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Changes to assessment

Assessment at Northbourne 2016 – 17

As part of the changes to the National Curriculum made from September 2014, there have been a number of recent alterations to the way schools judge the attainment of pupils.  The system of levels which has been used since the introduction of the National Curriculum in the 1980s has been removed – as such, teachers will no longer discuss your child’s attainment and progress in terms of, for example, level 1b, level 1a and so on. These changes took effect from last school year for all pupils.

The system of levels has not been replaced by a new system to be used across all schools nationally.  Instead, schools were expected to develop their own systems designed to meet the needs of their pupils and be easily understood by parents and relatives.  At Northbourne, we took this as an exciting opportunity to improve and simplify the assessment information we share with you; feedback at parent consultation meetings regularly told us that National Curriculum levels were often hard to understand, and didn’t always help pass on useful information to parents. Our aim during our work on our new assessment system was always to ensure that the replacement we used contributes towards ensuring all of our pupils attain as highly as possible and make the best possible progress, by ensuring clear, concise information is shared between school and home about the current attainment of children, any gaps, and what support would be beneficial.

Teachers have worked hard throughout the last two school years to develop and trial this system, and this is the basis of the information your child’s class teacher will discuss with you during your parent consultation meetings.  For pupils in Y1 upwards, class teachers will explain the current attainment of children using a 3 part judgement similar to that used in the Foundation Stage Profile for Reception children.  These judgements will be based on how well pupils have understood the end-of-year expectations for reading, writing and maths, as outlined in the National Curriculum.  The judgements will be:

  • Mastered, or Expected, if a pupil is likely to have understood all of the key objectives for a particular subject by the end of the year based on their attainment with each of the objectives covered so far this school year;
  • Developing, for pupils who are likely to need further consolidation of this learning in a particular subject, or
  • Exceeding, for pupils who are likely to have gone beyond the level of understanding expected and be exceeding these in a specific subject or area.

We hope these judgements will be easier to understand than the levels which they replace, and allow us to highlight any specific areas where pupils would benefit from further support from home and in school; where a child is not yet at the nationally expected level, class teachers will be able to share detailed tracking information about their exact gaps, and these will be targeted through additional support in school.  We continue to work closely with staff in the other Didcot primary schools to ensure these judgements are consistent across all schools, as this will ensure our system is robust and allows us to continue to have the highest possible expectations of all of our pupils.  At this stage, we remain ahead of many other schools – but this system is still developing.  Your views are really important in continuing to shape this system to make it as effective as possible, as getting this system right will contribute to ensuring all of our pupils make the best possible progress throughout their time at primary school; with this in mind, please speak to myself or your child’s class teacher if you have any comments or suggestions, or would like to find out more.

More information is available in this documents below:

Assessment Changes 2016

Assessment Policy 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.northbourne-school.org.uk/changes-to-assessment/