Assessment Without Levels

Assessment Without Levels

How has Assessment at Primary School Changed?

In September 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced by the government, initially to Reception and Years 1, 3, 4 and 5, and extended to all year groups this September. The new curriculum has significantly raised expectations of what children should know and be able to do within each year group. In some cases, particularly in Maths and English, the children are learning things two years earlier than they would have under the old curriculum.  There is also more of an emphasis on broadening the children’s knowledge rather than simply working their way up the old levels ladder.  There is a link to the new curriculum under the Curriculum tab on our school website.

At the same time as this the government announced they were scrapping levelled assessments. Most parents will be familiar with the old level system that started at level 1 and went up to level 5/6 at Primary School.  Children achieving a level 2b or 2a (by the end of Year 2) and a level 4 or above (by the end of Year 6) were considered to be on track and making good progress.  This standardised levels system has now been discarded and schools are now responsible for developing their own on-going assessment systems to track the progress their children are making.

What is changing with Assessments?

At The Batt School, we have always tracked the progress our children are making and we have now updated our assessment criteria to reflect the new, tougher curriculum. We use these records to help assess what your child can do in line with the expectations from the new National Curriculum for their age group and target areas that they need to develop and improve.  We use this information, alongside the marking of children’s work, tests etc to track the children’s progress on a computer programme called Target Tracker.  This programme enables us to indicate if your child is ‘Beginning’ to meet the requirements of the new curriculum for their age group, ‘Working Within’ or ‘Secure’, which means they are meeting all the requirements.  You will begin to hear these phrases, along with ‘Age-Related Expectations’, over the coming months and beyond.  Target Tracker is a new programme to us and we will keep you informed over the coming months as to how we are getting on with it and how it supports the progress of the children.

Teacher-led Assessments

On-going assessments will continue in all year groups as they always have at The Batt School, and will help the teaching staff to know whether learning objectives have been met and subsequently inform the teachers’ planning for future lessons. 

Reception Children

The children in RD will have been observed during the first six weeks to assess each individual’s starting point. This is known as baseline assessment. 

End of Year One

Children will take the Phonics Screening Test which has been in place in all schools since 2013. Children will also be assessed on a regular basis using teacher assessment and Target Tracker to report the progress made by each child, based on end of year expectations.

End of Year Two

Children will be regularly assessed by the teacher throughout the year to ensure they are making progress towards the end of year expectations. They will also be assessed towards the end of the year in Reading, Writing and Maths using externally set government tests, but will be marked internally by the teacher.  This is no different from previous years.  There will also be a new externally set Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test which will be part of the Writing assessment.

Throughout Key Stage Two (Juniors)

We will continue to assess the children as we always have, including informal tests and end of year assessments and record this on Target Tracker. 

End of Year Six

Teacher assessment will continue throughout the year as normal. The children will also sit the National Tests, often referred to as the SATs, in May.  They are tested on Reading, Writing, Maths and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, and these tests are externally marked.  When we receive the results of these, we will know how many of our children are working at or exceeding age-related expectations.

What happens now?

We will continue to teach and assess the children as we have in the past. The only real changes are the higher expectations and the removal of the language of levels.