School Community  »  Parent Forums, Meetings and Workshops  »  Life without Levels - National Changes in Assessment

Assessment at Pool CE Primary School  
In September 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) removed levels in schools as a means of assessing children, except for Years 2 and 6.
These have been replaced with a requirement for each school to assess whether children are beginning to work towards the expectations for their year group, working at expectationsor exceeding expectations for their year group.
Last year, like most schools, we decided to retain levels for one year for all year groups whilst we taught the new national curriculum which was also introduced at the same time. We decided to focus on designing a curriculum which is even more engaging for our children and which enables them to make progress in a variety of ways. Now we have determined what the children will learn, we feel more secure in designing our new assessment of their learning.
The Department for Education (DfE) introduced the changes because they wanted to ensure that children have a breadth and depth of knowledge, rather than moving on too quickly without embedding their knowledge, skills and understanding.   Previously, teachers nationally, felt the pressure to rapidly move children up the levels, which sometimes restricted the opportunity to have time to secure progress at each stage of the children’s learning.
Under the previous system, children who were exceeding were expected to move into the next level. This is not now the case.  It should also be noted that the DfE does not now expect children who are ‘exceeding’ to be working on the curriculum content from the year group above them. Instead, they should be deepening their understanding in their own year group and applying and using their knowledge. Children who are not ‘working at expectations’ by the end of the year will continue to work on these expectations at the beginning of the next academic year when they move up into their next class.
Each year, the children will be taught a new set of objectives and the majority of children will start working towards expectations, unless they had gaps in their previous learning and need to secure understanding from a previous year. Therefore, we would expect to see most children at working towards expectations in the autumn term, even if they had exceeded the expectations in the previous year because they will be working on a different set of objectives.  
The National expectation is that by the end of the academic year, the majority of the children should be assessed as being ‘working at’ year group expectations with some within their year group working above.
Children in Years 2 and 6 take their statutory assessments (SATs) as in previous years. In Year 2, the children will be given a raw score which will be converted to a scaled score (we will receive the conversion tables in June) and we will report whether your child has achieved the expected standard in each test. Children in Year 6 will be given a standardised scaled score against a national norm of 100 being the national standard.
In addition to the test in Year 2 and Year 6, teachers will make a rounded judgement that is based on their knowledge of how a child has performed over time and across a range of contexts, and how much they are able to achieve independently. To ensure consistency the staff will moderate their judgements across the year group and with other schools.
Children will be given the opportunity to develop mastery to deepen their understanding. Mastery is the extent to which they can make connections in their learning and apply it in different contexts.
During the year, when we have conversations with you about your child’s progress, we will talk about what your child does well (strengths) and their next step(s) in learning. Your child’s attitude to learning (persistence, motivation, enthusiasm, etc.) is of equal importance and will also be considered when we discuss whether or not your child is on track to meet the end of year expectations.
We will be hosting an Assessment Evening for Parents on Wednesday 9th March 2016 at 6.30pm to provide you with more information.

Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment
Government information on Assessment after Levels
Pool-in-Wharfedale CE Primary School Arthington Lane, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Otley, LS21 1LG