Assessments without Levels

Assessment Without Levels

The Government has made a significant change in the way that children in schools are assessed. This is to tie in with the New National Curriculum that started to be used by all schools. The aim of this web page is to give parents clear information about all the changes.  

New Curriculum

Main changes to English and Mathematics are highlighted below:

English - The new programme of study for English is knowledge-based. This means its focus is on knowing facts rather than developing skills and understanding. It is also characterised by an increased emphasis on the technical aspects of language and less emphasis on the creative aspects. English is set out year by year in Key Stage 1 and two-yearly in Key Stage 2. Appendices give specific content to be covered in the areas of spelling and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. These are set out yearly across both key stages.

Mathematics - The main areas in the new programme of study for mathematics are called domains. These are number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra. Two of these, number and geometry, are further divided into sub-domains. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range – every year group has a unique combination of domains and sub-domains. There is no longer a separate strand of objectives related to using and applying mathematics. Instead, there are problem-solving objectives within the other areas of study. Most of the changes to the mathematics curriculum involve content being brought down to earlier years.

The End of Curriculum Levels

The Department for Education (DfE) has decided that the children who were in Years 2 and 6 were the last pupils to be awarded a curricular level at the end of Key Stage-Summer 2015.

The DfE wanted to avoid what has been referred to as ‘The Level Race’ , where children have moved through the old National Curriculum levels rapidly to achieve higher attainment. The old National Curriculum was sub-divided into levels, but these were not linked to their National Curriculum year group. For example, a child in Year 4 could have been a Level 3 or even a Level 5. Some pupils were achieving Level 5 and Level 6 at the end of Key Stage 2; however, DfE concluded that although a significant number were able to achieve these levels in a tests, some pupils were not fully secure in knowledge or skills. DfE decided that the old National Curriculum and the levels system failed to ensure that children had a breadth and depth of knowledge at each national curriculum level. Consequently, it was decided that schools had to set up their own way of assessing pupils.

Please refer to: Key Information and then Assessment Principles, where you can read more about assessments methods at Woodside.