Assessment without levels

From September 2015 the New National Curriculum is in place in our school.

The Government has made huge changes to the way in which children are assessed. This will look very different to how it was done for the last 20 years. The new assessment processes are designed to tie in with the new curriculum. It is widely accepted that the ‘bar’ has been raised and that the children are expected to learn more at a lower age than in the past. As this is a new way of working and the challenge is much greater for children it will take some time for this assessment process to totally bed in. 

The Government 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 old National Curriculum was subdivided into levels, but these levels were not linked to the child’s National Curriculum year group. For example a child in Year 4 could be a Level 3 or a Level 5. Children were achieving between Level 4 and Level 6 by then end of Key Stage 2 in a test but the view of the Government was that children were not SECURE in these levels. The Government felt that the old National Curriculum and the levels system failed to adequately ensure that children had breadth and depth of knowledge at each National Curriculum level. Under the old system the highest achieving children were quickly moved to the next level without acquiring the necessary breadth and depth of knowledge. As from September 2015 NO children in English state schools will be assessed using the levels system. The old system cannot be used to assess progress against the New National Curriculum as there are no corresponding level descriptors.