment Manager formulae:

  1. Create a new gradeset called ‘KS2-KS4 Thresholds’
  2. Add grades as follows:

  1. Create an aspect called ‘KS2-KS4 Thresholds’. Make it a grade aspect and allocate the ‘KS2-KS4 Thresholds’ gradeset created above.
  2. Create a new template
  3. Add the aspect that holds the KS2 results you want to analyse. Make sure it uses a gradeset that uses the official national curriculum points value for each level.
  4. Add a column that contains the GCSE results you wish to compare it with. Make the aspect uses a gradeset that uses the official GCSE points value for each grade.
  5. Next, use a new ‘Column for data entry using a formula’  and use an EQUALS formula to copy the KS2 result into the ‘KS2-KS4 Threshold’ column using an equals formula.
  6. Now we have the KS2 result in a gradeset that converts the level into the threshold GCSE points score. In other words, we can ‘compare like with like’
  7. Add a column that calculates the VALUE of the ‘KS2-KS4 Threshold’ column. This will display the equivalent GCSE points value of the KS2 grade.
  8. Add a column that calculates the VALUE of the GCSE result. This will display the GCSE points value of the actual GCSE result.
  9. All we need to do now is check the actual GCSE points score, and make sure it’s at least the same score as the threshold score, or more…
  10. Create a final ‘if then else’ column that compares the value of the GCSE result with the value KS2-KS4 Threshold column. If the GCSE value is greater than the threshold value, then good, we have achieved three levels of progress.

If you need help, feel free to contact me.