APS News

Year 8 Artist in Residence

This month a small group of our year 8 students were selected to take part in a special Artist in Residence workshop led by Ceramic artist, Ricky Grimes. 

During the workshop, students learned how to sculpt with clay and explore a variety of different techniques to build different types of sculpture based on their current project ‘My London’.

The students mind-mapped a broad range of ideas from environmental to social issues within London and created some fantastic final outcomes. 

I would like to say a big thank you to Ricky Grimes for his time and expertise with our students and to the year 8 students for their time and hard work.

Ms Bent

"APS Vision" - Year 8 Newsletter

Welcome to the APS Year 8 newspaper!

Year 8 is the perfect year to get involved in extra-curricular activities; develop an understanding of global and local issues and get to know even more of your classmates throughout the year.  This newsletter has a wide variety of topics to support that.  A large number of students in year 8 have contributed to the paper and have worked hard to produce different articles for your enjoyment and entertainment.  We do hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have done making it!

Producer: Sienna Mansfield-Davies

Editor: Kiah Cruise

Download the Newsletter

Guide to new reporting system

Download a PDF of this guide


  • Curriculum Reform is changing assessment and grading at all Key Stages.  Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 now have different grading structures, and ‘National Curriculum levels’, which formed the basis of previous reporting, have been removed.  These ‘old’ levels can no longer be linked to expected GCSE performance.  A new system of reporting is needed to reflect this.
  • Responding to the suggestions of students, parents and staff.  Consultation took place throughout the 2015/16 academic year, which confirmed that there were many areas of agreement about how reporting could be developed further at APS.
  • An opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of reporting>.  Above all, the purpose of the new system is to increase the scope of reports to ensure that they support student development in a variety of ways. The new reporting system has a broader educational focus, with the intention of supporting students’ academic progress, and also developing a range of valuable attributes that will prepare them for life after school.


This guide sets out details of the new reporting system.

  1. ‘APS Values’ Report – see pages 2 - 3
  • Page 2 -  provides a summary and explanation of the ‘values’ that we will be reporting on in Years 7, 8 and 9.  Since September there has been a strong focus on developing these ‘values’ in lessons, and throughout the school.
  • Page 3 -  shows an exemplar for the new ‘Values Report’.  All teachers will contribute to this report and it will be sent home for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 in December and July.
  1. Academic Progress Tracking Report - see page 4
  • Page 4 – gives details of the information that will appear on the new Tracking Report which will also be issued each term for Years 7, 8 and 9.  This report will provide attendance and punctuality data and a minimum target grade for GCSE.  Progress will be tracked in each subject for every student and will indicate whether or not they are on track, above or below where they are expected to be, in order to achieve their minimum target at the end of Year 11.

Alexandra Park School’s Values

School is about more than exam results; we educate the whole student.

When we say goodbye to students at the end of their time with us we hope that they are well-rounded individuals, confident about their futures, with the skills to achieve on their chosen paths. To ensure this we actively teach values and characteristics that we believe will help them during their time at school and later in life.

Resilience is the ability to deal with setbacks; perseverance is our capacity to push on through difficulties to complete tasks. At school and beyond, these characteristics can be the difference between success and failure. They can be encouraged and must be practised.

Being organised is more than just remembering what you need to bring to school, planning your time and completing tasks by the due date. It is about having systems of thought that will allow you to structure essay responses and see your way through a task.

We often think of enthusiasm as being positive, upbeat and willing to throw yourself into a task. But it is also the ability to talk yourself into this state of mind; to recognise that whilst there may be other things that you would rather be doing right now you will benefit from this task and you will get the most out of it if you commit to it whole-heartedly. Hard work is much more rewarding if you are enthusiastic about your subject!

One of the goals of education is to give students independence and initiative so that they can flourish on their own. The first step on this road is to take responsibility for your own learning and, rather than waiting to be shown something, take the initiative and find out for yourself. The best learners show drive; they are independent and motivated.

Learning new things requires an interest in the world outside of your immediate life. A sense of inquisitiveness and curiosity makes this easier. Whilst some people are naturally curious, others must make an effort. However, it is its own reward. Learning new things opens up new worlds and our curiosity grows.

Whilst learning is a goal in itself we are judged by what we produce. The care, patience, diligence and desire to perfect a piece of work are summed up in a sense of craftsmanship.

Students learn new topics in several subjects every day. To make the most of their time they must develop adaptability. After the uniformity of the school experience, their life is likely to be varied and changing. Being ready and willing to adapt to new situations is a valuable skill. Those who throw themselves into tasks, without the fear of failure, often gain the most from them. By doing and succeeding we build our confidence. Sometimes we need to be fearless in order to start a task, particularly something that is new to us: we must have a sense of adventure and the desire to try something

We are using the word creativity to mean more than the conventional definition of artistic endeavour. Creativity in finding new ways to accomplish tasks and the innovation to find solutions to difficult problems can differentiate us from our peers. These skills can be developed in all subjects.

Ambition is a characteristic that we often believe is innate. But is usually begins with the spark of interest in something. Finding something to be ambitious about is part of the school experience.

Whilst being happy may not be as simple as making a decision to be happy we can find ways to be positive, work out what makes us happy and practise other characteristics that will help us be happy: gratitude, kindness and open-mindedness.

Empathy and consideration, the ability to understand the feelings of others and modify our responses with those feelings in mind, are qualities that may not help earn academic grades or get us to university but will be essential to our success in every other aspect of life.


Academic Progress Tracking Report

(a) Minimum GCSE target grades are agreed for individual students within each Department and are based on prior attainment including results from Key Stage 2 and assessment conducted in school.

(b) Progress in relation to these minimum target gardes will be assessed each term in every subject using the definitions below. Reports will continue to include assessment from previous terms as the system develops.

Progress Definitions

(c) The first Year 7 report (at the end of the Autumn term) will be a settling-in report, which will include a written element instead of progress indicators.

(D) Attendance and Punctuality will also be shown on all reports.

(E) Minimum targets will be set using the 9 to 1 grading system as all students currently studying in Years 7, 8 and 9 will be sitting only the ‘new’ (reformed) GCSEs. The diagram below illustrates how these new grades relate to the old A-C/D-G grading system, and includes an approximation of how the distribution of grades will change (in the form of a percentage).

GCSE Structure