National Curriculum Statutory Assessment In all national curriculum subjects, the criteria for assessing progress are set out in descriptions of performance at eight levels. These national standards allow teachers, learners and their parents to see how well they are doing in relation to their prior attainment and to expectations for learners of their age.
The descriptions have been written so that the majority of pupils are expected to work at: •levels 1-3 in key stage 1 and attain level 2 at the end of the key stage •levels 2-5 in key stage 2 and attain level 4 at the end of the key stage •levels 3-7 in key stage 3 and attain level 5/6 at the end of the key stage. Attainment targets consist of eight level descriptions of increasing difficulty, plus a description for exceptional performance above level 8. Each level description describes the types and range of performance that pupils working at that level should characteristically demonstrate.
The level descriptions provide the basis for making judgments about pupils’ performance at the end of key stages 1, 2 and 3. At key stage 4, national qualifications are the main means of assessing attainment in National Curriculum subjects. In deciding on a pupil’s level of attainment at the end of a key stage, teachers should judge which description best fits the pupil’s performance. Teachers need to assess and build up a picture of a pupil’s performance over time and in a range of contexts.
The Government has established national targets for the proportion of 11-year-olds achieving level 4 in English and mathematics at the end of key stage 2. Schools are required to set targets for the proportions of their pupils reaching these targets. Optional tests in English and mathematics are available to assist schools in monitoring pupils’ progress towards these targets. For some aspects of statutory assessment, levels have been subdivided so that it is possible to differentiate between the attainment of pupils.
Prior to introducing APP assessment into school, these were the optional tests that we used for literacy assessment across the year groups. We continue to use the numeracy papers in this way until we are confident with the APP assessment for this subject. There is a statutory requirement for teachers to formally report on learners’ attainment at key points in their education. These are: •At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage by means of an observation schedule (the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile) based on progress in relation to the Early
Learning Goals within the six Areas of Learning. •At the end of key stage 1 by teachers’ overall judgments in English, mathematics and science based on learners’ performance over time and in a range of contexts. In reading, writing and mathematics these are also informed by the use of nationally devised tests and tasks. •At the end of key stage 2 in two forms – by teachers’ overall judgments in English, mathematics and science based on learners’ performance over time and in a range of contexts and by national tests in reading, writing, mathematics and science.
The outcomes of both of these forms are reported and published. The accompanying Assessment and reporting arrangements (ARAs) contain statutory information on all aspects of national curriculum assessment and reporting. The ARAs include guidance for schools on administering assessments and tests. I have administered the end of key stage 2 SATS for the past two years and so am aware of the protocol and format of the assessments.