Assessing pupil achievement and monitoring progress ‘without levels’
In September 2014, the National Curriculum 2014 became statutory. The curriculum sets out programmes of study for key subjects and says what children need to learn and when they should learn it from Year 1 to Year 6.
The Department for Education made changes to the National Curriculum which, for most children in Church Aston Infant School, came into place in September 2015.
As part of the reforms to the National Curriculum, the system of ‘levels’ that was used to report children’s attainment and progress has been removed. This is to give greater flexibility in the way that teachers plan and assess pupils’ learning. The programmes of study within the new National Curriculum set out expectations at the end of each key stage, and all maintained schools are free to develop a curriculum relevant to their pupils that teaches this content.
For year groups 1 and 2, a new grading system is now in place. The grading system that we are using divides the curriculum into learning steps. For each year group there are 3 steps - Entering, Developing and Secure. For example - Entering Year 1, Developing Year 1 and Secure Year 1.
If pupils are assessed as being on the typical step for their age at a particular time of year, e.g., Entering Y1 at the end of the autumn term, Developing Y1 at the end of the spring term and Secure Y1 at the end of the summer term in Year 1, they will be at a Good Level of Development (GLD). As a school, we have explored a number of formats from agencies and Local Authorities who were part of a pilot project for “Assessing without Levels”. From these we have developed a comprehensive framework based on the National Curriculum for assessing.
Pupils can be assessed as being on any step at any time regardless of their actual age. Some children may be working below the expected step and will have additional support to enable then to close the gap. Other children will be working above their expected step and will access teaching and learning opportunities to reflect this.
Over a period of one year we would expect that 85% of pupils to make at least 3 steps progress and at least 30% of pupils would move more than 3 steps in each year group.
The first new Key Stage 1 tests in English and mathematics based on the new National Curriculum, will be given to pupils for the first time in the summer of 2016.
The stage your child is working at, the targets set for your child and what they need to do to achieve them are shared with parents on parents’ evening, in October and February. This information enables parents to have an understanding of where their child is in relation to national expectations and what their child needs to do next, to achieve the best possible outcomes for them.