With the introduction of a new National Curriculum, assessment has been overhauled in the primary education system from September 2014. Levels, as teachers knew them, are now gone and have not been replaced with a national system. The Government has given each school the freedom to design their own assessment system.
However this does not apply to the current Year 2 and Year 6 children who remain on levels and will sit the end of KS1 and KS2 SATs in the Summer term 2015. They will be levelled in accordance with the old National Curriculum for this year only.
What are we doing about assessment?
The new National Curriculum, brought in at the start of September 2014, is written so that children have to cover some objectives over the course of a two year period and some objectives over a single period.
The ethos of the new curriculum is embedding a depth and mastery of the learning objectives. Therefore assessing children’s depth of knowledge and ability to apply this knowledge into other contexts is now every school’s priority. Assessment of these objectives is now no longer determined by a central system of levels determined by the Government.
We currently use the Hackney Assessment Tool which tracks children in 3 levels:
Emerging (level of understanding)
Developing (level of understanding)
Secure (level of understanding)
Children are still legally required to be assessed formally at the end of Reception, at the end of Year 1 in the Phonics test, the end of KS1 SATs tests and the end of KS2 SATs tests. These will remain in place, however the scoring system will change next year.
At present we do not know much about the SATs tests from 2016 as the Government are still trialling the new format.