How we assess your child at Addingham Primary School
Assessing Without Levels
Following the introduction of a new National Curriculum framework from September 2014, the government has also decided to remove level descriptors. The government’s policy of removing level descriptors from the National Curriculum is set out in terms of freeing schools from an imposed measure of pupil progress. The Department for Education has said that levels are not very good with respect to helping parents to understand how far their child is improving. In their place, from September 2014, “it will be for schools to decide how they assess pupils’ progress”.
With levels removed and the focus now on raising the achievement of every pupil, Addingham's governors, leaders and teachers have chosen a new way to measure pupil attainment and progress.
Our new assessment system
The old and new curriculum have different content. Many of the objectives in the old curriculum have shifted to lower year groups in the new, more rigorous curriculum, this means it is not possible to have an exact correlation between a level that was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment and the requirements new National Curriculum, this means a shift in thinking and in the way we assess out children’s outcomes.
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.
As a school we use O'Track, an on line assessment tool, to record progress and attainment.
Why is the way we report to parents changing?
Following the introduction of the new curriculum from September 2014, the familiar system of reporting National Curriculum levels to parents has ended. The new curriculum does not include levels, and schools have been asked to find their own ways of reporting a child’s progress and attainment to parents.
How will the school assess my child?
Each year group in school has a clear set of objectives for reading, writing and mathematics taken from the new curriculum. At Addingham Primary we will use these objectives and assess how well children achieve against them.
As an example, ideally a child leaving Year 4 should have met all of the Year 4 expectations. Throughout Year 5, as they work on new objectives, they should move through the stages Year 5 ‘Working towards’, to Year 5 ‘Met’, to ‘Securely Met’.
The end of year National Curriculum expectation means that the new expected standard is more challenging. If the children do secure this standard before the end of the academic year then the class teacher will extend their knowledge through enrichment objectives which will broaden, widen and deepen their learning and at the end of the year they would be recorded as having ‘Securely Met’ the Year 5 standard.
When will these changes take place?
Teachers are using the new system now in Years 1-6. Children in Foundation stage will continue to be assessed using the ‘Early Years Framework’.
How will I find out about how well my child is doing?
We will continue to update parents during the ‘Parent Consultation Evenings’ planned throughout the year. Parents are always welcome to speak to the class teacher for any updates or if you have concerns. This year ahead of the ‘Parental Consultation Evening’ you will be sent home a termly report card. This contains information about the objectives that have been taught and assessed as met (green), taught but not yet secure (orange), taught but not met (red) and taught and securely met (purple). We’d like to stress that these are end of year assessment statements and so during the first parental evening you will notice that many objectives may be orange. This is because we work on a spiral curriculum and across the year the children will be given many opportunities to secure this learning.
Will my child still be tested?
Only children in Y2 and Y6 will sit ‘National Curriculum Tests’ at the end of this academic year. In Y2 and Y6, parents will be given a scaled score, a statement as to whether their child has reached the expected standard for their year group and a ‘Teacher Assessment’ which also states whether the required standard has been met. In the Spring term we will hold an information evening for the Y2 and Y6 parents.
If you have any further questions, please speak to your child’s class teacher for clarification.