Explain Assessing Without Levels

We hope the following explanation will help to clarify and explain ‘assessment without levels’. We understand that after years of getting your head around levels and sublevels, it will be a shock because they are no more.

Our new assessment system

The new curriculum signalled a shift not only in content but also the expectation placed upon pupils became considerably higher across Key Stages 1 and 2. As a result, the new, more rigorous curriculum, 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 of the new National Curriculum, this means a shift in thinking and in the way we assess our children’s outcomes.

The principles that underpin our assessment system are:

  •  Every child can achieve: teachers at St Mary’s have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
  • Learners will be assessed against Kent Tracking Statements.
  • Well-planned creative teaching sequences across the Curriculum and contextualised (where possible) in Maths will be carefully scaffolded using the NC objectives, leading to assessment of the Kent Tracking Statements.
  • Children will make age appropriate progress – the focus will be on moving learners through each year group at the same rate to ensure learners leave each year group at age expected standard to ensure that they will  be ‘secondary ready’ at the end of Year 6 Kent Tracking Statements.
  • We use the Kent Tracking Statements to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example: A child that has achieved all the Kent Tracking Statements set out for Year 3 for English would be said to be working at the expected level for English at the end of year 3. A child achieving half of the mathematics Kent Tracking Statements for Year 5 would be classed as working below the age-related expectation for Maths.

Our assessment and reporting system includes:

  • Ongoing assessment for learning through mini-plenaries, carefully planned questioning and reasoning opportunities which will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
  •  Children will know what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why. They will become increasingly confident when discussing their learning becoming more independent and resilient.
  • Regular feedback both written and verbal between the teacher and learner.
  • Pupil Asset is the online tracking system which allows the teacher to know what has been achieved and the child’s next learning steps.
  • Triangulation of data, evidence in books and pupil voice

More able children, rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum will focus on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening their learning. The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.

Early Years

Reception Children will be assessed using the Early Excellence Baseline assessment.

Assessments throughout the year will be based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year. The children will fall into the following catergories: well below, below, expected, above expected and well above expected.

Reporting to Parents

Parents will be informed of the changes to the newly developed Assessment framework by the end of Autumn 2015. Discussions at parent and teacher consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring terms will be based on whether their child is on track to be at the age expected level by the end of the year. The Autumn, Spring and Summer term written reports will explain whether or not the child has reached age- related expectation and will detail the targets needed to reach age-related expectation.

It will also state whether a child is:

Below the age-related expectation,

At the expected level,

Exceeding the expected level