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Assessing beyond 2015

In September 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced, bringing in significant differences to what children are learning and subsequently how they are assessed.  It is important to note that the new National Curriculum is harder than the last one.  For example many of the knowledge, skills and understanding in maths that would typically have been taught in Year 4 under the old curriculum are now expected to be taught and mastered in Year 3 or some even in Year 2.  As you will be aware we have been adapting our curriculum over the last two years through the introduction of the IPC.

In September 2015 the Government has also withdrawn the level descriptions for all year groups. Levels have gone. Your child will no longer be assessed as a level 2a or 5c etc. as they don’t exist.  Equally there is no agreed national method of assessing a child’s mastery of the objectives for each year, nor their progress within the new curriculum. The responsibility for this lies entirely with the school in how they independently measure progress.

At St Paul’s we have implemented an approach that we have developed in partnership with   Target Tracker (Essex School Services) and Enfield Local Authority.  Children are now measured against age expected progress against a range of learning statements that are in the front cover of each child’s English and maths books. We refer to this as Age Related Expectations (ARE). Year groups are now referred to as Bands.  Bands are 1-6 which broadly correlate to year groups e.g. an average Y4 child will be working within Band 4. The bands are then broken up into six steps:

 

Band Group

Step description

Child voice

Band 1

 

Beginning (B)

You’ve begun

Beginning+ (B+)

You’ve started learning

Working within (W)

You’re getting the hang of it

Working within+ (W+)

You’re becoming confident

Secure (S)

You’ve got it

Secure+ (S+)

You can teach it!

Children may not fall exactly into the same band as the majority of their year group as all children are different. However, this is no different to the present situation as children work at a variety of levels and paces.

Throughout the year the teacher ticks and dates the statements according to the level of understanding that a child has achieved.  By the end of the year an average child should have secure understanding in 85% of the statements.

At present the advice is that five steps in one academic year is ‘Good’ progress.  It is important to remember that it is not where the children begin that matters but where they finish and the progress they make.