Assessment

Assessment Without Levels

From last September, the Government has made a huge 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. This is a new way of thinking for schools, and assessment will look very different to how it has done for the past 20 years. The aim of this guide is to hopefully give you some clear information about all the changes that are happening in Education across the country, and what that means for the children here at Craven Primary Academy.  Before we even think about assessment we need to be clear on what changes the new curriculum has brought to subjects that are traditionally assessed.

Curriculum 2014

So, what are the changes to the curriculum?

English - The new programme of study for English is knowledge-based; this means its focus is on knowing facts rather than developing skills and understanding. It is also characterised by an increased emphasis on the technical aspects of language and less emphasis on the creative aspects. English is set out year by year in Key Stage 1 and two-yearly in Key Stage 2. Appendices give specific content to be covered in the areas of spelling and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. These are set out yearly across both key stages.

Mathematics - The main areas in the new programme of study for mathematics are called domains. These are number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra. Two of these, number and geometry, are further divided into subdomains. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range – every year group has a unique combination of domains and subdomains. There is no longer a separate strand of objectives related to using and applying mathematics. Instead, there are problem-solving objectives within the other areas of study. Most of the changes to the mathematics curriculum involve content being brought down to earlier years.

The End of Curriculum Levels

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 why are 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 old National Curriculum was sub-divided into levels, but these were not linked to their national curriculum year group. For example, a child in Year 4 could be a Level 3 or even a level 5. Children were achieving Level 5 and 6 at the end of Key Stage 2, but the DfE thought that a significant number were able to achieve a Level 5 or 6 in a test—but were not secure at that level. 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.

Assessing Without Levels

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..

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 bracket 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 Mastery and Depth. Only exceptional children will move into working towards the end of year expectations from the year above. Similarly, children who are unlikely to be emerging at the end of the year may work towards the expectations from the year below. So how will this look at the end of each Key Stage?

Sheffield STAT

Core team members spent a very long time researching different assessment systems.  From this process the whole Delta trust has decided to assess again the Sheffield STAT criteria.  This will then ensure that the 4 primary Delta academies (including Craven) can moderate each other and then we can also cross moderate with other schools in the trust.  This will not only support our teachers but ensure accuracy.

At Craven Primary the children in Y1,3,4 and 5 used the criteria throughtout the academic year 2014-2015 to support their learning.  The implementation of Y2 began in July 2015, they were assessed against levels in June/July 2015 and then switched over to assessing without levels under a rigorous transfer.

What are Craven Primary Academy’s key milestones in assessing the new curriculum? STAT

  • Leaders were trained between 4th June and 7th July 2014. Teachers were trained throughout July and September 2014
  • The Senior Leadership Team and Teachers carried out the baseline assessments on those going into Y1,3,4,5 throughout July 2014
  • Parents/carers informed at a Parent Voice Meeting and Parents’ Evening in October 2014. Governors were informed from June 2014, and will be trained on the 8th December 2014
  • Moderations have taken place between academies 7th October 2014 and within the academy throughout the autumn term. Further staff training is ongoing.
  • Y2 baselined against STAT in the Summer 2015.
  • Those who were in Y2 who in September 2015 are in Y3 began Sheffield STAT aginst the new curriculum.

What are the main implications for EAB members?

  • EAB members will need to understand how the academy has made the transition to the new system and how it is being used in the academy.
  • The new curriculum is harder than the old one, so children will start lower down the scale.
  • It will take time for teacher assessments to be as accurate or as consistent as they were previously, whilst teachers become more familiar with the new criteria and new materials to support them in making judgements are developed.
  • It will be hard to describe progress until we have national data to inform judgements about what constitutes good or better progress.
  • Performance Management systems will need to be considered.

 

Please see the guide below for in-depth information on Sheffield STAT.

 

Documents