Assessment

 
 

Assessment Without Levels – Our new assessment system

 

In September 2014 two very significant changes happened in primary schools. Firstly, a New National Curriculum was published, to replace the old one. Secondly, the old system of assessing and describing children’s progress (Levels) was discontinued. Schools have been expected to develop their own systems of assessment to use with the New National Curriculum.

 

From September 2014, along with all other schools in the country, we have been teaching using the New National Curriculum. The old and new curricula have different content. Many of the objectives in the old curriculum have shifted to lower year groups in the new, more rigorous curriculum. This means it is not possible to have an exact correlation between a Level, which was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment, and the requirements New National Curriculum. This has required a shift in thinking about the way we assess children’s learning.

 

At Hollins Grundy we have welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum and have seen it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a clearer approach that makes sense to parents.  We are very clear that our assessment systems need to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.

 

We are now assessing children against the New National Curriculum, one for which they may have not been taught the previous years’ objectives and content, so we are in a time of transition between old and new learning and expectations.  During this transition time children and teachers have completed assessments to find out their starting points for the New National Curriculum.

 

The principles that underpin our new assessment system are:

  • Every child can achieve: teachers at Hollins Grundy have the mind-set, ‘What do I need to do next to enable every child in my class to achieve?’
  • The New National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
  • Children will make age appropriate progress – 12 months in 12 months.
  • Teachers are experts at assessment – assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct expectations, teaching and support are built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.

 

In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations by the time they come to the end of Year 6; this is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year. We use the New National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:

  • A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for reading would be said to be secure (S) in Year 3 reading.
  • A child achieving more than half but not all of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be said to be working within (W) the Year 5 maths expectations.
  • A child achieving fewer than half of the reading objectives for Year 1 would be said to be working at the beginning (B) of Year 1 expectations in reading.

 

 

New Assessment System (2014/15 academic year)
FoundationStage YR Assessment against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Early Learning Goals
Emerging Expected *** Exceeding

 

KeyStage 1 Y1 Expectations Beginning (B) Working Within (W) Secure (S)***
Achieved less than half of expectations Achieved more than half of expectations Achieved all expectations
Y2 Expectations Beginning (B) Working Within (W) Secure (S)***
Achieved less than half of expectations Achieved more than half of expectations Achieved all expectations

 

KeyStage 2 Y3 Expectations Beginning (B) Working Within (W) Secure (S) ***
Achieved less than half of expectations Achieved more than half of expectations Achieved all expectations
Y4 Expectations Beginning (B) Working Within (W) Secure (S) ***
Achieved less than half of expectations Achieved more than half of expectations Achieved all expectations
Y5 Expectations Beginning (B) Working Within (W) Secure (S) ***
Achieved less than half of expectations Achieved more than half of expectations Achieved all expectations
Y6 Expectations Beginning (B) Working Within (W) Secure (S) ***
Achieved less than half of expectations Achieved more than half of expectations Achieved all expectations

 

*** indicates the expectation that children should reach by the end of the year.

 

From September 2015 all year groups will assess against the New National Curriculum requirements using the end of year expectations (B, W, S)

 

More able children

For children who have securely met the end of year objectives they will be assessed as exceeding or mastering objectives for their age group.  Rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum these children will work on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening their learning. The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.

The New National Curriculum focuses very much on ensuring children have a breadth of understanding within the concepts and skills they learn. The application of skills and understanding across a wide range of curriculum areas is key. Rather than moving ‘up’ through the year groups, the focus is on moving ‘outwards’ developing a deeper understanding.

Children who have mastered the curriculum for their year group will be described as secure plus (S+) in our new assessment system.

 

 

Reception Class

Children in the Reception class will continue to be assessed against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP for short). This consists of “Ages and Stages” criteria moving into Early Learning Goals by the end of Reception year. At the end of Reception these are reported as Emerging, Expected or Exceeding the Early Learning Goals in each area.

Evidence is gathered across the year to create a portfolio for all children in Reception and we value all contributions from parents and carers to these documents. Assessment in EYFS is gathered through observations of learners, samples of learning, photographs and conversations which demonstrate the child’s understanding of a given concept.

In addition to this, staff identify the learning behaviours of children and plan lessons and activities to develop a wide range of learning skills in preparation for the next stage in their education i.e. Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). These are passed on to parents in the end of year report and are called “Characteristics of effective learning.”

Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

From September 2015, all children in Years 1, to 6 are no longer assessed against the national curriculum levels that parents and carers will have been familiar with.

In line with the New National Curriculum and raised expectations, children will be assessed against the content of the New National Curriculum for their year group.

Teachers are teaching from the New National Curriculum and covering all requirements for the specific year groups. The end of year expectations have been taken from the New National Curriculum and state the minimum requirements a learner must meet in order to ensure continued progress throughout the year in line with age expected standards.

Any gaps identified in learning for the children due to the increased expectations will be covered and staff have worked together to ensure that the coverage for children is in place.

Assessments In Years 2 and 6

New national assessment, testing and reporting arrangements have been put in place for summer 2016 which will reflect the demands of the new National Curriculum.

In Year 2 children will take two English reading tests and two tests in grammar, punctuation and spelling. In maths they will take an arithmetic test and a test of reasoning (problem solving maths questions). When assessments are reported at the end of the year, for each subject (reading, writing & maths) children will be assessed as “working towards the expected standard,” ” working at the expected standard” or “working at greater depth within the expected standard.” In addition children who did not reach the expected standard in the Year 1 phonic check will be given the outcome of the Year 2 phonic re-check.

In Year 6 children will take an English reading test and two tests in grammar, punctuation and spelling. In maths they will take three papers; one in arithmetic and two in reasoning (problem solving maths questions). The mental maths test will no longer be taken. The results of the Year 6 tests will be reported as a scaled score, i.e. a number between 80 and 120. Children with a scaled score of 100 or above are working at the expected standard, there is currently (July 2016) no measure of working at greater depth, or high attainment.

Results from external national tests will be published in a new format from summer 2016, in line with the new requirements and sent home with children’s end of year reports.

If parents and carers require any further information at this time, please do not hesitate to contact myself or your child’s class teacher.

error: Content is protected !!