Assessment without levels at Grove Road
“As part of our reforms to the national curriculum, the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed. It will not be replaced.
We believe this system is complicated and difficult to understand, especially for parents. It also encourages teachers to focus on a pupil’s current level, rather than consider more broadly what the pupil can actually do. Prescribing a single detailed approach to assessment does not fit with the curriculum freedoms we are giving schools.” Department for Education - June 2013
Due to the Department for Education’s announcement, the staff at Grove Road has had to investigate other ways of measuring attainment and progress without levels.
What are Learning Ladders?
Learning Ladders are statements (for reading, writing and maths), which are a series of broadly hierarchical skills linked to the September 2014 National Curriculum end of year expectations for each year group. These are arranged in a ladder type format, with each skill being a rung on the ladder.
The system is designed to ensure that pupils can readily see their next steps in key reading, writing and maths skills, as well as being able to keep track of the progress that they have made so far.
All children in Reception Class to Year Six will be assessed using a Learning Ladder for reading, writing and maths. Reception class follows the Early Learning Goals (Birth to Five Framework). The Ladder breaks down objectives into a progressive journey for children. The Ladder rungs provide the next steps for a child in their learning.
Each subject is divided into different ladders that represent key skills. The ladder then has rungs which show the key objectives, taken from the new National Curriculum, that the children need to work through. Although the path of learning is never linear, the rungs set out a typical journey of learning. Teachers will sign off the rungs as children achieve them.
Under each rung of the ladder there are four white boxes. When a child has demonstrated a suitable independent competence with a rung, the boxes are ticked by the class teacher/TA.
Each white box that is signed has a different weighting:
Box one indicates the child has been introduced to the topic.
Box two indicates that, with support, the child shows some competence.
Box three indicates that the child can demonstrate their understanding independently
Box four indicates that the child is using this skill in other areas of the curriculum or at greater depth.
Where possible, rungs are signed with the child present (during a 'live discussion'). This obviously has positive self-esteem benefits for the child, as well as them keeping up to date with their achievements on their learning journey. It also provides the opportunity for the child to fully demonstrate their depth of knowledge of skills, before they are signed off, therefore making the assessment process even more accurate.
Over time, teachers will be able to see which rungs a child has achieved in relation to the end of year expectations. We can then report to parents, at the end of the year, if their child is Emerging, Expected or Exceeding the end of year expectations.
The aim is for a child to reach ‘Expected’ for the year group they are in. Please note that the new curriculum is much more challenging.
New statutory assessment tests for pupils in Year 2 and Year 6 will be used from 2016 onwards. A scaled score will be used instead of levels – from 69 to 141, with 100 being the ‘expectation’. This will correlate to the 'Expected' expectation in the school.
Each child will have a unique log in so that parents can access their child's ladders at home. This helps parents to see how well their child is progressing and if their are any gaps in their learning.
How do I register for Ladders at Home?