The roots to grow, the wings to fly...
In September 2014, the Government introduced a new National Curriculum and announced the removal of National Curriculum levels. This has left Schools free to design and use their own assessment systems—there is no prescribed style.
The new National Curriculum lays outs objectives for the programmes of study by year groups in English, Maths and Science and in Key Stages in the foundation subjects. Teachers plan to teach the objectives set out for their year groups but may dip above or below their year group objectives if a child needs more reinforcement in an area or equally more challenge.
Please go to the DFE website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum where can you look out the objectives for each year group. There is also a link from the school website on the Curriculum page.
The old style SATs tests at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 will ceased in May 2015 and our current Year 2 and Year 6 will be the first cohorts to sit the new tests. The Government have said that the children will recieve a scaled score rather than a level or grade.
Schools are at varying stages of introducing their new assessment systems and the Government is aware that Schools will be in a transition period. It is going to be particularly difficult to track children’s progress from the old National Curriculum to the new one as there is no correlation between the two and the expected standards have risen. However, we can assure you that the education of the children will not suffer; we will remain focused on where the children are and where they need to go next.
In the past, children have worked towards the next National Curriculum level, i.e. level 3a to 4c, and have been set targets in order to achieve this. Now, teachers will be assessing children’s progress against their age related expectations in the form of year group objectives and judging whether they are securely meeting these or still emerging. There will be greater emphasis on the depth of learning, eg: ensuring children can apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of situations and contexts. Targets will be set to meet the next objective in the same way as before to ensure the children make rapid progress.
To make transition easier for the Gryphon School, the Pyramid Headteachers have decided that all the Sherborne Schools will use the same language and systems of assessment so that there is consistency of approach.
In the Summer report, parents will receive information about whether their child is emerging, exceeding or making expected progress against their age related expectations or ARE. It is the Government’s hope that this will make it clearer for parents to understand how well their children are doing compared to national expectations. If you have any further questions, please talk to your child’s classteacher during parents’ evenings.