What with the new curriculum, increased expectations, removal of levels and new assessment procedures, (not to mention Ofsted looming) the new school year in our year 6 is not off to a very optimistic start. I teach the lower ability and SEN children for Maths and English. With a lot of hard work and effort on everyone's part, the vast majority of children have been where they needed to be at end of KS2 for the previous two years. We have also achieved above average numbers of level 5 and 6 in the middle and top groups. With Ofsted due we obviously would like to maintain our good results. Looking at the recent Rising Stars document about 2016 assessments I feel like my LA children are just not going to be able to reach the expectation. The grammar is so complex, the standard of writing is like the old level 5 and the easier questions have been removed from the earlier part of the maths papers. That's just off the top of my head. In addition to the increased expectation, this cohort have come to me with the new 'bands' telling me where they are working currently. They are so vague I cannot use them as a good baseline. Children labelled as working at 'expected' level, will not I suspect, come out of the SATs with the magic expected 100 score due to the higher expectations. I feel like we are changing currency but nobody is telling me what currency the final transaction will be carried out in....I knew approximately how many marks the children needed to score in past years to achieve a level 4. We had past papers and thresholds to look back on for guidance. I feel like I am stabbing in the dark now. Of course, we will carry on teaching all the things they need to know, we will plug away and hope for generous raw score/ scale conversions next summer. But in the meantime, I, for one am feeling distinctly blindfolded and about to fall down a very steep step.... Anyone else in year 6 feeling this? Got any optimism to share? Will everyone's results dip? Will the pass mark for 'expected' be lowered to account for the fact this cohort hasn't followed the new curriculum all through KS2? Interested to hear how other year 6 teachers are feeling. Please share your theories, strategies and angst!