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A parent’s guide to assessment

From September 2014 changes have been made to how schools assess children’s progress and attainment. The new National Curriculum requires that schools no longer use the ‘Level’ system.

What are the changes?

The National Curriculum has changed. It has more content, and is pitched at a higher level. It now gives Age Related Expectations for each year group. The Government want all schools to develop their own tracking methods to record attainment and progress using the new Age Related Expectations. The old ‘levels’ will no longer be used. Bands will re-place levels to reference attainment. The Bands relate to each year group. Here are the new ‘bands’ we will be working with:

Each Band determines where the child is working in relation to the work that has been taught in lessons. The bands are: Below, Just Below, On Track and Greater Depth. In each assessment week that takes place (3 per year) a triangulation of testing, teacher knowledge and work in books will determine where the children are currently at in relation to what has been taught. A new attainment level will be written (e.g. Y6 On Track). Not all children will start at Below for the beginning of the year, it will depend on individual children and their needs. Each child will still have their own starting point as they progress through the school.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the system changing?

It is part of the new revised National Curriculum. The Government wants a simpler system for parents to understand and for each school to develop their own personalised systems.

Will children still have SATs in Year 2 and Year 6?

 Yes, although the format of them has changed slightly and there are additional papers in Year 2 but children will still complete SATs in the summer term. Year 4 will also complete a multiplication check and Year 1 will take part in a phonics screening assessment.

What can I do to help my child?

There is so much parents can help with. Reading is very important along with time tables, spellings and practicing basic skills in Maths. Also completing home-work as well talking about what they are learning at school. Our website has links to supporting websites and the BBC website where there are lots of fun games to support primary learning.

What do teachers use to gauge children’s progress?

Children’s independent work is the biggest indicator of what they can do and how they do it. Teachers use this on a daily basis to know and check pupil understanding and progress. Special pieces of work to inform assessment are set up throughout the year too. This is done alongside Reading and Spelling tests, the Phonic screening in Yr 1, and other tests in KS1, KS2 and the EYFS Profile.

How do all schools know that their judgements about progress and attainment match up with each other?

At St Andrew’s we work across the school and with other local schools to agree and ’moderate’ attainment levels. All schools also have external moderation from the Local Authority.

What happens when my child goes to Secondary School?

Secondary schools too will have their own systems and will work with the primaries to ensure that the systems work together, so there is continuity for children’s progress.

Download more information on Progress and Attainment