From September 2015, the Government changed the way that children in schools were assessed. This was to tie in with the New National Curriculum that started to be used by all schools at the beginning of 2015. This was a new way of thinking for schools and assessment looked very different to how it was done in the past. The aim of this guide is to hopefully give you some clear information about all the changes that have happened in education across the country and what they mean for the children here at Mitchell Brook Primary School.
In July 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced by the DfE and with it new statutory assessment regulations. The National Curriculum Levels we have been using for a number of years have been removed: they are no longer core to this process of assessment. The Year One Phonics Screen Check is a statutory assessment that takes place to help inform teachers about how well children are reading. New statutory assessments now take place for children in years Two and Six, where it is statutory for children to be assessed by this measure. In years One, Three, Four and Five another summative assessment system is used. This is based on the Chris Quigley descriptors, where the depth (level of understanding) as opposed to the breadth (coverage) of learning is assessed across three Milestones - KS1, Lower KS2 and upper KS2. We have trained staff and worked with other LA schools and agencies to design and to implement new teacher assessment and pupil tracking tools. The expectations for each year group are now:
- Approaching — Not yet secure in the end-of-year expectations.
- At — Secure in the majority of the end-of-year expectations.
- Past — Secure in almost all or all the end-of-year expectations and able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently.
Under the old levels system children who were working past the expected level might have moved into the next level. The DfE now want children who are in this bracket to add more depth and breadth to their knowledge, and to have more opportunities to develop their using and applying skills. They are calling this phase of learning Mastery and Depth. Only exceptional children will move into working towards the end of year expectations from the year above. Similarly, children who are unlikely to be approaching at the end of the year may work towards the expectations from the year below. This will be communicated with parents during parent consultations, so parents know how on track children are to meeting end of year expectations.
The Early Years Foundation Stage has continued assessing children in the same way with an initial baseline assessment carried out at the beginning and the Early Years Profile being completed at the end.
You can read our Assessment Policy by clicking on the Resource Link, along with the Assessment Statement.