At the start of this new school year we would like to provide parents with an update on the National Curriculum we are teaching in school and the arrangements we have in place to monitor your child’s learning and their progress.
The New National Curriculum
As you know the new National Curriculum was introduced in school in September 2014 with Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 following the new curriculum in their classwork. The new National Curriculum is part of the government’s initiative to improve the level of academic attainment of young people and in many areas of the curriculum the standard of knowledge, skills and understanding has been raised. Additionally the new curriculum has a greater focus on broadening children’s learning and ensuring they are ‘secure’ in their new skills. This school year all year groups including year 2 and 6 are to follow the new curriculum.
Assessment of your child’s progress in their learning
As you know the school assesses your child’s learning and their progress every term; 3 times a year. We do this in three ways: by setting tests, by assessing their classwork and by their teacher’s professional judgement. I meet with your child’s teacher every term to discuss each child’s progress and what additional support the teachers are putting in place especially if we feel that a child is not making as much progress as we think they need to realise their full potential. The governors of our school also review the ‘data’ which shows progress of all the children across the school anonymously and this is discussed frequently at our governor meetings. We are confident that we know how your child is progressing with their learning and that we can put extra help in place for them if they need it.
Life without levels!
With the introduction of the new curriculum has come a new method of assessing progress which has replaced the old ‘levels’ (i.e. 2b, 4c). We move away from an assessment system that runs throughout the School and across Year Groups where children are encouraged to accelerate through the levels. We move to a system where pupils are assessed against a key set of expectations per year group. The children are to learn in greater depth and apply their learning to a wide variety of situations. They are not accelerated through levels, instead they develop a deeper understanding and an ability to apply this understanding across other subjects and in a variety of situations.
To measure progress and attainment within our school we have created a system which measures progress in steps. These steps are:
- Secure (The expected judgement)
- Exceeding (Emerging in the End of Year Expectations for the Year Group above)
We hold high aspirations for our children and we know you do too. At the end of each school year, our expectation is that most children will be at least on the ‘Secure’ step which indicates that they have reached an expected age-related level of attainment.
I have used a child moving into Year 3 as an example but this model applies for any year group.
A ‘typical’ child with ‘typical’ progress would leave Year 2 secure (at an expected age-related level of attainment). At the end of Autumn Term in Year 3 the child would be emerging as they face the challenge of a new set of End of Year Expectations. By the end of Spring Term in Year 3 the child would be developing as they begin to grasp many elements of the End of Year Expectations and by the end of Summer Term the child would leave Year 3 secure (at an expected age-related level of attainment). This ‘typical’ child has moved through 3 steps of progress from their secure starting point to emerging (1 step), then to developing (2 steps) and to secure (3 steps).
However to make things even more confusing – as we know all pupils are different, special and unique. They do not all have the same starting point and there is no expectation that all children will necessarily progress 1 step per term as all children progress at different rates! However there is the expectation that all pupils from Years 1-6 will move through 3 steps over the year with some children moving through 4 steps.
The chart shows what we would expect from children will different starting points.
|End of Summer in Year 2||End of Autumn in Year 3||End of Spring in Year 3||End of Summer in Year 3|
|Emerging in the Y2 curriculum||Developing (Y2)||Secure (Y2)||Emerging (Y3)|
|Developing in the Y2 curriculum||Secure (Y2)||Emerging (Y3)||Developing (Y3)|
|Secure in the Y2 curriculum||Emerging (Y3)||Developing (Y3)||Secure (Y3)|
|Exceeding in the Y2 curriculum (same as Emerging in Y3 curriculum)||Developing (Y3)||Secure (Y3)||Exceeding (Y3)|
The new curriculum is very challenging and the bar has been raised for every year group.
The government are aiming for 85% of pupils to achieve a ‘secure/expected’ grade in reading, writing and maths by the end of Year 6.
Reporting to Parents
Throughout the year there are a number of opportunities provided to keep you informed of your child’s progress. These include:
- Parent’s evening in October: This is a valuable opportunity to meet your child’s new teacher, to discuss how they are settling in, to look at their work from the first few weeks and find out their starting step.
- Pupil Progress Summary Report sent end of Autumn and Spring Terms: We are changing the format of these reports to reflect our new assessment system. The report will inform you of what learning has taken place throughout the term, your child’s progress step, their general attitude to learning and school life and their targets for the next term.
- Pupil / Parent’s Open Evening in March: This is an opportunity to celebrate your child’s achievements as they share their work with you from throughout the year. Your child’s teacher will be available to answer any general questions.
- Full Pupil Report: Sent end of Summer Term
- Parent’s evening in July: Opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss the report and achievement over the year.
- Opportunities throughout the year to work alongside your child during the school day.
Further help for Parents
I hope that this letter will help you to understand more about the new curriculum, how we monitor progress across the school and how we track your child’s progress and put in place extra support if we feel that they need help to realise their potential. As with anything new we expect you will have questions for us and we encourage you to raise them with your child’s teacher or speak to me or Mrs Suddes.
To support you further you will be receiving:
- Termly newsletters from your child’s teacher explaining what learning will be taking place throughout the term,
- A copy of the ‘End of Year Expectations’ for your child showing learning requirements in reading, writing and maths.
- A copy of the spellings we are required to teach your child specific to their year group (these are for your information and to practise if you have the opportunity)
- An invitation to find out further about the changes in maths methods in the new curriculum at meetings for KS1 and KS2 (check the diary dates letter for more details)
- Information leaflet for KS1 parents on our Read Write Inc reading programme
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of your child’s learning,