Target Grade Matrix
Target Grade Matrix

Target Grade Matrix

Having spent some time understanding and sharing the impact of KS2 APS it was very reassuring to watch our Director of Progress introduce an academic mentoring programme that introduced an assessment flightplan based on student prior attainment and expected attainment. Given our conversation on the topic of ‘estimates’ I really liked his use of the term ‘stretch targets.’

KS2 APS Y6 Y7 Y8 Y9 Y10 Y11 expected
35 5A 6B 7C 7A B A A*
33 5B 6C 6A 7B C B A
31 5C 5A 6B 7C C B A
29 4A 5B 6C 6A D C B
27 4B 5C 5A 6B D C B
25 4C 4A 5B 6C D C B
23 3A 4B 5C 5A E D C
21 3B 4C 4A 5B E D C
19 3C 3A 4B 5C E D C
17 2A 3B 4C 4A F E D
15 2B 3C 3A 4B F E D
13 2C 2A 3B 4C F E D
11 B/N 2B 3C 3A F E E

*3 levels progress, expected target and 4 levels progress, stretched target. A simple formula is to take the level, multiply by 6 and add 3.

His notes included the following outline.

The above matrix sets out how a student can make 3 and 4 levels of progress from KS2 – KS4.
– For English, Maths and Science the target is set from the students KS2 level in that subject.
– For all the other subjects the average KS2 level in English, Maths and Science is used and converted into an average point score (APS) and targets are then set from the APS.
– The DfE expects all students to make 3 or more levels of progress from the end of KS2 to the end of KS4. This matrix ensures that all students, regardless of their starting point are set targets to enable them to make 2 levels of progress from KS2 – 3 and 3 levels of progress from KS2 – 4. The stretch target = 4 levels of progress.

Making further use of that data information, the equivalence between overall APS differences and levels can be considered in terms of

  • 6 points – one level in all three subjects for all pupils
  • 4 points – one level in two subjects for all pupils OR one level in each subject for two thirds of the pupils
  • 3 points – one level in two subjects for three quarters of the pupils  OR one level in each subject for one half of the pupils
  • 2 points – one level in one subject for all pupils OR one level in each subject for one third of the pupils
  • 1 point – one level in one subject for half of the pupils (and a lot of other possible combinations.

The setting of rigorous targets and the framing of staff and student expectations can only be a positive ingredient for school improvement.



  1. This is a useful table, thanks for sharing it. I too am struggling with finding the right phrase for expected/target grades, especially in a PRU setting where we work very hard to get students up to where they might have been if all had gone well, but are always aware of how much they’ve missed and how ambitious this might be.

    I’m now thinking that this table could be useful in terms of tracking how far behind a student might be at the point at which they join us.

    1. Kristian Still

      Students are working towards an estimate, so yes, I agree, it somewhat depends where your school and students current attainment is and what model you use. I like the idea of a wedge, or headlines shining a triangle of light out. The centre, bright, the edges getting less illuminated. I also thinks its very powerful to say that students ‘just like you’ do get a x grade, and x even get a y grade. I think within you context, the headlight beams may need to be wider, bringing the low hanging fruit within reach. What do you think? How about simple percentages, eg 25%, 50%, 75% chance?

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