Assessment Without Levels
The School has welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents.
We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a key stage.
We are now assessing children against the new framework. They may not have been taught the previous years’ objectives and content. So we are in a time of transition between old and new sets of data.
The principles that underpin our new assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Veritas have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- The National Curriculum Objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
- Children will make age appropriate progress – 12 months in 12 months.
- Teachers are experts at assessment – assessment will be eﬀectively used to ensure the correct scaﬀolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
The Language we will use
In order to be ‘Secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations.
This is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year.
We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:
- At the end of Year 3 a child has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 Writing (and no further) would be said to have MET the end of Year 3 expectations for writing.
- At the end of Year 5 a child who has made good progress but has not yet met some of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be ASPIRING TO MEET‐ year 5 expectations for Maths.
Some pupils will for various reasons be working below the level expected for their year group, teachers will address their needs using outcomes from the appropriate year and pupils will be supported to make accelerated progress.
Some pupils will have MET their year group end of year objectives well before their peers. Teachers will identify these pupils and set targets that widen and deepen their understanding and ability to apply their skills in a variety of situations.
Assessment and Reporting
- Ongoing assessment by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and much more importantly,
- Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with or formulated by the children during each Work is then assessed against these success criteria.
- Three way feedback; pupil, peer and teacher, with clearly identiﬁed next This can be written or verbal feedback.
The following judgements are used:
- Working Towards – Children are judged as ‘working towards’ when they are accessing the curriculum below the expectations of their chronological age. They do not currently have the skills, knowledge and understanding required to access, achieve or demonstrate significant engagement with the assessment criteria.
- Aspiring to Meet – Children are judged as ‘aspiring to meet’ when they are accessing the expectations of their chronological year group, however they are deemed not be on On-Track to meet expectations fully by the end of the year without significant additional support.
- On-Track to Meet – Children are judged as ‘On-Track to Meet’ when they are comprehensively On-Track to attain the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria by the end of the year.
- Met – Children that demonstrate they have mastered the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria and are able to apply them across a broad range of contexts are judged to have ‘Met’ the milestones.
Below is REAch2’s response to these changes:
Changes in the 2014 National Curriculum require that children are able to independently access the skills taught in year groups across a wide range of contexts.
There is much more emphasis in revisiting and deepening their understanding of what they have learnt, improving their ability to apply learning in as many different ways as possible.
In order for this new assessment criteria to work, it requires a change of mind-set at all levels regarding assessment. Schools have the freedom to make professional judgements on how children learn the knowledge, skills and concepts within the National Curriculum. With this comes a big responsibility to ensure that at all levels it is being taught in a way that develops the whole child.
As children are not expected to push through a set of levels, they are free to master the full breadth of the curriculum for their year group. Really strong, sustainable progress will come through the freedom for children to learn in a range of contexts and ways. The progress will be evident and measurable in books and through the children themselves.
The REAch2 Non-Negotiable Milestones for each year group are not a replacement for levels nor are they a basis for planning or measuring steps in progress. They are a summative expectation of what skills, knowledge and concepts the child should have by the end of the year. It is by no means the range, breadth or depth of what a child should be learning.
This is not to say that challenge and high expectations have slipped. Once a child has independently achieved and met aspects of their year group’s curriculum and this is clearly evidenced, they will be pushed on to their next stage of learning. This will not be scored through a data package but will be the responsibility of the school to ensure that children are meeting their full potential, through clear and thorough checking systems.