Assessment KS1

Changes in Assessment

Since September, the Government has made a big change in 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 at the beginning of this Academic Year (September 2014). This is a new way of thinking for schools, and assessment will look very different than it has for the past 20 years.

The Department for Education (DfE) has decided that the children who are currently in Years 2 and 6 will be the last pupils to be awarded a level in their end of Key Stage tests (Summer 2015). So if you have a Year 2 child there will be no change in our reporting to you this year.

So why are the levels disappearing?

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 feeling from the DfE was that the old national curriculum and the levels system failed to adequately ensure that children had a breadth and depth of knowledge at each national curriculum level.

The DfE 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 been working with a number of schools across East Kent to create a system that is efficient for teachers to administer and for parents and governors to understand.  The system we have chosen is 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 3 categories as follows:

Emerging— Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations.

Expected—Secure in the majority of the end of year expectations.

Working at a greater depth.

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 to add more depth and breadth to their knowledge, and to have more opportunities to develop their using and applying skills. They are calling this phase of learning Working at greater depth. Only very exceptional children will begin working on expectations of the year above. Similarly, children who are likely to be emerging at the end of the year may work towards the expectations of the year/s below.

It is also important to note that the new National Curriculum raised expectations of what is expected of children in each year group. Simply put, some knowledge that was previously expected of higher achievers is now expected for all .For example to reach expected levels in Year 1 Maths a child will need to know a quarter of a shape or quantity. In English it is now expected that Year 1 writers will be able to use exclamation marks and question marks correctly by the end of the year.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, or require further explanation do contact a member of the leadership team through the school office.