Understanding Grades/Levels and Reports


Targets are the grade that students should be aiming to achieve these represent expected progress considering the students starting point in the school. Many students will exceed their targets provided they work hard and act on the professional advice that they are given.

Teacher Assessments

In Years 7-9 students’ progress is assessed as their current working grade, this is assessed against GCSE criteria and considering the performance of similar students, historically, and the outcome achieved.

In Years 10-13 students’ progress is assessed as their current working towards grade. This is assessed using GCSE, AS and A Level grading criteria. The working towards grade is the most likely grade that the student will achieve if they maintain current standards of performance in school and in their homework, including effort.


In Key Stage 4 students will achieve grades on a scale from 1 - 9. The national expectation is a grade 5.                                                      In addition the Grade of X is used for students who are achieving below GCSE standard.                                                                     GCSEs are given points so that they can be compared to other qualifications.

Grades in Sixth Form

In Key Stage 5 students achieve grades on a scale from A to E. The national expectation is a grade E.                                                          In addition the Grade of U is used for students who are achieving below A Level standard.

A Levels are given UCAS points so that they can be compared to other qualifications and be used by the student to apply to Universities and Colleges.  The points awarded for each grade are:

GradeUCAS Points
A* 60
A 50
B 40
C 30
D 20
E 10
U 0

Other qualifications also earn points which may be used for UCAS applications etc; but not on the scale above.  For example, we ask that all Sixth Form students complete an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which earns the following points:

EPQ Grade
UCAS Points


At William Farr School, we realise that our students learning and outcomes are about more than test scores. To recognise this, and to support learning, we also measure and report on Behaviour for Learning (BfL). We firmly believe that having a positive attitude to learning is an important characteristic of success, and behaviour is the key to the positive attitude that we expect from our students.

To measure students’ Behaviour for Learning, each subject awards a BfL grade to every student at different times of the year. These grades are outlined below. We expect the students’ BfL grade at our school to be either excellent or good.

Effort ScoreEffort DescriptionEffort
1 Excellent This student is motivated to learn and make the most of opportunities to broaden their knowledge and understanding. They are eager to extend their learning opportunities outside of the classroom and take full responsibility for their own learning.
2 Good This student is positive about their learning. They engage in lessons; they sometimes seek assistance from the teacher or other learners. They complete most of their work on time and to a good standard.
3 Requires Improvement This student lacks the motivation to learn and can be reluctant to participate in all activities; as a result, they might be struggling to fulfil their potential. They require frequent reminders to focus on learning and can be slow to respond to instructions.
4 Cause for Concern This student shows little or no interest in improving their understanding of the subject, causing them to neglect their schoolwork. They do not fully engage with tasks and activities and regularly behave in a way, which prevents themselves and others from learning.


The school will award a grade to each student at different times of the year, this is a Professional Prediction of the expected outcome. As such a Year 8 student receiving a grade 5 means that the teacher is predicting that, based on the evidence available at this time, they will go on to achieve a grade 5 at the end of Year 11 in the subject. These Professional Predictions are based on the information available at the time and are not a guarantee of outcomes. They do depend largely upon the students continuing to make the most effort available with their work and revision.


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