Skip to content ↓

Carlton le Willows Academy

Nothing but the best


At Carlton le Willows Academy teachers have worked together to define assessment criteria that reflect the key concepts and skills taught within the new national curriculum.

At Key Stage 3 prior attainment and teacher assessment are used to assign one of four progress bands: Building, Developing, Secure or Mastery. Each progress band is provisionally linked to the most likely GCSE grade targets to be set at Key Stage 4.

At Key Stage 4 students are assessed using the new number system 1-9, which replaces the legacy structure G-A*.

More information is available in the download section below.

We will continue to challenge all students to achieve their best and provide support to ensure they are all capable of securing positive outcomes in Year 11.

Parents can expect to receive three reports each year which will be available online over the course of each year’s study. Reports will include a base target and an aspirational target, which has been determined individually for each student based on prior attainment and current progress.

In addition to regular reports, there is at least one Parents’’ Evening each year for all students. These provide an opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teachers and discuss any aspects of their progress.

Parents are also encouraged to contact teachers if they have any concerns which they wish to discuss between parents’ evenings.

Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT4) 

All Year 7 students will be taking Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT4) in May 2021.

These assessments will enable us to take a snapshot of each student’s potential, what they could achieve and how they learn best.   In the absence of National Key Stage 2 data last summer they will also provide a benchmark from which we can set student targets.

Find out more about these tests by reading the FAQs below.

What is a CAT4? 

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn and what their academic potential might be. It assesses how students think in areas that are known to make a difference to learning.

While many tests focus on a child’s attainment in core subjects, CAT4 is designed to give schools a much broader, more rounded view of each child, their potential and how they learn. Results help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for a student and whether additional support or challenge is needed.

Tasks involve thinking about shapes and patterns (Non-Verbal Reasoning), words (Verbal Reasoning), numbers (Quantitative Reasoning) and some questions are answered by mentally generating and transforming visual images (Spatial Ability).

CAT4 is based on years of research and development. The current edition took five years to develop and the involvement of 25,000 students across the UK. It is a well-known assessment in schools; teachers value its ability to provide an understanding of what a child is capable of rather than defining them by their understanding of a body of knowledge in particular subjects.

How are CAT4 results used? 

CAT4 provides teachers with information that can form the basis for discussions about how best a student can learn and reach his or her potential in school.

Teachers are provided with an individual profile of learning preference along with a range of indicators of likely future performance. Used with other information these data can support teaching and learning for all children.

Can students practise for CAT4? 

We strongly advise against any kind of practice ahead of a CAT4 test as this will alter the reliability of test scores. The point of CAT4 is that it is not a test of learnt knowledge and it needs to be as unaffected as possible by any external factors, such as practice. Think of it like an eye test; if you practice ahead of an eye test and memorise the card, your diagnosis may not be correct and valuable information may be missed.

CAT4 is a timed assessment and is administered under formal conditions. However, each section of the assessment includes introductory information with practice examples, and these will familiarise the children with the style and format of the questions. These sections are not timed and may be repeated.

Is additional time allowed for children with SEND? 

CAT4 is a timed assessment and additional time is not permitted as this will affect the reliability of the results. CAT4 is not just about what and how it tests, but how the questions are answered within a set timeframe. The timed element makes it diagnostically very powerful.

CAT4 subtests are generously timed and most children reach the final questions, however there may have been a minority of students during the standardisation process who would have obtained higher scores if they had been given more time. Therefore, giving extra time to a particular student could give an inflated view of their relative ability when comparing their results with the CAT4 norms.