The National Curriculum
This curriculum is compulsory for all maintained schools across the country. The curriculum has been designed to enable children to learn to a comparable standard with some of the highest attaining jurisdictions in the world.
The curriculum contains less content than the previous national curriculum but there are some marked differences in the challenge presented to children and the degree to which children are expected to be fluent and independent in their learning. The curriculum has been entitled a ‘mastery’ curriculum. The idea is that children will learn fewer things but what they do learn they will do in much greater depth.
End of Levels
Levels have been completely removed from all national and school based assessment. At the each Key Stage children are assessed as having either a ‘secure’ understanding of the curriculum or not. Children who are not ‘secure’ will be described as ‘Working towards’ age related expectations and children who can demonstrate a more developed understanding will be described as ‘Exceeding’ age related expectations.
Whilst we assess your child's understanding lesson by lesson, we also look at the bigger picture of how well your child is progressing at key milestones in the school year. These three milestones are typically in late November, February and late June. At each of these points teachers will draw together everything they know about a child to assess whether they are on track to ‘secure’ all the targets within the end of year expectations by July.
Teachers will look carefully at children’s work, observation notes and outcomes from possible tests to form a judgement on whether a child is on track. Importantly teachers will pinpoint areas of strength and areas for children to continue to focus on in their journey and pursuit towards ‘securing’ all their targets by July.
At the end of the year
At the end of the year teachers will make a judgement about a child’s ability, fluency and independence to demonstrate all the targets within the end of year expectations. A child will have a profile which will show areas of strength and development in the attainment of end of year expectations. Teachers will then judge this profile of attainment using the following descriptors.
The child is able to access the content of the curriculum and is working towards some targets.
The child can demonstrate their knowledge and skills but lacks confidence and independence in some areas.
The child can confidently demonstrate their knowledge and skill independently across a range of situations with a degree of fluency.
Working at Greater Depth
Over time and represented in multiple ways, the child can link related ideas and independently apply their knowledge and skill to a range of unfamiliar and unknown contexts.
What if my child is able? Will he/she be moved on to the next year’s expectations?
Children will not move on to the following year’s targets and expectations. Able children can be challenged effectively through ‘deeper’ tasks that require them to evaluate, investigate, analyse and hypothesise about their current learning.
What will happen if my child does not secure age related expectations at the end of the year? Will they be held back?
A number of children may not fully secure age related expectations at the end of the year. They will not be held back! Teachers will identify the gaps in their understanding and will pass this information on to the next class teacher. The new class teacher will then focus on these areas through targeted support and attempt to secure these as quickly as possible the following year. The children will work on these areas of development as well as work towards the targets in their new year group.
My child has SEN, what will happen if they can’t access or achieve end of year expectations?
Children with SEN will be supported through their IEP and will continue to focus on their relevant strengths and areas for development. Teachers and support staff will focus on making good developmental progress appropriate for each child.
How can I help?
Firstly, don’t panic! Recognise that your child is on a journey towards end of the year expectations. There will be ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in this journey and children may struggle and find things tough for periods. However we confidently expect that all our children can and will do it.
Please value your child’s homework. The regular practice of key skills and daily reading are essential if your child is to achieve. If you would like your child to have additional tuition or homework,please contact your child’s teacher who will be happy to facilitate this. The following websites can also provide a useful basis for home learning.