One of the greatest concerns about the new assessment systems is undoubtedly leaders and teachers' ability to know whether pupils are on track to meet the National Standards or Higher Standards mid-way through the academic year.
This publication will help schools and academies to track the progress made by pupils on a term by term basis not just on an annual basis. The information should guide teachers to make judgements as to whether individuals are on track or not to meet the national standards for their year group. In addition, for each year group the publication includes a number of statements as to what constitutes working at a higher standard or greater depth. I appreciate there is no definitive set of objectives for higher standard but an attempt has been made to capture the level at which pupils need to be working to meet this greater depth.Reading
The reading takes account of pupils' ability at Key Stage 1 to decode words and apply their phonic knowledge. In later years this outlines their ability to skim read and decode exception words, noting the unusual correspondences between spelling and sound. The section relating to pupils' comprehension skills, are broken into reading for pleasure and reading for accuracy, fluency and understanding at Key Stage 1. At Key Stage 2, there are statements directly related to maintaining a positive attitude to reading as well justifying their views.
At the higher standard there is an increasing expectation that pupils recognise techniques and strategies used by various authors to create strong characters, a developing relationship between characters as well as the ability to identify plot lines.Writing
The writing section looks at pupils' ability to deal with spelling, punctuation and handwriting (transcriptional skills) and compositional skills (including editing and proof reading). The compositional skills also include grammatical features, and structure. As is anticipated there is a clear link between reading and writing.
At the higher standard (greater depth) there is an expectancy that bright pupils are using the techniques and strategies they have experienced in their reading within their own writing. They also need to be able to show sustainability and stamina.Mathematics
Although there is a suggested progression on a term by term basis the statements may need to be moved slightly between terms to take full account of what has been taught each term. Not surprisingly number features highly as do the four calculation operations. Measurement and geometry pay an important part with algebra and ratio and proportion being a feature in Year 6.
At the higher standard pupils need to be able to use a range of skills, including logical thinking to solve problems. Their ability to explain their reasoning is a major feature of working at a higher standard as is their ability to cope with more complex problems.