Rank Order Assessment

We're always looking for ways to help students do their best and stay motivated. Many successful schools, including those in United Learning, find that sharing rank order information with students and parents is a great way to support these goals.

Some people worry that this might make students feel discouraged if they're not at the top of the list. However, when we've visited schools using rank order, students actually talk about how it motivates them to improve their position. We make sure to support students no matter where they are on the list and protect those who may feel vulnerable.

Once we address these concerns, rank order becomes a helpful tool for parents, carers, and teachers. Instead of using complicated grades, it simply shows whether a student is making progress and how they compare to their classmates.

This school year, we're trying something new by using names (instead of anonymous ID numbers) for the top 50 students in each year group. We think this will make being on the list more impactful for those students, while also making sure those who haven't achieved as highly don't feel embarrassed. Celebrating high achievement is an important part of our school values, and we think this change will help us do this more effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please use the tabs below for further information, and if you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact Assistant Principal (Data and Assessment) Philippa.strickett@sedgehillacademy.org.uk

  • What is Rank Order Assessment?
    Rank Order Assessment is the process of assessing students, ideally through formalised examinations, and then ranking them from top to bottom performer in each subject and overall.
  • Why are we doing Rank Order Assessment?

    We're always looking for ways to help students achieve great results and stay motivated. Sharing rank order information is a powerful way to do this. National GCSE grade boundaries use rank order, allowing students and parents to know where they stand as early as Year 7, giving them plenty of time to take action.

  • What will Rank Order Assessment look like?
    Rank Order leaderboards in school display students from top to bottom. Students are given a unique personal code (unless they're in the top 50, whose names will be displayed). The code or name will appear on the board, but unless the student shares it, the information remains confidential. Student rankings are also included in individual pupil reports sent home.
  • What will the school do with the Rank Order information?

    The rank order helps us set students for English, Maths and Science. In Years 7-9 rank order also shows the most appropriate stream for other subjects, based on their results in History, Geography, RE and French/Spanish. We track students’ movement up or down in rank order between assessments, rewarding progress and intervening if needed. This information is shared with parents.

  • Why has my child done well in some subjects but not in others?
    Students take assessments in most subjects twice a year, offering a chance to review sets for English, Maths and Science and streamed groups.
  • How will we support students who find themselves at the bottom of a Rank Order or dropping places?
    Students at the lower end of the rank order receive tailored support, including after-school sessions and reading assistance. Some parents may be invited for a meeting with a member of the Leadership Team to discuss reasons for a low rank order.
  • My child has SEN - will this affect their standing the year group?

    For privacy, results are anonymized, except for the top 50 students. If you prefer your child not to appear on the rank order list, please contact Ms. Strickett to discuss. Students whose data isn’t included in a rank order list will complete all assessments as usual.

  • When will Rank Order happen?
    Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are assessed and rank-ordered twice a year. Year 7 students have an extra ‘baseline’ assessment early in the first term to determine appropriate sets/streams.
  • How, as a parent/carer, can I support my child with Rank Order Assessment?

    Parents can support by encouraging a positive attitude to learning, monitoring homework on online platforms, and ensuring excellent attendance. Students with good attendance and completion are more likely to improve their rank order.

  • Will students be rewarded for their Rank Order?
    We reward students achieving high ranks and those making progress. Progress badges are given in reward assemblies to acknowledge hard work and commitment to excellence.

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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