Assessment information - Pool Hayes Primary School

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Assessment without Levels
Dear Parents and Carers,
You may be aware that the government has changed the way in which it requires schools to assess your child’s learning. In July 2013, the DFE stated that ‘the current system of national curriculum levels and level descriptions will be removed and not replaced.’
From September 2015, there is no nationally agreed method of assessing children’s learning and schools have been required to develop their own systems.  With this in mind, staff at Pool Hayes Primary, have spent much of the last academic year conducting research into the assessment systems available. We have decided to use a tracker system defined by the Pool Hayes Primary assessment scale.
What is the Pool Hayes Primary assessment scale?
·         The PHP assessment scale assesses children’s learning against the new, much more challenging, National Curriculum statements.
·         Our scale has been developed by our school leaders, school improvement advisors and the local authority.
·         On the PHP scale, levels of attainment have been replaced by ‘Learning Steps.’ There are five ‘steps’ for each year group - emerging, developing, secure, exceeding and greater depth (See table). To attain each step, a number of national curriculum statements have to be achieved and evidenced. The table shows the steps a ‘typical’ child would be working on in each year group.
·         Teachers will look for evidence to meet the National Curriculum statements in a child’s work/assessment task/responses.
·         Pupils can be assessed as being on any step, at any time, regardless of their age. (Under the old levels system, children who were ‘exceeding’ may have moved to the next level up. The DFE now want children who are in that ‘exceeding’ bracket to add more breadth and depth to their knowledge before moving on to the next learning step.)
Please be patient with us- this is a huge change!!
·         This is now the second year of our Teachers entering assessments using the scale. However, it will take time for the new system to bed in and for our assessments to become as accurate and robust as previously. We need to get used to the new assessment criteria and moderate our judgements internally and externally with our colleagues, cluster partner schools and schools across the West Midlands, as we did with the previous system.
·         Our new assessment policy can be found in the ‘assessment’ and ‘policy’ section of this website. It contains our rationale, our systems and outlines all of our assessment methods.
·         PLEASE NOTE - You are likely to find that your child is lower down the step scale than you expect at first. This is because the new National Curriculum is much more challenging than the previous one
·         All primary schools nationally are in this position. Please be reassured that staff continue to provide extremely high quality teaching and bespoke differentiation for children of all abilities.
·         Please contact Mr Carter, or any of our Teachers, if you require any further information.
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