I visited a school yesterday and was startled to see them using GCSE lettered grades for year 10 within atomised objectives at the start of a lesson. I then reviewed the data sheet provided for the class and indeed all the GCSE predicted grades were using letters. I was talking to a teacher in another school who said they were using GCSE lettered grades with the Year 7s. Both schools stand out as having not moved forward as the other schools I have seen have done. As I visit a lot of schools (about 40 secondary schools a year) I summed up to this teacher what I have seen so far this year. The vast majority of schools have stripped all reference to lettered grades from the system. The leading schools have also stripped out the use of summative grading within assessment and tracking. Instead, they are all working towards to the level 1 mastery criteria of the GCSE. Students are either making progress towards this or not, but they are not 'grading' the pupils. Now just to clarify this: they are assessing them summatively and generating numerical data. However, they are not converting this into 'grading' as OfQUAL have said that the boundaries are more aligned with norm referencing rather than criterion referencing and thus the grade boundaries and indeed progress 8 will all be calculated post assessment. This means you cannot 'grade' work anymore. You can only give it a raw score. This doesn't stop summative assessment nor does it stop measuring progress. However. In keeping with all the research on formative feedback over summative feedback, the majority of the best schools have stopped embedding reference to grades or indeed numbers within the lessons or feedback to students. Everything is on progress. I thought it worth flagging this up as most teachers don't see many other schools and I am in a unique position in visiting a lot of schools and seeing their different approaches. It is interesting to see how schools do slowly move in collective directions and without sharing practice some schools can get left behind. I'm not an Ofsted inspector but it does show how Ofsted inspectors could be used as a medium for sharing how other schools have approached things like assessment. I mean, that they could make a presentation to the inspected school rather than just write their report!