A suite of GCSE science courses developed in partnership with the University of York

Tracking student attainment

Spreadsheets from Blackpool local authority and Mark Carter, Greendown Community School, Swindon

Spreadsheet from Blackpool local authority
>>Download Blackpool student attainment tracker (1.9 MB)

This tracking sheet has been developed by the Twenty First Century Science Cluster in Blackpool, led by Damian Ainscough. The spreadsheet enables you to record student marks for GCSE Science, GCSE Science + Additional Science, and GCSE Additional Applied Science. We are very grateful to Blackpool for sharing this spreadsheet with others.

Spreadsheet from Greendown Community School, Swindon
>>Download GCSE Science student attainment tracker (23 KB)

This spreadsheet has been produced by Mark Carter, Head of Science at Greendown Community School, Swindon. It is designed to track pupils' attainment in the Core GCSE Science course. We are very grateful to Mark Carter for sharing this spreadsheet with others.

Notes from Mark Carter
The target grade and challenging grade column are to be filled in by teachers and could be obtainable through a whole school tracking system or other methods employed by your school. Class lists can be exported from SIMS and pasted directly in - although I would recommend pasting into another spreadsheet first and deleting the 'extra' data that does get copied.

The four unit columns calculate the grade based on you entering the UM Score from OCR. This will calculate the grade based on the grade boundaries published in the latest specification. Unit five is a special column - do not type a score in this column because it relies on a calculation from the data analysis and case studies total scores for data analysis and case studies. However, the one limitation of the spreadsheet is to grade individual pieces of data analysis or case study - the vagaries I have come across make it too difficult to precisely indicate a grade - better to show an overall grade than for individual pieces.

The traffic light system works on the principle of pupils being who are a safe grade C or above , being coloured green -– i.e., about 190 points out of 300. Although a C grade only requires 180 points (better to have 10 point margin for error or moderation). The pupils who are just a C grade or could get a C have their overall score coloured in amber (scores that lie in the range of 170 to 190 points) - these are going to be the target pupils - ones to be re-entered for a unit exam or to try and improve their unit five scores. The red ones are obvious, especially if they are in top set!

The way I use it, is to show the spreadsheet to the whole class and show them what they need to do to get a better grade. So for someone on 176 points and all C's in the exams - they will need to improve their coursework. We can show the pupils what sections to improve and by how much so that they get a C. I just type in a higher number in the column (not for unit five though) and see if the final grade goes to a C or better.

I have used this system to great effect - as head of department I have managed to raise results from 39% before I was appointed to 55% A-C. Although this tool was a part of the success, many pupils liked to know where they were and how far from a C they were. This just makes is it easier to show pupils what they need to do. The GCSE Science course is even better because we now have all the information before we 'cash in' the grades, so we really can improve the numbers of A-C grades.

Mark Carter, Head of Science, Greendown Community School, Swindon