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HELP! How do I write a KS3 assessment using NC Levels???

Discussion in 'History' started by louscher, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. I have been asked to write assessments for years 7-9 using levelling and sub-levelling. I cannot find the sub-levels on the NC website. Is there any guidance on how to write an assessment??

    I have written many before but they were to be graded A,B,C etc not levelled..

  2. I have been asked to write assessments for years 7-9 using levelling and sub-levelling. I cannot find the sub-levels on the NC website. Is there any guidance on how to write an assessment??

    I have written many before but they were to be graded A,B,C etc not levelled..

  3. There's no such thing as a sub-level in History, although idiotic senior managers would like to see you create them (as well as giving levels to individual pieces of work, a nonsensical and useless practice in itself) so that they can put them into their spreadsheets.

    For what it's worth, I firmly believed for years that students should be given an assessment every so often that was levelled, and I spent many, many hours creating and refining mark schemes and feed back sheets which attempted to break down the levels and use the levels. None ever worked particularly well. Levels are not supposed to be used until the end of Year 9, and the NC clearly states levels should not be used for individual pieces of work.

    Come up with meaningful, interesting and challenging tasks based around what you and your department believe are the key principles of 'being good at history' for want of a better phrase. If you don't have a clear idea of what these principles are, then spend some time working them out.

    Tell students at the start of a unit what the end task will be and focus the unit's teaching around this end product. Make it clear to students throughout the topic what skills they will need to display at the end and focus teaching on these skills. Make sure the kids know what your key principles are and keep referring back to them. Then give them the task at the end and mark it against your key principles - e.g. if you believe a key principle is "Good historians always support their points with evidence" then tell students how and where they have/haven't matched up to this principle. Decide at the end not what level their work is but how good their work is and what they can do to improve. Then when you have to write a report (i.e once a year) give a level by comparing all their work to the very general level descriptors.

    Honestly, I've been there and convinced myself that what you're being asked to do could be done. Let me know if you want some of my non-leveled, but far more useful, tasks and mark sheets. I can also send you a whole bunch of levelled assessments which were picked out as 'outstanding practice' in my AST assessment but I don't use anymore. Sorry if this sounds big-headed, its not meant to but this is something I feel quite strongly about!
  4. WD

    WD New commenter

    Sub levelling is a nonsense.
    level 3- simple statement
    level 4 developed statement
    level 5 simple argument
    level 6 developed argument.

    More or less covers the NC bases.
  5. kenworthington has a point. You can spend too much time messing around with the levels and not concentrating on what you actually want the students to do. Make sure this is well explained to them.

    kenworthington, i would be very interested to receive your assessments in order to improve mine. My email is: catandmonkey@ntlworld.com

  6. If your assessments (and non levelled tasks and mark sheets!) are being freely offered then could I be doubly cheeky and ask for them too.

    I'm in the process of completely updating my department's assessments etc (they haven't been touched for years and are seriously lacking things like AfL etc!)

    Anything to save re-inventing the wheel at this point would be great as I've been 'shanghai-ed' into becoming Citizenship Co-ordinator and have a nasty feeling that I'm going to be fire fighting that particular battle for the rest of this academic year to get it even halfway decent....

  7. thank you all v much for that. As you rightly guessed it's the SLT asking for sub-levels, so what I'll do is go with that to 'tick the box' and also do a more meaningful assessment.

    Even if you use normal levels (no sub-levels), how do you work out the mark scheme? In the past we have levelled each individual question in the paper, but how do you get the overall level? eg How do you work out how much percent you need for a level 5,6 etc? It all seems a bit like guess-work unless there's something I'm missing...
  8. hi - I tend to sub level with the a, b, c, - like they do in primary - not that I want to but it seems to be expected.
    a = always
    b = usually
    c = sometimes

    therefore a 4a - is nearly a 5c.

    Could I also have a look at the assessments with marking levels - ??? - email - marc498@hotmail.com
  9. WD

    WD New commenter

    But a NC level is not a weighted or ranked hierachy, and is therefore impossible to sub-divide. Additionally sub levelling causes inaccuracy between schools-as 3a in one school will not equate to 3a in another!

    Imagine triplets in 3 different schools, one getting receiving 3b,another 3c, the third 3a.
    There is no guarantee as to which one is doing better at history as sub levels are not moderated between schools.
  10. Agree with you WD. The level descriptors are so broad that consistency is almost impossible, particularly if you attempt to sub-level. Take Level6 for example - "pupils begin to analyse historical interpretations." So would 6c mean they are 'beginning to begin to analyse them?' Does 6a mean they are 'always beginning to analyse them?' The fact that my two examples make no logical sense whatsoever is the point - sub-levelling is a pointless exercise.

    For the record, I ask my department to base levels when they have to be given in as:

    Lev 3 - They make simple statements as their answers
    Lev 4 - They make statements as their answers and support them with some evidence
    Lev 5 - They give answers that make a point, support it with evidence and explain it in simple terms
    Lev 6 - They give answers that make a point, support it with evidence and explain it clearly and in some detail
    Lev 7 - Their answers are as sophisticated as you could reasonably expect for a KS3 student!

    We are asked to sub-level, so I tell my department to give every student a 'b' unless they are occasionally hitting the next level according to my descriptors, in which case they can have a 'a.' We simply don't give 'c's. I've told my line manager why - within this rudimentary system I certainly couldn't distinguish between a 5a and a 6c as to me both suggest that the student is inconsistently hitting aspects of both level 5 and level 6.

    Anyway must stop, I'm getting into this far too much and Extras is on soon.
    Those colleagues that have asked for my assessments, I will send them early next week as my laptop is currently in for some upgrades.
  11. Hi,
    Like others could I also be bold and ask for copies of said assessments? Having recently taken up a new post in England again after being out of the country for a couple of years I find I am faced with the same style of requests as mentioned previously. With scheme writing, dept paperwork etc to catch up on any help at this stage would be wonderful.
  12. kenworthington - sorry to bother you again - but could I have a copy of the assessments and mark schemes, thanks
  13. libra28

    libra28 New commenter

    Hi Guys Would you mind please passing on the assessment levels to me as well? Would really appreciate it ! Email is az28@mail.com Thanks

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