Assessing Without Levels

Dear Parents and Carers,


In September 2014, the new National Curriculum was introduced. At Priestley we prepared for this and our staff have been working very hard to deliver this new curriculum using the Cornerstone Curriculum approach of developing our four-stage teaching philosophy of Engage, Develop, Innovate, Express throughout each topic area. I am sure you will agree that the children have shown a genuine excitement for learning in this new way.


Assessment levels – how do you know how your child is progressing?

This academic year the Government removed the former national curriculum assessment levels (3c, 3b, etc) because the new curriculum has much higher standards and expectations. However no new levels for assessment have been introduced nationally.

From September 2015 all pupils will be taught and assessed against the new National Curriculum skills with pupils in year 6 being given a 'secondary ready' measure. As yet we have not been told what this will look like.


We are therefore in a new era of 'assessing without levels'. There is now no national requirement from the government in how schools should assess and record progress. It is therefore up to each school to develop its own system. As a Senior Leadership Team we have been looking into how we might replace to old format with a system that is as straight forward as possible.


The new agreed assessment format for Priestley allows the teachers to assess the pupils' learning against a variety of progressive statements called steps. For each year group there are six age-related steps and associated learning statements that the pupils are assessed against.


What does this mean for you?

Rather than sharing the old levels, for pupils we will share with you the step that your child is currently working on and whether they are on track to reach their end of year expectation.  These steps will be recorded and discussed at parent consultations.  Under the new National Curriculum, children must only work on the objectives for their year group and cannot be taught skills from a higher year group. For those pupils who have reached their end of year expectations, the teachers will provide a range of learning opportunities that offer a greater depth and breadth of understanding specific to their year group.  


Please check out the school's website for more information regarding the new curriculum and how the steps progress from year 1 through to year 6.


Yours faithfully,


Andy Marsh-Ballard


Priestley Primary School, Prince Charles Drive, CALNE, Wiltshire SN11 8TG