New assessment information for your child
Dear Parents and Carers,
From September, the Government made huge changes in the way that children in schools are to be assessed and as such, assessment will look very different to how it has done for the past 20 years. The aim of this summary is to hopefully give you some clear information about all the changes that are happening in education across the country and what that means for the children here at Archbishop Cranmer and in our partner school St Peter’s East Bridgford.
An End to Curriculum Levels
The Department for Education (DfE) decided that the children who are were in Years 2 and 6 in Summer 2015 would be the last pupils to be awarded a level in their end of Key Stage tests.
Why are levels disappearing?
The DfE want to avoid what has been termed ‘The Level Race’ where children could move through the old National Curriculum levels quickly. 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 any level, from a 1 to a 5.
A child could finish Year 3 with a level 3a, and in Year 4 would have a target of a 4b for the end of the year. At Parent’s Evenings throughout the year you may be told that they have moved to a 4c and then on to a 4b.
We could use the levels system this way because there was no correlation between a level and a child’s year group. 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 for example, will always be judged against the expectations for the end of Year 4.
The recent legislation from the DfE is that the ‘levels system’ didn’t adequately ensure that children have a ‘breadth and depth of knowledge’ at each national curriculum level. Therefore, the ‘8 Progress’ statements (which we have adopted) ensure a greater emphasis on the basic fundamentals of learning, a higher standard of expectations across all year groups and a ‘deeper understanding’ of applying these skills at a ‘mastery’ level.
When the DfE announced that there would no longer be National Curriculum levels they said that schools would have to set up their own way of assessing pupils. This we have done, after extensive research, to meet the needs of your children at our school.
How will the process in schools work?
In each Autumn, Spring & Summer term, the teachers will have had an opportunity to assess how the children are working. At the start of each year group, it is assumed that the vast majority of children will be at the ‘Working Towards Year Group Expectations’ i.e. working towards the revised National Standards. By using their professional knowledge and judgement and through base-lining assessments, teachers will know what the children can already do and what they believe the children can achieve. They will then give a forecast as to where they think a child may be by the end of the year.
The biggest difference is the language we will use when talking to you about how your child is progressing during the year.
We will be assessing progress using ‘8 Progress steps’ broadly defined under three key areas:
1: Working towards Age Related Expectations (National Standards)
2. At Age Related Expectations (Achieved National Standards)
3. Exceeding Age Related Expectations (Working beyond National Standards)
Most children will spend the majority of the year working towards age related expectations, simply because of the amount of new and more challenging coverage in each year group.
We understand that this is a very new concept for parents to understand and as such, your child’s class teacher will be able to discuss the new assessment process with you in more detail at parents evening, should you wish to do so.
If you wish to discuss our new approach to assessment further please don’t hesitate to contact the school.
‘together in achievement’