From this September, the Government has made a huge change to the way that children in schools are to be assessed. This is to tie in with the New National Curriculum that started to be used by all schools in 2014. This is a new way of thinking for schools, and assessment will look very different to how it has done for the past 20 years.
Assessing Without Levels
The Department for Education announced last year that there would no longer be National Curriculum levels and that schools would have to set up their own way of assessing pupils. We have viewed this as an opportunity to ensure that we develop a system in which every pupil can be the best they can be. We visited a school in Wroxham which advocates the term “Learning without limits”, in which no child has a barrier or low expectation placed upon them. By moving away from a level system (progressing up a ladder), every pupil has the opportunity to progress and broaden their understanding in an accelerated way without having to embark upon rigid steps to improve.
We have spent a long time researching various different methods of assessing pupils, and we have had demonstrations of various commercial software tracking systems, as well as consultations with other schools in our partnership. Almost all of the systems used the same format, which is similar to the system used in the Early Years and Foundation Stage. This is to take the end of year expectations for each year group and to split into 4 categories as follows:
Working Towards – working at a level that is below the Age Related Expectation
Emerging – on route to get to the Age Related Expectation.
Expected – Secure in the majority of the Age Related Expectations.
Exceeding – Secure in almost all or all the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently.
We are aiming to ensure that 85% of our pupils achieve the Age Related Expectation at the end of the year. At the start of each year group most pupils will be working within the working towards stage or emerging stage and should hopefully move to the Expected or Exceeding expectation by the end of the year.
KS1 & KS2 Test Explanation Videos