National Curriculum levels removed and not replaced

(56 Posts)
mrz Sat 15-Jun-13 14:23:06

"As part of our reforms to the national curriculum , the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed. It will not be replaced."

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/nationalcurriculum2014/a00225864/assessing-without-levels

Euphemia Sat 15-Jun-13 20:04:00

ipadquietly That used to be the case under the 5-14 curriculum, but since Curriculum for Excellence came in those tests have been scrapped.

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 20:18:48

What assessment do you use now?

OddBoots Sat 15-Jun-13 20:21:01

I wonder why they'd want to remove any quantifiable evidence of the results of their changes to education. hmm

Euphemia Sat 15-Jun-13 20:26:17

We use formative assessment day to day, and a summative assessment of our own devising at the end of a topic.

AbbyR1973 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:52:54

Euphemia- out of interest how does the system in Scotland identify those children that are performing in excess of expectations for their age and make sure they have continued to progress. While I have no particular attachment to any one form of assessment, as a parent I want to know that my child's abilities (or otherwise have been identified) and that he has progressed.
I would like to see a system that concentrates on bringing the best out of all children. One disadvantage of the current system is that essentially it encourages schools to focus on all children making the expected/ average level. In a poorly performing school it can mean that pupils with ability in an area can get a bit sidelined. The OFSTED report made it clear that many schools are failing "clever" children. I suspect that this is not a fault of schools per se but rather a reflection of the emphasis on the current system. I would like to see a system within state schools that ensures academic rigour is present also for the most advanced pupils and that all pupils are encouraged to achieve to the best of their abilities.

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 20:58:47

euphemia What criteria do you base the summative assessment on?

Euphemia Sat 15-Jun-13 21:34:26

The Curriculum is broken down into Experiences and Outcomes, which in turn are expressed in terms of Intended Learning. We write our own Success Criteria and assess individuals according to those.

For example, from First Level Maths:

Outcome:
"Using technology and other methods, I can display data simply, clearly and accurately by creating tables, charts and diagrams, using simple labelling and scale."
Intended Learning:
Know the key features and correct layout of tables, charts and diagrams.
Discuss and agree on the best way to display data they have gathered.
Use a simple scale.
Understand and use key vocabulary associated with data displays.
Etc., etc.

We use On Track With Learning for planning and assessment: all of the above plus the Success Criteria are input, and each pupil assessed at the end of the topic: red (Developing), yellow (Consolidating), green (Secure).

We also add "Next Steps" for each pupil, indicating what they need to do to improve, or to progress.

We are required to provide evidence of progression, which can be summative assessments, work in exercise books, our learning walls, pupils' own statements, photographs, etc.

Inclusionist Sat 15-Jun-13 21:34:28

I am a senior member of staff in a very large state primary school and I have a 2.5yo.

My DS will be going to an independent prep. I want them to stretch him to the extent of his ability and trust that they will. I don't expect any formal consideration of his ability until Y6 when he may or may not enter for the pre-tests of selective senior schools.

If formative assessment does not suggest he is super-selective school material he will not undergo any summative assessment until CE in Y8.

In my state school (which 'requires improvement') we summatively assess every pupil every term and still our pupil tracking is questioned.

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 22:36:05

Very similar to new early years criteria in England, euphemia.

(Gove goes back to Scottish roots?)

learnandsay Sat 15-Jun-13 22:40:36

Private schools can select their pupils in ways that most state schools cannot. They also have more discretion over what they teach. I don't think the two can be compared really, they're so different.

learnandsay Sat 15-Jun-13 22:42:56

It's a bit like trying to compare the SAS, which is highly selective, with the infantry, which isn't.

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 22:52:24

I think the statement that 'many schools are failing clever children' is ridiculous, looking at my local area.
Wilshaw said that many non-selective schools fail clever children - i.e. those who attain L5 in Y6 don't always go on to get A/A* at GCSE.

I live in a selective area. It is a fact that most children enter grammar school at L5. In my nearest Grammar, nearly 50% of pupils are only getting a B at GCSE in English.
Selective education is so successful.

learnandsay Sat 15-Jun-13 23:26:07

Success at GCSE is rated from A-C, so if a huge proportion (say 100% as happened with two Kent grammars last year) achieve A-C, then that is viewed as a sign of great success, no matter if all pupils received B grades for English.

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 23:48:14

Not according to Wilshaw. He said that children were failing if they got L5 in Y6, schools had 'failed them' if they didn't get A/A* at GCSE.

learnandsay Sat 15-Jun-13 23:54:22

Surely there's a difference between saying something and having any hope of delivering it. Kent clearly has the ability to deliver 100% A-C in two of its schools, by selecting pupils and teaching well.

Has any system delivered 100% A/A*, and if so, what system was it?

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 23:58:39

100% A-C is normal for a grammar, L&S.

But this is what is expected of a Level 5 child:

'Ofsted's definition of "most able" is children who achieve level 5 or above for both reading and maths in Sats tests at age 11. To fulfil "potential", they should get an A* or A in both English and maths at GCSE five years later.'

Therefore, selective schools are failing bigtime (according to Ofsted).

learnandsay Sun 16-Jun-13 00:39:58

I haven't been able to check all Kent grammar school for all results from last year, but of the 32 grammar schools (that I've seen listed) only two report 100% A-C last year.

ipadquietly Sun 16-Jun-13 00:45:14

Same in Bucks, L&S. I wondered why Wilshaw targeted the non-selectives with his comments about L5 children not reaching 'potential'.
Hidden agenda?

Inclusionist Sun 16-Jun-13 06:24:00

Announcement to follow: Free schools may be selective.

Methinks.

Um...(in Kent, as entrance is on VR, nVR, and maths) Dc at highly selective grammar may enter at 5 or 6 for maths, but 3 or 4 for English, and therefore a B may be on track.

JoyMachine Sun 16-Jun-13 08:08:45

I think the selective school discussion is sidetracking main issue, however in our areas the selectives get 99-100 % A*-C each year, the majority at A*-A. They are super-selectives though, and the number trying for each place is ridiculous!

I am shocked at the removal of NC levels, and it really worries me how they will expect school to demonstrate progress, however I had a 'vision' of this coming when gove continued to force forward the free school/academy programme- if schools can be exempt from the NC, then they wouldn't be reporting outcomes in the same way, whcih effectively makes it impossible to compare 2 schools, which is what he wants, to eliminate the farce 'parental choice' has created in the admissions system.
When all schools in England are equally poor, parents will finally go back to just sending their children to the nearest one!

OddBoots Sun 16-Jun-13 09:28:56

There seems to be no room for understanding that if children are intensely pressured to get high grades in Y6 they might not cope so well with the same pressure when they are in the more difficult time of adolescence. Progress can never always be linear in real life human beings, as good as the teachers are the children aren't and shouldn't be robots.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 10:12:58

Won't academies be able to choose whether they follow National curriculum anyway? With the new History Curriculum a lot of teachers would be keen for this option (from what I have read).

If they 'opt out' NC levels will be meaningless. Maybe there will be more academies.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sun 16-Jun-13 10:28:58

Personally I dislike the whole level business and chasing after progression, my experience is narrow, 2 kids and 1 village state primary, but it all seems stressful for teachers and pupils, and sometimes contrived. Yr 5 son's idea of writing an essay is based on getting lots of different tricks into 1 side of A4, ie simile, short punchy sentence, clauses, ill iteration, etc. it makes for very stilted reading. As a Child I was taught English well, but was not so surrounded by the very evident need to improve with written aims and achievements for every bit of work. Yr 2 kid is just stressed by the idea of levels and worries about not being good enough. Perhaps it's the school, perhaps it's the kids, I don't pressure them and don't bring up the subject of levels, but both of them do, frequently. From yr r they have both known the reading levels of their classmates and made comparisons. Too competitive for my liking for 4 yr olds.

juniper9 Sun 16-Jun-13 18:18:27

Without national curriculum levels, how will mumsnetters be able to boast about their toddlers being level 6? They'll have to just rely on reading colours.

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