Assessing Without Levels
There are no changes in the Curriculum or assessment procedures for Reception children.
Following the introduction of the new National Curriculum in September (which has removed “levels” with which we have become familiar over the past 25 years or so), we, along with all other schools, have been working on a method of assessing children’s attainment and progress.
The new curriculum differs from the old one in many ways:
The emphasis is now on children within a year group all being taught the same thing towards end of year statutory statements. If children meet these statements, they are judged to have met the End of Year Age Related Expectations (ARE).
Children will be judged against these throughout the year and if children are judged to have met the ARE before the end of the year, they will be taught to apply these skills in a range of situations, rather than move on to the expectations of the next year group. Anyone consistently doing this will be judged as “exceeding ARE”.
Expectations have been raised quite dramatically with the new curriculum e.g.
Y1 Old curriculum – read and write numbers to 20
New curriculum – read and write numbers to 100
Y4 Old curriculum – know times tables to 10 x 10
New curriculum – know times tables to 12 x 12
Y5 Old curriculum – use numbers to 2 decimal places
New curriculum – use numbers to 3 decimal places
Each school will be able to devise their own methods of assessing. We are still working on our method – working closely with advice from the Local Authority and working alongside and collaboratively with other schools, as well as involving the Governing Body and using guidance from teaching unions and published strategies.
As there are so many statutory statements for the end of each year, we will be identifying the most important ones and using these to assess against. These will be known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and these will be shared with you as soon as they are finalised. They will also be written in child friendly terms and shared with the children. We have already been moderating our assessments with other schools to ensure consistency across schools and we shall continue to do so to ensure the new arrangements are effective and accurate.
For the rest of this year, we will be introducing the new assessment procedures for Years 1, 3, 4 and 5. Children in Years 2 and 6 will continue to be assessed against National Curriculum levels using the previous National Curriculum in accordance with regulations.
At the moment we are working on reporting to parents whether children are working below ARE (and whether they are on track to be working at ARE by the end of the year), working at ARE already or whether they are exceeding the ARE.
It must be remembered that the ARE are End of Year expectations and children would not normally be expected to reach this until the end of the each year as they are based on a year’s coverage of work.
Please feel free to have a look through the new National Curriculum for English and Maths. In the curriculum, there are the “statutory statements” and also non-statutory guidance to clarify some of these statements.