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Plympton Academy


The Academy understands the importance of setting aspirational targets to ensure that students are challenged to achieve their full potential and encouraged to aim high. GCSE grades are set as targets and assessments are carried out regularly during the year to enable robust progress-tracking and appropriate intervention where necessary. We call them Minimum Expected Grades (MEGs). Please see the link below for detailed analysis on how MEGs are set and information regarding half- termly progress reports.

MEG Setting & Assessments

Assessment Rationale 

The purpose of assessment is to give feedback on progress and attainment. There are several audiences for this feedback – students, parents, and the Academy. Assessment and reporting are integral to high-quality teaching and learning and a vital element in raising standards and attainment. It helps us to ensure we are establishing a culture of high challenge and that students are making expected or better than expected progress

We use this ongoing formative assessment of students every lessons to ensure they are learning at the optimum level and making good progress. At the end of each Semester, students undertake formal summative testing to help inform our professional judgements of where we think students are now, WAG (Working At Grade) and in Key Stage 4 PP (Professional Predictions) what we deem they will achieve at the end of their GCSE course. 

Progress Reports are produced four times per year to feedback to parents information about their child’s current progress, attainment, and learning behaviours in each of the subjects they study.

Parents Evenings

In addition to Progress Reports, parents have the opportunity to meet the form tutor to discuss how their child has settled into the academic year and subject teachers during parent consultation evenings.

To ensure that the information we collate and feedback to parents on students' performance is valid and reliable and that we build resilience and examination preparation, the formal summative assessments take place during the last two weeks of each Semester. The dates of the assessments are published so parents can support students to prepare and develop effective revision strategies.

CAT4 Testing 

CAT4 is the UK’s most widely used test of reasoning abilities for students aged 6–17+ years, measuring the four main types of ability known to make a difference to learning and achievement. It provides reliable data for each student to help identify where to give extra support or set more challenging targets. KS2 data cannot tell the whole story but comparing it with CAT4 results enables you to make more accurate decisions and provide more academic effective support. 

The CAT4 tests provide teachers and parents with a rounded profile of your students’ ability on entry and throughout their time at secondary school, we can target support, provide the right level of challenge and make informed decisions about their progress. There are four areas called batteries which CAT4 testing measures:

1. Verbal Reasoning – the ability to express ideas and reason through words is essential to subjects with a high language content, and the most obvious skill picked up by traditional assessment

2. Non-verbal Reasoning – problem-solving using pictures and diagrams; skills which are important in a wide range of school subjects, including maths and science-based subjects

3. Spatial Reasoning – the capacity to think and draw conclusions in three dimensions, needed for many STEM subjects, but not easily measured by other datasets

4. Quantitative Reasoning – the ability to use numerical skills to solve problems, applicable well beyond mathematics.

The tests are administered digitally in three parts and take place within the first two weeks of semester 1, we report to parents by week 7. Students do NOT need to revise for these tests as they are a measure of ability and not attainment, so no pre-learning or preparation is necessary.

The video gives an overview of the tests along with a pdf guide to understanding the tests and reports generated. 

Guide to Understanding CAT4 Tests and Reports