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Key Stage 3

Pupils have discrete lessons in English, Maths, Science, MFL, Humanities (Geography, History and Philosophical Thinking), Design & Technology, PE, Art, Drama, Music and Computing.

Subjects allocations at Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9):

English, Maths

4 hours per week

Science, MFL, Humanities

3 hours per week


2 hours per week

Art, Drama, Music, Computing

1 hour per week

PSHE is delivered by tutors through a ‘rolling’ programme across the timetable so the timing of each session will change each week, with all pupils experiencing PSHE at the same time, allowing for a more cohesive programme.

The assessment system at Key Stage 3 is based upon the new GCSE numerical grading structure that has been introduced as part of a far-reaching national reform of GCSE qualifications.

The starting point for each year group is determined by the pupils’ Key Stage 2 standardised scores compared to the national Key Stage 2 data for the year they sat their end of primary school tests.  Personalised ‘flightpaths’ for each pupil, in each of their subjects, are then generated from their starting point towards their target band.  The English and MFL baselines use the Key Stage 2 English score.  Maths, Science and Computing/ICT use the Key Stage 2 Maths score.  The remaining subjects, use an average of the English and Maths Key Stage 2 scores.  In the absence of Key Stage 2 data, where a pupil may not have sat these tests at primary school, then other data sources are used where available, e.g. Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT) scores.

Similar to the old National Curriculum levels, there are 3 sub-grades within each band: a, b and c (with ‘a’ representing the top of the band).  Pupil progress can be tracked by comparing the expected progress at any point along the flightpath with the pupils’ actual attainment.

Attainment graph

In the above example, a pupil starting at 1b would be expected to attain 2c by the end of Year 7 to be on track to achieve their target band at the end of Year 11.  Comparing the example pupil’s actual attainment to their expected progress flightpath, they would have been below track at the end of Year 7 initially, but then on or above track from midway through Year 8 onwards.

Pupils’ target band and ‘end of year expected progress’ grade will be noted in each subject’s exercise book.  Pupils will also record ‘milestone’ assessments in a progress tracker in the front of each book, including comments on ‘what went well’ and ‘how to improve’ their work further.

There are three review points during the year, where pupils and parents will be provided with a report, outlining pupil progress compared to expected attainment, in each of their subjects; pupils will either be below, on or above track.  The target bands should not been seen by pupils as a limit on what they can achieve and at each reporting point, teachers will provide written curricular targets to inform pupils how they can move towards the next band.

For more information on individual subjects please see the links on this page, or contact the relevant curriculum leader.


Year 9: The revision process (971KB)

Review it, condense it, learn it...