Years 9, 10 and 11

September 2015

The first phase of changes to GCSE courses commenced during the September 2015 school term.

Students have been taught from a new English Language, English Literature and Maths specification, which will be examined for the first time in June 2017.

This means that our current Year 11 students (and all students thereafter) will receive a NUMBER grade (9-1) for these subjects on their GCSE certificates rather than an A* to G grade.


September 2016

Our current Year 10 students are also studying the new English Language, English Literature and Maths specifications, but in addition they have embarked on the new GCSE specifications in the following subjects:

  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Combined Science
  • Computer Science
  • Drama
  • Food and Nutrition
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • PE
  • Physics
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish.

All other new specifications (Business Studies, Electronics, Graphic Products, Psychology, Resistant Materials, Textiles) will start in September 2018 . 

New GCSE Grades

Old Grade

New Grade










Note: Grade 5 is seen as the new “pass” grade; this is expected to be slightly harder to achieve than the old C grade and is roughly equivalent to a low grade B or high grade C in the current system.

Note: Only 3% of students nationally will be awarded a Grade 9.  These will be allocated after all GCSE examinations have been marked and are a ranking against the national cohort rather than a level of achievement - as such, it is not used as a target for students for our school assessment purposes.



Y10 Report


In Year 9, the target grade reflects expectations for the end of the academic year

In Years 10 and 11, the target grade reflects expectations for the end of the GCSE course.



The attainment grade indicates whether your son/daughter is on course to meet expectations for that particular subject, given their target grade. 

In Year 9, the attainment grade reflects the teacher's judgement of what they feel the student will achieve by the end of the academic year, given their current level of progress.

In Years 10 and 11, the attainment grade reflects the teacher's judgement of what they feel the student will achieve by the end of the GCSE course, given their current level of progress.


Attitude to Learning, Behaviour and Extension Study

A judgement is also made in the crucial areas of: attitude to learning, behaviour and extension study.  (Note: We refer to extension study rather than homework as we believe this very important aspect of learning should be completed wherever best suits the individual student).

These judgements are reported as:

O         Outstanding

G          Good

RI         Requires Improvement

As with attainment, the standards at Sale Grammar School are extremely high and we are fortunate in that a good attitude to learning, exemplary behaviour and a commitment to quality extension study is the norm.  Therefore, the judgement of ‘Outstanding’ is reserved for those students whose performance in these areas has been consistently over and above that of their peers.


Attainment 8 Score, Average Grade

Attainment 8 is the new measure introduced by the government to measure a student's GCSE achievements.

The Attainment 8 score obtained by a student for their best 8 subject results.

The Difference from Target Attainment 8 score shows how the student's Attainment 8 score compares to the Attainment 8 score of their best 8 target grades. Please note: It is possible to exceed expectations in a subject but still receive a negative difference score if the Attainment 8 calculation guidelines mean that a higher grade from another subject must be used to calculate Attainment 8.

The average grade is the average of these best 8 results.

Click here for details of how the Attainment 8 score is calculated