Our indicative grades have passed their first test

Pearson Progression Services provide a consistent method of tracking student progress and reporting across multiple subjects.

We use a 12-step progression scale with subject maps that break down skills and knowledge for each subject, helping teachers to understand the progress a student is making over the years.

In June 2016 Pearson launched the first iteration of mapping the 12-step progression scale to 9-1 GCSE grades. This was for maths, English and science. In September 2016 ,the mapping was released for history, geography and MFL.

Indicative grade to Steps mapping: Version 3: Sept 2017

Step Indicative Grade
1st 1*
2nd 1
3rd 2
4th 2
5th 3
6th 3
7th 4
8th 5
9th 6
10th 7
11th 8
12th 9

* Science and MFL 1st Step is Grade U

Using the first 9-1 GCSE results to calibrate

The first 9-1 GCSEs in maths and English were awarded in Sept 2017. This was the earliest opportunity for us review the mapping and make any changes if required. A calibration meeting with experts from each EBacc subject was held in the last week of August.

This was our first cross-subject calibration meeting and we were really excited (and a little nervous) to get all of our EBacc subject experts in one room.

What we did

Before the meeting our maths and English experts reviewed a number of anonymised candidate scripts at grades one, four, seven and nine. They then compared the actual grade to the indicative grade and Pearson Step. Both experts produced a report for us to consider at the calibration meeting – this was quite an achievement for a weekend’s work in late August.

We had an interesting and lively discussion about the mapping in both subjects and it was great to see all of the subject experts sharing experiences and learning about other subjects.

The outcome

The final recommendation of the expert group was not to change the mapping following 9-1 awards in maths and English in 2017.

The next calibration meeting will be held in August 2018 following 9-1 GCSE awards for maths, English, science, history, geography and MFL. 

You can read more, including subject specific feedback, in the 'Steps to indicative grade mapping calibration' report.

How did your school find the indicative grade mapping?

Did the mapping provide evidence for your grade predictions? How confident do you feel for the next academic year? We’d love to hear your feedback. Send your questions and feedback to progressionscale@pearson.com.