Session 304: Assessment without Levels

Session date: Thursday 26th May 2016

The #UKEdChat this week will focus on Assessing without levels, being hosted by Claire Bracher – an AHT and English Lead.

The questions:

1. How does your school assess and track progress without ‘levels’?

2. How do we empower children to take ownership of their learning without levels?

3. How has assessment without levels affected your teaching and learning?

4. How has the elusive ‘scale score’ enabled informed teacher assessment throughout the academic year in Years 2 and 6?

5. How do we ensure a consistent approach for teachers to assess without levels?

6. How do we make the assessment data meaningful to teachers, governors, children and parents?

The chat brought together educators from many sectors and areas of the UK and even some internationally who showed an interest. Schools have this year taken it upon themselves to embrace the new curriculum and find a way to make assessment without levels effective. This chat involved the sharing of those processes and experiences and proved beneficial in that there was a general sense of commonality amongst educators: as we develop our own knowledge and understanding of the new curriculum, so does our ability to assess and achieve progress increase.

There was a variety of assessment methods shared, from the use of software packages such as Target Tracker, SIMS and SPTO but also there are educators who are developing their own assessment systems for subject such as PE for example. Through the continued use of these systems, whether established or works in progress, teachers are becoming more familiar with recognising age related expectations and as a result are becoming more able to assess effectively and achieve progress at a rapid pace.

There was a shared consensus that the key is to enable the student to take ownership of the learning and to share the knowledge with all those stakeholders involved in the education of the children. To communicate with parents and governors and to establish consistency amongst teachers in their judgements. Moderation is therefore currently proving key and highly successful where teachers have taken the initiative to develop their practice.

Life without levels is slowly taking shape and with it assessment is becoming more effective and without a doubt, as teachers work together and collaborate, they are finding a successful path forward, enabling them to shape the progress being achieved.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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