Dear parents and carers,
I know many of you are aware that the way we assess and report pupils’ progress has changed enormously over the past few years. This letter is an attempt to explain many of the changes; I am sorry that it is rather complicated. I would also like to invite you to parent discussion meetings on Thursday 3rd March when there will be a chance to talk about this in more detail.
Children in Early Years are currently assessed using Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This framework is non-statutory, but is a helpful way of identifying what children can do, and what areas they need to develop. It covers the Characteristics of Effective Learning (Playing and exploring, Active learning and Creating and thinking critically) as well as the seventeen aspects of learning and development. These are easiest viewed in a list!
|Personal, Social and Emotional Development||Making relationships|
|Self-confidence and self-awareness|
|Managing feelings and behaviour|
|Physical Development||Moving and handling|
|Health and self-care|
|Communication and Language||Listening and attention|
|Shape, space and measure|
|Understanding the World||People and communities|
|Expressive Arts and Design||Exploring and using media and materials|
There is a formal Baseline assessment which is undertaken during the first few weeks of reception and this is reported to the Local Authority. At the end of Reception we assess the children against the seventeen areas above and grade them as Emerging, Expected and Exceeding (not meeting, meeting, and above standards). Detailed guidance is provided at
Year 1 upwards
The assessment system from Year 1 upwards has changed beyond recognition in the last two years. Previously, children were awarded Levels in different subjects. The curriculum has now changed and Levels are no longer awarded. Instead, there are statements of what is expected at the end of each year or phase of learning and these are listed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum.
Children in Year 1 undertake a phonic screening assessment in June. This is reported to parents with an indication of whether the child is reading at the expected standard.
Children in Year 2 will sit a number of tests in May. These will consist of two reading tests, a spelling test, a grammar and punctuation test, an arithmetic test and a mathematical reasoning test. These will be reported to parents as a scaled score, where 100 equates to the expected standard. There will also be writing assessments which will be judged against national exemplifications.
Children in Year 6 will also sit tests in May. These will consist of one reading test, one spelling test, one grammar and punctuation test, one arithmetic test and two mathematical reasoning tests. These will be reported to parents as a scaled score and a statement about whether the child has reached the expected standards. There is also ongoing assessment of writing which will be reported as not meeting, meeting or exceeding expected standards.
Years 1, 3, 4 and 5
There are no official tests which give standards or levels for children in Years 3 to 5. Instead, each school is expected to devise or choose its own assessment system. Therefore, there is no way of making effective comparisons between children in different schools. Instead, the government wishes parents to have conversations with their children’s school and focus on what children need to do to move forward in their learning, which is, after all, the important issue. Parents who have been used to the previous National Curriculum Levels, however, might feel somewhat at sea due to the lack of definitive information.
Like many schools we have devised ways of tacking progress in reading, writing and maths, and these will be available and discussed at the parent open meeting (3rd March) prior to parent consultations later in the month. Do please try to come to one of the meetings to find out how your child is doing.
In order to ensure our judgements are realistic, we undertake rigorous moderation with local schools where teachers look at samples of work and discuss how they show evidence of meeting certain standards. We are also moderated by the Local Authority from time to time to ensure accuracy.
It is very difficult to convey everything needed in writing, so please feel free to talk with your child’s teacher about this. The most important thing in this area is for all the children to make good progress, and our records identify areas where each child needs to improve. Please try to come to the parent open meeting at 2.45pm or 6.30pm on 3rd March. We will try to answer any questions you may have.