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Assessment

Summary of changes to the National Curriculum and Assessment

February 2016

This document explains how assessment at Granton has changed in light of the recently introduced new National Curriculum.

A new National Curriculum was introduced in September 2014. These changes in the curriculum mean that our previous assessment system is no longer applicable. Previously, levels were used at Granton, and across the country, to assess how children were doing throughout their primary education. When children left primary school at the age of 11, they were expected to have achieved at least a Level 4 in English, Maths and Science. As of September 2014, with the introduction of the new National Curriculum, the government decided to remove these ‘level descriptors’ which many of you will have been previously familiar with, from the National Curriculum.

Schools have been expected to establish their own assessment systems to suit their children and parents as well as decide how they report children’s current attainment and progress. We have introduced a robust assessment system, called Climbing Frames, and tailored it to our school to ensure it meets the demands and shift in expectations of the new National Curriculum as well as the bespoke nature of our child-led curriculum.

From Summer 2016, there will be more challenging SATs tests to reflect the new curriculum at the end of both Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and Key stage 2 (Year 6). The tests will now be marked with a score on a standardised scale, ranging from 80 to 130. A score of 100 is the expected outcome at the end of Year 6, indicating that children are ready for secondary school.

What will assessment look like and how will I know how my child is doing?

Under our new assessment system, you will therefore be informed if your child is working at ‘expected’, ‘above expected’ or ‘below expected’ as well as informed what progress they have made throughout the year.

Initially, it may appear, that a child who was previously working ‘above’ the expected level, may now be ‘at the expected standard.’ This is not anything to worry about, as this is more likely a reflection of the changes to the curriculum and shifts in standards expected, rather than an indicator your child is not progressing as they should be. Indeed, as a school, we are confident that all pupils will continue to make outstanding progress towards the expected standards at the end of each year.

How and when will my child be assessed?

Alongside on-going teacher assessments, there will continue to be national assessments at regular intervals in primary education, accompanied by some recent new additions.

  •  Children will undergo a new baseline test in Reception
  •  Children will undergo the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1

In addition, and similar to what has taken place previously, children will sit end of Key Stage tests in:

  • Year 2 (KS1 SATs)
  • Year 6 (KS2 SATs)

Early Years Foundation Stage Unit (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 EmergingExpected or Exceeding the Early Learning Goals in each area. 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.

Children will also sit a Reception baseline test in order to assess their progress from when they start school to the end of Key Stage 2.

Years 1, 3, 4, 5

As of September this year, children in Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 will no longer be assessed against the National Curriculum level descriptors that you will have been previously familiar with.

In line with the New National Curriculum and raised expectations, children will be assessed against end of year expectations as outlined in the new National Curriculum and our new assessment system, which we have adapted for use from a highly regarded assessment tool, Climbing Frames. 

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. Staff continue to differentiate all activities to ensure that all learners’ needs are met.

Children will also take a Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1.

Years 2 & 6

Children in Years 2 and 6 will be undertaking SATs assessments in Reading, Writing, SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar), and Mathematics.  These assessments will reflect the New National Curriculum content and will be marked against a standardised score, rather than broad levels.

There are no longer Level 6 papers at the end of KS2 as the rise in expectations have taken account of this in the tests.

What next?

Teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders have worked tirelessly to successfully introduce and embed the new National Curriculum at Granton, as well as ensure that the child-led nature of our unique and bespoke curriculum is sustained to engage and motivate our pupils.

Now that the new curriculum has been so successfully embedded, we are confident that our assessment, which subject leaders, along with the senior leadership team, have tailored to meet our school curriculum, will continue to robustly track and measure pupils' attainment and progress throughout their primary school education.

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