Assessing Without Levels
Information for Parents and Carers
Dear Parents and Carers,
This information and advice has been put together to inform you of our assessment procedures for this and coming years.
As many of you will be aware, as of September 2014, the DfE has removed assessing with levels for children in primary schools. Schools are to be encouraged to create their own non-levels based assessment system.
Effective Assessment Systems should;
- Give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school is performing
- Help drive improvement for pupils and teachers
- Make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation
(DfE Assessment Principles)
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Children in the EYFS will continue to be assessed against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP for short). This consists of Ages and Stages criteria for nursery learners moving into Early Learning Goals for Reception aged learners.
At the end of Reception these are reported as Emerging, Expected or Exceeding the Early Learning Goals in each area.
Evidence is gathered across the year to create ‘Learning Journeys’ for all children in EYFS and we value all contributions from parents and carers to these documents.
Assessment in EYFS is gathered through observations of learners, samples of learning, photographs and conversations which demonstrate the child’s understanding of a given concept.
In addition to this, staff identify the learning behaviours of children and plan lessons and activities to develop a wide range of learning skills in preparation for the next stage in their education Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2).
Years 1, 3, 4, 5
From September this year, children in years 1, 3, 4 and 5 will no longer be assessed against the national curriculum levels that parents and carers will have been familiar with.
In line with the new national curriculum and raised expectations, children will be assessed in a number of ways.
Staff are teaching from the new national curriculum and covering all requirements for the specific year groups. These are called ‘Year End Expectations’
The ‘Year End Expectations’ have been taken from the new national curriculum and state the minimum requirements a learner must meet in order to ensure continued progress throughout the year in line with age expected standards.
A copy of the ‘Year End Expectations’ for reading, writing, maths and Science for the year group your child is in will be attached with this information leaflet and can be downloaded from the school’s website on the curriculum page for each year group.
Any gaps identified in learning for the children due to the increased expectations will be covered and staff have worked together to ensure that the coverage for children is in place.
Children are assessed against the each area in terms of whether, at each stage, they are Emerging, Developing, Secure or Mastering.
- Emerging: Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations.
- Developing: Secure in the majority of the end of year expectations.
- Secure: Secure in almost all or all the end of year expectations
- Mastering: secure in all of the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently across a range of areas.
The new curriculum focuses very much on ensuring children have a breadth of understanding within the concepts and skills they learn. The application of skills and understanding across a wide range of curriculum areas is key. Rather than moving ‘up’ the stages, the focus is on moving ‘outwards’ developing a deeper understanding.
Staff continue to differentiate all activities to ensure that all learners’ needs are met.
Gathering evidence of learner’s progress and development will continue with a wide range of formative assessment; (day to day assessment through learning completed, observations, conversations and guided sessions) which will inform staff’s planning and also summative assessment (more formal assessment/tests) which will play a part in the overall assessment and progress checks for learners’ at set times in the year.
The end of year expectations in the new curriculum are more challenging than the old curriculum. This may result in children, who have previously achieved the old end of year expectations, being described as working towards the higher expectations of the new curriculum. We would like to emphasise that this does not mean your children have not made progress.
Years 2 and 6
For this academic year, (2014 – 2015) both Year 2 and 6 children will be assessed against the previous curriculum as the transition takes place.
Parents of children in Year 2 and Year 6 will still receive information on their child’s progress relating to ‘National Curriculum Levels’. Outcomes for children in these year groups will still be reported on in this way after the children’s SATs tests in the summer term.
Children entering Years 2 and 6 next year will, however, move onto the new system for assessment without levels. Results from external national tests will be published in a new format in line with the new requirements.
All schools are waiting for clarification from the government on the precise way in which we are going to describe and measure progress and attainment and we will keep you informed of changes and developments as this information is received.
If you would like any further information at this time, please do not hesitate to contact Angie, Anna, Michelle or the year group staff.