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Replacing National Curriculum Levels - what will your school do?

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by cefnbran, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Ha ha! and there you have it

    How will it be moderated? We have a lot of mobility and how will I know where the kids are if the common language is removed? Yes we start again and do formative assessment but a rough idea would help wouldn't it? One HT remarked that with one waft of his wand Govey managed to remove a 'common language'. Some of you must have had very negative experiences with SMTs. Internal cross year and phase moderation is our model to ensure consistency. Actually he has given teachers a huge advantage when trying to set targets now at performance management when the levels disappear. Parents expect levels reported and waffy phrases like 'working towards' won't help.
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Levels are not a common language. No-one really understands them, least of all parents. It is a number with no real meaning. They are made up. The underlying level NC descriptions are too woolly. So teachers make up descriptions of levels which make their students look good. Especially at primary.
  3. What do people think about the move to assess and then report on the progress of KS3 students using GCSE grades?
  4. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    "Levels" have not been scrapped. "Levels" are alive and well, just under a different name. One must distinguish between "Levels" and "Level descriptions". It is the "Level descriptions" which have been omitted from the new NC.

    Pupils are still going to be graded at (e.g.) KS2 in Reading, Writing and Maths.

    The results will be expressed as a number from 0 to 100?

    These numbers are bound to be "banded" either explicitly or implicitly, for the purposes of judging schools.

    The names for these bands will no doubt not be "levels" - but in effect the bands will have just the same implications as the current level bands. Whether one calls them "excellent", "good", "satisfactory", "unsatisfactory" or (as now) L6, L5, L4, L3 - does not really matter very much. It's just a different name.

    Schools still have the task of monitoring attainment. By monitoring I mean predicting each pupil's eventual attainment at KS2 (or whatever is the pupil's next national test). A school still needs a number each term and for each child, a number which predicts eventual performance in the national test.

    We shouldn't scrap the current method of doing this without having a better method to move on to.

    I have yet to see a better method.

  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Hi T,

    Yes they have.

    If a student is more focused on the level he/she is achieving rather than the learning, then they should be scrapped.

    Level descriptions were made up by primary teachers trying to prove how clever their students were.

    I have no doubt that a new system for comparing school achievement will be devised in the fullness of time. But it will not be levels and I am ok with that.
  6. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    So, all of a sudden everyone has the same ability?

    Whatever you call the criteria, children will continue to be judged and grouped into attainment bands.

    By all means, call the attainment bands by another name if you wish.

    It's a mystery why knowing one's current attainment should be incompatible with increasing it. Quite the reverse, I would have thought.

    Comparing schools for achievement is no problem. The results of the national tests allow that and will continue so to do. The problem is internal to schools - tracking their pupils attainment.

    Have a look at this and tell me if you can make any sense of it...

  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    There is no detail so nothing to make sense of. I like the idea of Trinity Academy Halifax, Yorkshire (secondary) but need more details.
  8. Tartuffe

    Tartuffe Occasional commenter

    The link to the various prize-winners is frightening. It all comes down to having certain expectations of what a pupil should be able to do at each stage of their school life. So many of these solutions seem to be either levels under another name or a variiation of the APP grids. How do you correlate performance across schools using different systems? How do secondary schools know that a percentage in one school is the same as a rung on the ladder in another school?
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    You cant. It is impossible. That is why I have always hated levels. Each school defines it's own.
  10. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Doesn't that tell us something?

    Levels, albeit perhaps under a different name and with different criteria, are not going to go away.

    A school needs to have a knowledge of "where the pupil stands in the subject" at particular instants between the KS tests.

    A new pupil in a school will have to be assessed on arrival according to the new school's criteria, I suppose.

  11. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

  12. Our school seems to be heading down the route of the Learning Ladders (www.learningladders.info), one of the prize winners. I have just downloaded the maths ones to look at, and see that they appear be APP in a new guise, and, from my initial look, even more time-consuming and unwieldy.
  13. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Hmm I see that some of the prize winners are on the conference circuit already.
  14. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

  15. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter


    Without measuring progress, how to you to you take into account a school with a high intake of say EAL or SEN pupils or a school in an affluent area with a very articulate intake.

    Using just Achieving, Working towards & Exceeding will mean that the hard work that teachers are putting in with these vulnerable pupils would not be recognised as they may never reach the achieving given their low starting points. This will be especially true in infant schools if you are just measuring attainment rather than achievement.
  16. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    May I just say that I have spent the last 5 years working almost exclusively with EAL students from year 1 to year 13.

    I defined what I expected a competent student should be able to do. That was the standard I used to measure if a student was coping with the work. Many times I reported that a student was not meeting the standard due to language issues. This was in ks3. I still achieved 75% A-C in my IGCSE class.

    I honestly do not see anything wrong in reporting that a student is not meeting a standard, no matter what the reason.

    This is the kind of scenario where sub-levels were introduced to give a measure of progress and I have stated clearly I see sub-levels as pointless. I would suggest that progress should be measured on a yearly basis, not task by task.
  17. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    thanks chugaroo for the link. I cant get them to work.

    I think the principle of stating that a student is meeting a standard, exceeding that standard or not meeting that standard is the way to go as I stated in previous posts.

    The basic concept is easily extended to key stage 3.

    Worth noting that the title of the document states that the method is for reporting progress at the end of a key stage. This is not minute by minute progress checking required by smt. I suspect they will invent a sub-level nonsense to fill their spreadsheets.

    The descriptions of the standards to be met are sufficiently detailed to make them clear and unambiguous.

    It all looks good to me.
  18. I am in exactly the same position as you. We are a special school with primary and secondary age pupils. The one in the corner's contribution seems sensible.
  19. GCSE targets can be based on the KS2 APS on entry. In this forum there have been many criticisms of the National Curriculum levels awarded to students. The correlation of KS2 APS data with GCSE outcomes has been followed for more than 20 years and show a high level of accuracy.

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