Assessment and Reporting
Assessment and Reporting at Clyst Heath Nursery and Community Primary School
The New National Curriculum used by all schools since September 2014 has provided a new way of thinking for schools, and assessment and reporting now looks very different to the way it has done for the past 20 years. The aim of this guide is to hopefully give you some clear information about all the changes and what that means for the children here at Clyst Heath.
The End of Curriculum Levels
The DfE want to avoid what has been termed ‘The level Race’ where children have moved through the old National Curriculum levels quickly to achieve higher attainment. The old National Curriculum was sub-divided into levels, but these were not linked to their national curriculum year group. For example, a child in Year 4 could be a Level 3 or even a level 5. Children were achieving Level 5 and 6 at the end of Key Stage 2, but the DfE thought that a significant number were able to achieve a Level 5 or 6 in a test—but were not secure at that level. The feeling from the DfE was that the old national curriculum and the levels system was confusing for parents and failed to adequately ensure that children had a breadth and depth of knowledge at each national curriculum level.
Assessing Without Levels
The DfE announced 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 spent a long time researching various different methods of assessing pupils. Almost all of the systems used the same format, which was similar to the system used in the Early Years and Foundation Stage. This was to take the end of year expectations for each year group and to split this into three categories – Emerging, Expected and Exceeding.
Under the old levels system children who were exceeding might have moved into the next level. The DfE now want children who are in the exceeding bracket to add more depth and breadth to their knowledge, and to have more opportunities to develop the use of the skills and knowledge they have acquired. This phase of learning has been referred to as ‘Mastery’ and ‘Depth’.
- Emerging: Beginning to acquire the knowledge and skills related to the curriculum.
- Developing: Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations.
- Expected: Secure in the majority of the end of year expectations.
- Mastery: Secure in almost all or all the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently
Key Stage 1
It is anticipated that a typical child will reach Year 2 ‘Expected’ by the end of KS1, a smaller number of children will reach Year 2 ‘Mastery’. It is anticipated that a small number of children may still be working at Year 2 ‘Emerging’ or ‘Developing’.
Key Stage 2
Lots of you may have heard of the expression ‘Secondary Ready’ as the standard children must achieve by the end of Year 6. The DfE have slightly distanced themselves from this phrase but they are essentially talking about Year 6 ‘Expected’ as being the desired outcome for the majority of pupils. Similar to Year 2 there will be some children who may be assessed as Year 6 working in ‘Greater Depth’ and some children who will be working below that. This may also include a small number of children whose outcomes are still linked to Year 5 or Year 4 curriculum outcomes.
At Clyst Heath we have identified three formal Assessment Points across the year in October, January and March and teachers will be making progress judgements and decide whether pupils are on track or off track to reach their end of year targets. The final teacher judgements will then be made at the end of the school academic year.
This data will be scrutinised regularly by the Headteacher, the Leadership Team and Subject Leaders to ensure that all pupils are progressing at the appropriate rate from their individual starting points. In other words, if a pupil is working in ‘Greater Depth’ at the end of Year 2, it is envisaged that they will achieve ‘Greater Depth’ at the end of Year 3 too. If a pupil is not making appropriate progress the data will help us to identify this and we will be able to intervene accordingly.
The biggest difference is how we will talk to pupils and parents about progress and attainment. With the old National Curriculum, children were given a target level for the end of the year, and during the year we would report about progress towards that National Curriculum level. For example, a child could finish Year 3 with a level 3a, and in Year 4 would have a target of 4b for the end of the year.
We could use the levels system this way because there was no correlation between a level and a child’s year group, and this can be seen in the way that in Year 6 there could be a range of levels, from level 3 to a level 6. However, the new National Curriculum sets out expectations for each year group and children will be assessed against those every year, so a child in Year 4 will always be judged in the first instance against the expectations for the end of Year 4.
During the year, when we have conversations with you (at least two formal invitations) about your child’s progress you won’t be given an actual definitive position of where they are on this scale. Instead you will be told whether your child is on track to meet their end of year target. It may well be that they are above or below where they need to be, in which case their end of year target may be adjusted.
We hope that you find this guide useful.