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National Curriculum levels for Year 7

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by markuss, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Time to stop worrying, hopkins.
    This is the official line:
    "The National Curriculum sets standards of achievement in each
    subject for pupils aged 5 to 14. For most subjects, these standards
    range from Levels 1 to 8. Pupils progress up the levels as they get
    older and learn more:

    • most 7 year olds are expected to achieve Level 2
    • most 11 year olds are expected to achieve Level 4
    • most 14 year olds are expected to achieve Levels 5 or 6"
    And that's all there is to it! Teachers are only supposed to assess and report levels once in three years - at the end of the key stage. Any other "levelling" (per term, per year, per piece of work or whatever) just means whatever the teacher wants it to mean and is not worth fretting about. If a twelve year old was assessed as level 4 in Y6, then they're expected to be still level 4 in Y7. They won't be level 5 or 6 for another year or two.
    And as for "sub levelling", that's total fantasy. There are no descriptions/criteria for sub levels in the national curriculum and so you can make up anything you like for them if you want to pretend that they do exist.
  2. Thanks markuss,
    that rather explains the very vague response that I got from the school when I questioned what the 'Assessed Curriculum Level' actually meant as the guidance on the report said 'At key stage three, pupils are expected to achieve level five across the curriculum with the exception of MFL.' I asked if this was indicating that it was the expected level now (Yr 7), at the end of the condensed key stage three curriculum (Yr 8) or at the actual end of key stage three (yr 9) but got a very woolly response, that she didnt have anything to worry about.
    BUT that was not my question!!!!!!
  3. Batsheep

    Batsheep New commenter

    It's can be confusing, particularly as the emphasis that primaries put on KS2 SATs in Maths, English and science can lead to children getting levels at those subjects that are above their real ability - we often land up giving them lower English levels in Year 7 than they had in KS2 SATS (particularly in reading) which leads to lots of parental worries, despite the letter that goes out with the grade sheet. The nature of Science changes between KS2 and KS3 - primaries know they
    can drag pretty well anyone up to a 4 or even a 5 with a reader and
    scribe at KS2, it requires more actual understanding at KS3 -
    nationally nearly a quarter of kids don't improve their Science level
    between KS2 and KS3. On the other hand we find that some of our kids have been marking time in maths and could have got higher than the max possible 5 in Maths at KS2 and so their Maths level can shoot up in Y7. Added to all this they mostly start a language in Year 7 so will probably get a Level 1 on their first term grade sheet and no more than a Level 3 by the end of year 7. ........If you then add in the unreliability of last year's KS2 marking so their parents are expecting them to make progress from a possibly flawed starting point and you're asking for trouble. (Not forgetting that while, overall, children are expected to get steadily better we all know that many of them improve by fits and starts and viewed term by term it will not look steady.)
    We send out an explanation sheetthat attempts to explain some of the anomalies but I think we all heave a huge sigh of relief when we can forget levels and move onto GCSE grades.
  4. As a secondary teacher I wish to clarify a couple of things that have been posted here. The levels are clearly based upon what is written in the National Curriculum, found on the department for education website - each subject has a level description of what students need to be able to do to achieve that level. http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/secondary simply select the subject and programme of study for either key stage 3 or 4 and a pdf showing you exactly what the students are learning and how they are levelled is there.
    Sublevels are not fiction! they are also based on national statistics found on examination databases. A sublevel of c means the student is beginning to understand the concepts within the topic, b means they understand most of the concepts and a means they have a secure understanding of the topic and can apply this knowledge.
    Hope this helps all who now read this :)

  5. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Citation/link please. Thank you.
  6. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    Seconded. I think I saw sublevels at Level 1 and Level 2 on some DfES-produced, but non-statutory, optional KS1 test or something once (which I believe is where the concept of 2C, 2B and 2A came from), but that's as close as I've got. And that's not very close.
  7. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Still waiting...
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Does it only measure understanding of "concepts"? Try explaining a few "concepts" of say, forces or electricity to your fellow teachers.... In my experience teachers don't even understand the level descriptors fully. The current levelling and assessment system is the biggest load of Emperor's New Clothes that I can remember for a while. What does "beginning to understand a concept" look like?

    And it's sub-level. With a hyphen.
  9. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    (It's a bit like spelling "SATS" or "SAT's" or "sats" etc. There are still those who believe our children do things called /sats/ and think they know how to spell that as well.)
  10. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Still waiting...
  11. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Tick, tock...

  12. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    A thread has now been started by someone who wants to know where to find the descriptors for "sub levels". (There's another spelling for you.)
    It's like sending the apprentice for some striped paint!
  13. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter


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