From September 2014 the primary school curriculum was given a radical shake-up, with the introduction of a new National Curriculum. So why the big change, and how does it affect your child? The government felt that the system of levels, in the old national curriculum, was too complicated and confusing. By removing the levels it was felt that schools would be able to give a clearer indication of children who are at the expected level for their age, whilst providing information about what they can do and need to do next. Schools have currently been given the freedom to design their own tracking systems to say where children are in relation to the prescribed age expected content for each year group. This will be benchmarked against the national tests at the end of Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2 and the Y1 Phonic Screening Check.
The new National Curriculum became statutory in September 2014 for Y1, 3, 4 & 5, with Y2 & 6 starting to use it in September 2015. Expectations across all year groups have been raised and new more challenging tests are being implemented at the end of KS1 (Year 2) and KS2 (Year 6) in May 2016. Alongside these new tests, the government have introduced a set of performance descriptors. Teachers are able to match a child to which descriptor best matches their performance. Our new assessment tools are fully aligned to these descriptors to ensure that our teacher assessments accurately reflect national standards. What does our new assessment system look like?
Each year group has its own clearly defined content across all subjects. Instead of levels, children are being assessed across the year group content using specific statements and new curriculum performance descriptors. As a school we have worked hard to put in place our own school system for assessing children without levels. We have taken the decision to use NAHT Aspire year group Achievement Statements that allow us to track children against national standards as they move through each year group. As with all schools nationally, we are in the early stages of working with these assessment tools. They are starting to provide us with an accurate picture of what children can do and areas where they need to learn further. As a staff we are continuing to work together to moderate and discuss judgments and to work alongside other local schools.
The vocabulary we will now be using for Years 2 and 6 are as follows;
- ‘Working below the expected standard’ which means that your child is not yet accessing the learning objectives for their current year group.
- ‘Working towards the expected standard’ which means that although a child may be working on some of the age related expectations for that year group, they have not sufficiently understood and embedded these yet.
- ‘Working at the expected standard’ which mean that we predict that a child will meet age related expectations by the end of the year or they have reached this standard (end of year).
- ‘Working at greater depth within the expected standard’ which means that we predict that a child will achieve individual or end of year objectives and will move
on to master these in independent work or that they have reached this standard (end of year).
Our new assessment system ensures that:
~ Children receive appropriate feedback to take their learning forward.
~ Children who need further support are identified and given appropriate support to ensure they achieve their full potential.
~ Teachers use day to day observations and marking to adapt planning to meet the needs of all.
~ Parents will be provided with a clear indication of where their child is working in relation to their age expectation in the Spring term and in an end of year report.