As you may be aware, there have been significant changes to the National Curriculum, with a major reworking of the way that we assess children’s progress.  The New Curriculum requires that schools no longer use the ‘Level’ system.   Previously, we would share a level to report on your child’s progress, for example 4C.  The number would refer to the level that the child was working in, and the letter broke this level down to give an indication on progress through the level.  These levels gave no indication of the year group a child was working in.  

    The new National Curriculum specifies Age Related Expectations (ARE) for children in reading, writing and maths.  This explains that each year at school, there is an expected level which children should reach.  At the end of year 2 and the end of year 6, children sit national SATs tests, which assess whether they have met this standard. Please see the section below on SATs.

    In order to keep you informed of your child’s attainment, we will share information on their progress towards the Age Related Expectation of the year group they are in.  At the start of a year, a child will be ‘beginning’ to work on the expectations for their year group.  As they progress through the year, they will be assessed to be ‘working within’ the year objectives.  By the end of the year they may be ‘secure’ in the year’s objectives.  

    To be meeting Age Related Expectations, a child should finish the year at W+ or S.  If a child is assessed as W+ or S in the summer term of year 2 and 6, we would expect the child to have met the national required standard for their age set by the government in their SATs.  This cannot be guaranteed due to the way SATs are marked.


Why is the system changing?
The government has changed the curriculum and now report SAT scores differently and expectations have been raised for each year group.  Levels reported on the old curriculum, and are no longer relevant to the New Curriculum.  Therefore, we have adapted our in-school assessments so that they are in line with the new National Curriculum. Each school has been encouraged to implement their own assessment system which they feel best suits their children.

How do you decide on the letter?
The letter is given by the teacher based on the assessments that they have made. This will include using the child’s books as well as the use of more formal assessment methods like end of term tests. These will be assessed against National Curriculum objectives, and depending on how much of these the child has achieved, a letter will be given. 

What does the + sign mean?
We have broken progress for each year group into six steps. The plus sign simply helps us to break those steps down further so that we can show where children are more accurately. 

Do children start each year at b?
At the beginning of each year the class teacher will support children to secure any objectives not met from the previous year’s curriculum. When they feel that this has happened, or the child is ready to be assessed against the current year’s objectives, they will then be assessed as ‘beginning’. 

How do I know if my child has made progress?
Schools will be measured on both their attainment and progress. This means that progress is as important as the level of attainment your child achieves.  If they are below working+ or secure by the end of the year this does not necessarily mean that they have not made progress. Good progress is considered to be 6 steps over the year.  For example, if a child finishes year 4 on W, and they make six steps of progress in year 5, they would finish year 5 as W.  Although they have not met age related expectations, they have made 6 steps of progress.

If my child is secure in the current year curriculum, will they move on to the following year’s curriculum?
When a child reaches ‘secure’ in a year group’s objectives, they have met age related expectations for that year.  Teachers will extend these children’s  learning by encouraging children to apply their knowledge in wider contexts, explain their understanding and demonstrate a broader knowledge of the curriculum.  As they achieve this “mastery level” they will be assessed as S+.  They will begin the following year’s curriculum in the next year, where their deeper understanding of the concepts from the previous year can be built on and allow for accelerated progress.

Is my child behind if they finish the year as w?
If a child finishes a year on ‘working within’ (W) then it means that they have not met all of that year group’s expectations. However, it means that there are still plenty of objectives from that year group that they have met. Precisely what those objectives are and what your child needs to work on can be discussed with the class teacher.

If my child is a w+ or s in year 2 or 6, will they meet the expected standard in SATs?
A child being assessed as w+ or s gives an indication that they should meet the expected standard in the SATs. However, test results can be unpredictable and a w+ or and s does not guarantee that they will reach expected standard in the SATs.

Can my child begin the year without being secure+?
It is not necessary for every child to reach secure+ for their year’s objectives. If they do not reach s+ by the end of the previous year, they can still be assessed as ‘beginning’ the next year’s curriculum in September. S+ is used for those children who are working at greater depth within their own year group.

How can I help my child?
There are many different ways to support your child.  Daily reading is very important, as is the practice of weekly spelling patterns and high frequency words.  For maths, the times tables form a basis for many different concepts.  Our school website has links to some exciting games to support primary learning.  Your class teacher will also discuss specific concepts where your child may need further support.

How is this linked to 11+?
The 11+ test at the beginning of year 6 is an optional, non-tutorable test taken by children if they wish to attend a grammar school.  The content of this test not linked directly to the school curriculum.  Therefore, it is difficult to predict how a child will perform in 11+ tests based on our assessment system.  We have found that for children to succeed in the 11+ test, most concepts from the year 5 curriculum should be secure, but there is no benchmark which will indicate if a child is suitable for the test.
We will share more information on these government tests in due course.  They are taken in Year 2 and Year 6 in the Summer Term.
Foundation Stage
Children in Foundation Stage learn through play as much as possible, and we use observations to assess whether they have met different levels of development.  As children progress through the year and demonstrate that they have met these different objectives, we track their progress by keeping a record of their achievements.  This is called their Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP).  At the end of the year, we will use this record of achievement as an indication of the development each child has made.  The class teacher uses the EYFSP to judge if children have met the ‘Early Learning Goals’ set by the government.  These ‘Early Learning Goals’ take into account different areas of learning, at which children will show their individual strengths and points for development.  The class teacher will share the level of development your child has reached with you in July

In July, children will be assessed as ‘Emerging’, ‘Expected’ or ‘Exceeding’.  Children who are ‘Emerging’ will have shown that they have met many Early Learning Goals, but perhaps not all of them have been demonstrated securely.  ‘Expected’ means that children are able to show proficiency in many of the objectives in Foundation Stage, and have met the expected level of development for a child their age.  Some children may be judged to be ‘Exceeding’ the level of development expected in the Foundation Stage.  Last year, 69% of children nationally were assessed as ‘Expected’ in the early learning goals and therefore demonstrated a good level of development for their age.
Wilmington Primary School Website