Assessment Without Levels
From September 2014, with the introduction of the new Primary National Curriculum, the government assessment reforms came into force. These included National Curriculum levels being removed and not replaced. This has allowed schools to design and implement their own assessment frameworks. A group of 20 REAch2 educational experts have worked extensively to develop and embed an ‘Assessment Without Levels’ (AWL) system which enables schools to demonstrate quality assessment focused on children’s learning and developmental needs. The Trust-wide system devised uses non-negotiable milestones to assess and track the learning of pupils against the new national curriculum in oracy, reading, writing and maths for each year group. There is much more emphasis in revisiting and deepening children’s understanding of what they have learnt, improving their ability to apply learning in as many different ways as possible. As children are not expected to push through a set of levels, they are free to master the full breadth of the curriculum for their year group.
The AWL system recognises that the new national curriculum is sufficiently challenging for pupils and assesses attainment at any point in time against four judgements. Children’s work in books is a key source of evidence when making judgements relating to a pupil’s progress.
The following judgements are used:
Working Towards – Children are judged as ‘working towards’ when they are accessing the curriculum below the expectations of their chronological age. They do not currently have the skills, knowledge and understanding required to access, achieve or demonstrate significant engagement with the assessment criteria.
Aspiring to Meet – Children are judged as ‘aspiring to meet’ when they are accessing the expectations of their chronological year group, however they are deemed not be on on-Track to meet expectations fully by the end of the year without significant additional support.
On-Track to Meet – Children are judged as ‘on-track to meet’ when they are comprehensively on-track to attain the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria by the end of the year.
Met – Children that demonstrate they have mastered the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria and are able to apply them across a broad range of contexts are judged to have ‘met’ the milestones.
Greater Depth – Children are judged as working at ‘greater depth’ when they are able to transfer and apply their knowledge and learning in different contexts. It is also where children can explain their understanding to others.
For children with specific diagnosed SEND, Headteachers retain the ability to dis-apply criteria which are inappropriate to the child’s abilities and developmental needs.