Assessment of Children's Progress in KS1 and KS2 - A Guide for Parents

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How Will Assessments at Primary School be Changed?

It's all change for the Primary National Curriculum and this includes how children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 will be assessed.

All children in Primary school are assessed at some point, but this is due to change. Until now, children were usually assessed by the teacher when they entered Primary School. At the end of Year 1, they had the Phonics Screening Test. At the end of Year 2 and Year 6, children were required to complete SATs, this was a combination of teacher assessment and formal tests.

What's Changing in Assessments?

Children will continue to take the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 and if necessary at the end of Year 2.

The main change is that children will no longer be assessed against and given a National Curriculum level. Many parents will be familiar with the old level system that started at level 1 and went up to level 5/6 at Primary School. Children achieving a level 2a or 2b (by the end of Year 2) and a level 4 or above (by the end of Year 6) were considered to be on track and making good progress. This levels system has now been discarded.

Schools will now be required to use their own ongoing assessment systems to track the progress children in their school are making. New assessments will take into account the tougher, new National Curriculum. They will need to introduce more challenging tests and assessments.

Schools will need to find their own way of tracking children's progress towards end of key stage expectations. Some schools may take the New National Curriculum objectives for each year group and keep track of how each child is making progress based on them.

Teacher Led Assessments

Ongoing teacher led assessments will continue. This is where the teacher sets up an activity or task for all the children to complete. Children complete the activity (which could be written or practical) and the teacher will decide on whether or not the learning objectives have been met. This kind of ongoing assessment is vital at school, as it helps the teacher plan what each child needs to learn next.

National Assessments in 2015

For children who are currently in Year 2 and Year 6 (taking their SATs in 2015), they will continue to work using the old National Curriculum and will be assessed using the current SATs papers. For these children, not much will have changed. Teacher assessment will still be used for writing assessments, with more formal tests for Maths, Reading and Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation.

National Assessment from 2016 onwards

Upon entering Primary School.
Children will be given a short baseline assessment, completed by the teacher to find the individual child's starting point.

End of Year 1
Children will take the Phonics Screening Test. Children will also be assessed on a regular basis using teacher assessment and the schools chosen method of reporting the progress made by each child, based on end of year expectations.

End of Key Stage 1
Children will be regularly assessed, throughout the year, by the teacher to ensure each child is making progress towards the end of year expectations.

At the end of Year 2, children will be assessed using externally set tests, but will be marked internally by the teacher. This will be done for maths, reading and writing. There will also be an externally set Spelling, punctuation and grammar test, which will be part of the writing assessment. Children will be given a scaled score which will be out of 100, where 100 is the the new standard for that stage.

Throughout Key Stage 2
Schools will use their own method of keeping track of the progress each child makes. This could be based on the end of year expectations and if the child has met these.

Teacher assessment will continue throughout the year, as this helps the teacher with future planning and to ensure each child is learning and making progress.

End of Key Stage 2
Teacher assessment will continue throughout the year, this includes continually assessing writing. Children will also sit National Tests at the end of the year in maths, reading and grammar, spelling and punctuation. These will be externally set and externally marked. Children will be given a scaled score, which parents will be able to compare with the average for the school, the local area and nationally. The scaled score will be out of 100, where 100 is the the new standard for that stage.

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