Assessment News - Important Information June 2015

LIFE WITHOUT LEVELS AT BALCOMBE

NEW NATIONAL CURRICULUM

In September 2014, the Government introduced a new National Curriculum and announced the removal of National Curriculum levels.  This has left schools free to design and use their own assessment systems – there is no prescribed style.

The new National Curriculum lays out objectives for the programmes of study by year groups in English, Maths and Science, and in Key Stages for the foundation subjects.

Please go to the DFE website: https//www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum where can you look at the objectives for each year group.

CURRENT STATUS

The current SATs tests at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 will cease in 2015 and our current Year 1 and Year 5 will be the first cohorts to sit the new tests which are yet to be published.  We are still unsure what the outcome of the tests will look like, i.e. a level, grade or percentage score and await a decision from the Government.

Our current Year 2 and 6 will still be assessed under the old National Curriculum using the old style tests and will be given a National Curriculum level in July.

Schools are at varying stages of introducing their new assessment systems and the Government is aware that schools will be in a transition period.  It is going to be particularly difficult to track children’s progress from the old National Curriculum to the new one as there is no correlation between the two and the expected standards have risen.  However, we can assure you that the education of the children will not suffer; we will remain focused on where the children are and where they need to go next.

NO MORE LEVELS

In the past, children have worked towards the next National Curriculum level, i.e. level 3a to 4c, and have been set targets in order to achieve this.  For this year we will continue that with Years 2 and 6.  For Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 teachers will be assessing pupil’s progress against their age-related expectations in the form of year group objectives.  They will be judging whether the children are working within the expected level for their age, working below this level or working above age-related/year group expectations.  Targets will be set out to ensure children embed their learning and continue to make progress.

In the school report, parents will receive information about whether their child is working below, within or above age-related expectations.  For Year 2 and 6 only, this assessment is against the old objectives.  Children will be assessed against the new objectives next year.  Balcombe have chosen to use these terms during this period of transition.  The Government intends this new method will help parents to understand how well their children are doing in relation to national expectations.  I would urge all parents to view the video clip by Tim Oates via youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q5vrBXFpm0).

This 15 min clip clearly outlines why the Government has decided to remove assessing pupils’ progress through the use of levels.

Mrs Millbanks

Head Teacher