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Assessment Without Levels

Dear Parents/Carers,

Recently there has been a lot of press interest around the introduction of the new National Curriculum and assessments in Primary Schools. From meetings held throughout the year you will be aware that the government made changes and introduced a New National Curriculum in September 2014, which all year groups (1-6) now follow.

Changes to the National Curriculum

What are the changes to the curriculum? It would take far too long to cover the whole curriculum, particularly in any great depth, but the main changes to the key core subjects are highlighted below.

English - The new programme of study for English is knowledge-based; this means its focus is on knowing facts as well as developing skills and understanding. It is also characterised by an increased emphasis on the technical aspects of language whilst maintaining 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. Here at Scholar Green we deliver mathematics through Maths Makes Sense with mastery activities embedded through our lessons.

Assessment Without Levels

Assessment in schools has had the most radical change in 20 years. The goal posts have moved for all year groups. New expectations are considerably higher than previous years. For example - 7 year olds are now expected to ‘understand the use of the progressive form of verbs in the present and past tense to mark actions in progress’ whereas 11 year olds are expected to ‘recognise vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms’.  It is not possible to transfer old levels into new National Curriculum so teachers will NOT be using this language of levels any more.  Levels have been removed because the Department for Education 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. Instead children are to widen their knowledge gaining a greater breadth and depth of understanding. It is important to note that all children will be ‘Working Towards’ age related expectations at the beginning of the academic year.

How will we report an end of year assessment? At Scholar Green you will receive your child’s individual report, in July, which will identify where your child is against end of year expectations. Parental voice was sought on how we report to parents (July 2015) and we have revised the format based on this. In this report the language of attainment has changed and the new language used will be as follows:

Working Towards Age related – Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations

Age Related - Secure in the majority of the end of year expectations

Working Above Age Related Expectations – Secure in almost all or all of the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently.

 

If your child does not reach age appropriate standards please do not think this is a failure on your child’s part: It is a result of current governmental policy and agenda. At Scholar Green we prepare our children the best we can to make them ready for the next step of their journey. We value wide and varied experiences and are very proud of the curriculum that we provide for our children as the enrichment opportunities enhance their school-life experiences.

Yours Sincerley,

 

Mrs L. Colman

Please Click on the files below to read specifi letters to Year 2 and 6 Parents which also refer to end of year SATs.

Files to Download

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