The Fischer Family Trust (FFT) processes the National Pupil Database for the Department of Education and provides data and analyses to all schools in England and Wales. They provide grade predictors for student attainment at the the end of KS4 and we use these to inform the setting of ambitious and aspirational targets for students.
FFT is based on KS2 scores - the non-for-profit organisation look at the GCSE scores of all the students who got the same scores as your child when they were in Year 6 and then use that to work out the probability of your child getting particular grades at GCSE. These datasets are updated each year.
*For our current Year 7 (2020/2021) and the new cohort Year 7 starting in September (2021/2022) KS2 SATs have not been taken however we to overcome this we will conduct a baseline set of exams in English reading, English SPG and Mathematics arithmetic and Mathematics reasoning.
FFT-50 Target Grades
FFT benchmarks are based on how similar students nationally performed in the subject last year (similar students are defined as similar prior attainment, gender and month of birth). For 2020/2021 and the immediate years following, Noadswood will be using the FFT-50 benchmark - this is the 50th percentile progress for students.
There is a specific philosophy to target grades and how they should be used - around 50% of the final grade is predictable by knowing a student's previous attainment but the other 50% is determined by the quality of teaching, the support at home, the determination of the student and other factors which impact the final outcome.
The purpose of the Noadswood targets are to:
- Be realistic
- Motivate the student into achieving this result - aspirational whilst remaining realistic
- Be useful for the students, parents / carers and staff to establish progress in a given subject when linked to what is currently being achieved
FFT - Changes in 2020/2021
2020/2021 have been extremely difficult years for so many people, and the disruption to normal education has been felt by everyone. At Noadswood we've done our very best to mitigate the impacts as best we can in so many different ways, but at the forefront of all of this is the wellbeing of our students. As such it feels absolutely the right decision to use the FFT-50 target grades (rather than the higher FFT-20 target grades) as we move into the new year. For some KS4 students the target grades in some subjects my be lowered slightly as we change this target grade. This decision does not impact in any way what a given student can potentially achieve, but it does change the conversation very slightly for some students about the expectation of them by themselves, those at home and our staff.
We think this is a really important decision to take knowing the impact 2020/2021 has had on so many of our students and that reducing the pressure on their shoulders, where we can, should be done.
To summarise this change to FFT-50:
- It does not impact in any way what a student can achieve
- It will not impact any centre assessed grades, should we need to submit these again (though it is looking highly likely that some form of assessment will take place in all subjects as previously mentioned (click link))
- The target grade for some students, in some subjects, will be slightly reduced and students, parents and Noadswood staff will be made aware of this in the next set of reports that are issued
The example dashboard gives an indication of the statistical likelihood for a student to achieve a given target (benchmark grade), though this target completely depends on the individual. Across a large dataset the pattern of outcomes has been established, but it will of course never fully predict the outcome for any given individual - benchmarks are not prophecies. Though many students progressed from a particular KS2 score to a given GCSE outcome doesn't mean that any given student with their particular circumstances is destined to follow suit.