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School Results - Key Stage 4

Setting the National Context for Pupil Attainment Measures

GCSE results this year were lower nationally than previous years due to changes made to examination courses to increase the difficulty of qualifications. Nationally, there has been a 2.1% fall in pupils attaining C grades, which is extremely significant when compared with previous years. In English, this decline is 5.2% and in Mathematics 2.3%. Despite this St. Dominic’s is celebrating its best attainment results at GCSE in the school’s history – a remarkable achievement.

As a special school, St. Dominic’s is not held to account by floor standards at KS2 or KS4, but they are useful as a tool for aspirational target setting and as a point of comparison against schools nationally.


Attainment data for Key Stage Four is based on the attainment of 12 pupils.  However, Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores calculations are based on 11 pupils.

9 Pupils in the cohort, a significant majority, are categorised as disadvantaged. This means that data for the whole cohort is a more valid indictor of attainment and progress as the non-disadvantaged cohort is not statistically significant. In the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures, individual pupils who are disadvantaged are indicated.

Unlike data produced by RAISEonline, the school has also taken the decision to include qualifications that are not included in the DfE Key Stage Four performance tables in our data set. This is because pupils at St. Dominic’s are not all able to access exam qualifications by the end of Year 11, though this is the preferred route wherever possible. Where Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications have been used, the correct points value has been assigned to demonstrate progress over time accurately from a pupil’s starting point.  


  • 12 pupils (100%) achieved at least one GCSE
  • 7 pupils (58%) achieved 5 A*- G grades
  • 3 pupils (15%) achieved 5 A* - C grades
  • 2 pupils (17%) achieved 5 A* - C grades inc. English and Maths
  • One pupil achieved 10 A* - C grades
  • One pupil achieved 8 A* - C grades
  • School Attainment 8 score = 29.02, national 2016 = 49.34
  • School Progress 8 score = 0.65, national 2016 = floor standard 0, a score of 1 means schools are exempt from inspection i.e. ‘outstanding’

Year 11 Results Table

Individual pupil attainment is tabled below. GCSE results are marked with A* - G and portfolio based LASER qualifications are marked as ‘L1’ (equivalent G – D). Entry Level qualifications are marked as ‘E2’.

Fig 4

 Attainment 8

Fig 6


The attainment 8 scores demonstrate the variability between estimated attainment and actual attainment. For two pupils, the gap is highly significant and for the rest of the cohort, the gap is less significant. 7 out of the 12 pupils (58%) met or exceeded their estimated attainment 8 score.

Working with this data set, the school’s attainment 8 score is 26.09 which is significantly lower than nationally (49.34, RAISEonline 2016). However, only a small proportion of pupils are able to fill each ‘bucket’ for the Attainment 8 measure and will therefore have scores of ‘0’ for the unfilled buckets. The table below demonstrates the breakdown per pupil:

 Fig 7

For this reason, Attainment 8 scores are a valid measure of progress only for middle and higher attaining pupils who were entered for a broader range of qualifications.

Other Attainment Measures

Fig 8

While attainment against 5 A* - C grades remains low compared to national data, these results show the school has by far exceeded the last two years and 25% A* - C also represents the highest results on record for St. Dominic’s School. This is due to an increase in expectations for pupils and education staff, and a changing culture in which there is an unrelenting focus on outcomes and attainment.

Fig 9

N.B. National statistics taken from DfE detailed analysis for 2016.

Data demonstrates that English performance has increased significantly, Maths has stayed the same and Science has increased.


Progress measures compare pupil attainment at the end of KS2 in their SATs examinations to their results at the end of KS4. SATs results historically do not provide a reliable baseline for pupil attainment so they are also baseline assessed on entry. For this reason, both sets of data are provided.

Due to small cohort sizes and low stability, pupils joining the school at every entry point are included. A points offset is applied where a pupil joins the school at a different entry point so that progress prior to entry is assumed. This allows St. Dominic’s to demonstrate an accurate measure of progress since joining the school from baseline.


  • Progress from SATs in English is higher by 31% compared to all pupils nationally and better by 36% compared to all boys nationally
  • Progress from SATs in Maths is lower by 2% compared to all pupils nationally and the same as progress nationally for boys
  • A significant number of pupils are making more than expected progress
  • When pupils are compared to all pupils nationally from their starting point, a significant majority achieve the mean – this is particularly good in English, RE and Humanities where 100% of pupils achieve the mean or better
  • Pupils with the lowest starting points make the most progress at St. Dominic’s compared to pupils nationally and in other SEN schools

Progress 8

 Fig 10

Progress 8 data demonstrates the range of pupil progress from SATs taking into account non GCSE qualifications. In a data set of this size there is no demonstrable correlation between progress and disadvantaged as the majority of pupils are in the disadvantaged category and, of that cohort, 5 pupils have scores of 0 or above and 4 do not. Resultantly, this is not an accurate representation of the progress made by these pupils at St. Dominic’s due to significant gaps in learning from their previous provisions.

This data maps the number of pupils achieving 13 points progress from their baselines in all subjects and also, in English and maths, from Key Stage Two SATs. National averages for progress varies year on year. The national average for pupils achieving expected progress in English in 2015 is 69% (for boys this is 64%), the national average for pupils achieving expected progress in Mathematics in 2015 is 66% (for boys this is 64%).

Year 11 progress vs 2015 KS2 - 4 transition matrices (all schools)

Transition matrices compare pupil progress against the progress of other pupils nationally with the same result at the end of KS2 i.e. if a pupil achieved a level 2 in English, the mean progress for other pupils achieving a level 2 is an F at the end of KS4. Transition matrices are not one of the floor standards used by the DfE but are a useful performance indicator for cohorts of pupils that are small, mixed or broadly contain lower achievers.

Fig 11

Year 11 progress vs 2015 KS2 - 4 transition matrices (state and non-maintained special schools)

Fig 12


When our data is measured against all schools nationally or against other SEN settings, pupils are able to demonstrate good or outstanding progress from their starting point. As 8 pupils out of 12 fall into the category of low prior attainment, this is a good indicator of progress as data trends tell us that pupils with low prior attainment go on to make less progress than their middle and high attaining counterparts. 

Year 11 Progress based on prior attainment at Key Stage 2

Fig 13

N.B. No pupils had outcomes of 1 or 2 in Key Stage 2 SATs.

In English, all pupils make at least expected progress from their starting point. Pupils with the lowest starting points by far out perform their national counterparts with the vast majority of pupils making better than expected progress.

Fig 14


In Maths, pupils with the lowest starting points excel and by far out perform their national counterparts. Middle attaining pupils do not perform as well as their national counterparts and this is the area the school now needs to focus on.


Pupil progress between KS2 and KS4 is outstanding in the majority of subjects.  The progress of the lowest achievers in core subjects is particularly exceptional when compared to their counterparts in SEN settings. For comparably higher achievers in SEN Settings (those achieving a level 3 or 4 at the end of KS2), pupils outperform their counterparts in English. In Maths, pupils outperform their counterparts with a starting point of level 3, but do not compare as favourably at level 4.