School Badge - Return home.

Setting Arrangements

At St Leonard’s we take great care to ensure that when pupils are placed into sets, they are placed appropriately in order to maximise their chances of achieving well academically. It is worth noting, however, that any sets that pupils are placed in are always subject to change as sets are constantly reviewed throughout the year to ensure that pupils are always being academically challenged. Movement up or down throughout the year is possible. The school uses a range of materials to decide on setting, including:

  • Key Stage 2 data (SATs results where available, Teacher Assessed Grades for the years when SATs were cancelled due to Covid)
  • MIDYS testing (assessments sat at the beginning of Year 7 which are a test of aptitude for learning, rather than a test of ability or achievement)
  • Assessments sat in lessons during the school year, including formal end of year assessments
  • Reading and spelling age data, where appropriate
  • SEND information and needs, where appropriate
  • Target grades
  • Teacher input

The rationale behind setting pupils is largely to ensure that lesson content can be pitched at appropriate levels for pupils in each class and to ensure that all pupils, as individuals, get the relevant support that they need from the classroom teacher.

Depending on which year your child is in will affect which subjects they are in sets for:


Year 7: In Year 7, pupils are largely taught in tutor groups, however from mid-way through the first term they are split into one of two sets in Mathematics. No other subjects are set.


Year 8: In Year 8, pupils are set into one of four sets Mathematics and Science, and one of four sets in English, RE and Languages (i.e. whichever set a pupil is in for Mathematics, they are in the same set for Science; whichever set a pupil is in for English, they are in the same set for RE and Languages). It is worth noting that pupils in sets 1-3 in Mathematics are on the Higher pathway, in that they are on the route to be entered for the Higher tier at GCSE.


Year 9: Pupils are still set into one of four sets for Mathematics and Science but the two subjects are no longer linked (i.e. the set a pupil is in for Mathematics no longer affects the set they are in for Science). Pupils are set into one of four sets for English and RE (which continue to be linked) and into one of four sets for Languages (which from Year 9 is no longer linked to English and RE). The one anomaly in Year 9 is that in English and RE, the LEON side of the year group actually have five sets rather than four. This is due to extra staffing being put in place to reduce class sizes and ensure pupils receive as much personalised attention from staff members as possible.


Key Stage 4: As pupils start their GCSEs their year group is split into two halves (X and Y) and pupils set into one of five sets in English, Mathematics, Science and RE. None of the subjects are linked in the way they might have been in Key Stage 3. The top set on each half of the year in Science study Triple Science (separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) whereas all other sets study Combined Science. A letter outlining the allocated sets for GCSE Science is sent to parents at the end of Year 9, which includes information on career paths and university opportunities regarding Science regardless of whether Triple or Combined has been studied.


As previously mentioned, once a pupil is placed into a set this is not unchangeable. On occasion pupils excel in their classes and are moved up a set to ensure they remain academically challenged. The school has also worked hard to ensure an appropriate number of sets are available in each year group so that class sizes do not become too large and learning is affected, such as the example outlined in Year 9 above.


 1,142 Total,  1 Today