In 2014, a new primary Curriculum was introduced, along with a new assessment system that focuses more on what children should know and be able to do at each stage. From September 2014, the government removed ‘level descriptors’ from the National Curriculum. Schools are expected to establish their own assessment systems.
At Beam, each child will be compared to end of year expectations for their year group. They will either be:
- Excelling – only the top 10% of children will achieve this. This category is equivalent to the old ‘gifted and talented (G&T) terminology);
- Exceeding – These children are above national standard;
- Expected – This is where your child should be;
- Emerging – These children are working towards the national standard
- Expected Year group These children are working below the national standard, the appropriate year group level will be noted.
Children will also be matched against ‘performance descriptors’ (in other words what pupils are expected to know and be able to do at the time of testing) when being assessed by their teachers at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 to see if they’ve achieved the expected standard.
From summer 2016, there will be more challenging SATs tests to reflect the new curriculum at the end of the Key Stages. 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.
Alongside continuous teacher assessments, there will still be national assessments at regular intervals in English primary education:
- Children will undergo a new baseline test in Reception (from September 2016)
- the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1
- Year 4 multiplication tests
- the end-of-Key-Stage test in Year 2 (KS1 SATs)
- the end-of-Key-Stage test in Year 6 (KS2 SATs)
Teachers use formative assessment in their classrooms every day. Formative assessment includes sharing goals and criteria with students and giving them feedback while they are working towards those goals. The purpose is to help students understand how to improve.
- To be successful, children must know what they are supposed to do, written in a language they can understand. Ask your child to explain the genre checklist or criteria for their writing. If neither of you understands it, have a conversation with the teacher.
- Look at the genre checklist or criteria for their work with your child. Has your child carefully completed all the criteria? Be sure they understand what they are being asked to do.
- When your child asks for feedback, be specific. Tell them what they did well and what could be improved, in relation to the criteria.
- Has your child read their work to you, or have you read your child’s work aloud to them. What did they notice? Did they leave out any important ideas?
Research has shown that:
- Formative assessment is one of the most powerful ways to help students learn.
- Clear goals and criteria are important for student success.
- Students are more motivated when they are involved in their learning.