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Assessment Arrangements for Pupils in 2016

Dear Parents

 

As you may be aware, the government have implemented several changes to the assessment arrangements for primary age pupils this year. Some of these changes will affect the way that your child is assessed.

 

  • For ALL children, the government has removed the existing ‘levels’ system of measuring what children can achieve and are still providing guidance on expectations for new teacher assessments that will be used at the end of this year;

 

Rather than measuring what a child can do against agreed levels, we will now be comparing their performance with agreed criteria for each year group in reading, writing and maths. If children meet all the criteria for a particular year group we will report that they are meeting the year group expectation. If they have gaps in their knowledge and understanding we will report that they are working towards the expectation for their year group. For some children we will assess that they are working beyond the year group expectations.

 

  • For Year R children we used a new baseline assessment in their first few weeks of school, this will be used to measure the progress that they make as they move towards year 6;

 

This year, as well as using the new baseline test we have also continued to assess children against the Foundation Stage curriculum. We will report to you at the end of the year about their performance against this curriculum. The government are still considering whether to continue with these new tests for Year R children next year.

 

  • For children in Year 2 there are new tests for them to take and significant changes to teacher assessment;

 

For children in Year 2 there are new tests for reading, writing, spelling and grammar and maths. These tests will take place as part of ordinary classroom practice from the middle of April onwards. These tests will be kept as low key as possible. In addition to this teachers will assess each child against a lengthy set of criteria in these areas. We will report to you on whether or not your child meets the expectation for pupils at the end of Year 2. For some children we will assess that they are working beyond these expectations.

 

  • For children in Year 6 there are changes to the traditional SATs tests and a change to teacher assessment.

 

The new tests for pupils in Year 6 are more challenging than those used in the past. As in Year 2, the tests are designed to show if a child has met the expectation for the end of Year 6. The tests will also show if a child is working beyond these expectations. We will continue to use teacher assessment alongside the tests. The tests will take place during the week beginning 9th May. All children need to be in school for this week.

 

There has been a lot of media attention given to the changes made to the assessment system. The government has continued to make changes throughout the year and some details are still not clear. There continues to be a lot of discussion between professional bodies / groups and the government to try and improve what is currently in place for assessing progress at the end of the academic year. We will update you with any relevant decisions made as they are announced.

 

All of our teachers have continued to work hard to ensure that they have an accurate picture of what your child can achieve. We look forward to sharing this with you through our end of year parents’ reports and meetings.

 

Sean Taylor