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Life after levels….heard that one as a governor yet?

December 4, 2014

At the start of this year, I kept hearing governors and headteachers talking about the paucity of the current assessment system and how things were going to change. ‘Yes, levels were going’!…..  But what were they going to be replaced by?   Everywhere conference or training session I attended there was another variant of the ‘silver bullet’ of the  new system of assessing students.   Everyone had the best and everyone seemed to be trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak!

After the initial interest I was inundated with different systems etc that I switched off completely!  I am sure that I am not the only one out there taking a wait and see approach.

What I have decided to do instead is to read as much as I can so that when out schools start putting proposals in front of us governors I will be slightly more informed to be able to ask those ‘challenging’ questions and also have a half decent informed conversation with them.

So I am keeping a track of key articles which I think are helping me formulate some of my ideas.

The evil offspring of APP –   A blog from a teacher with some very sound advice IMO

The NAHT framework for assessment

The NAHT model is broadly the same as that which led to my Key Objectives, although notable for its brevity in terms of objectives. There are a few key principles that underpin it, which include:

  • The assessment should link closely to the taught curriculum
  • Not everything that is taught should be assessed
  • Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] should be selected for each year group and subject, against which teachers can make assessments.
  • End of year descriptors, based on the KPIs can be used for more summative judgements
  • The whole process should include in-school, and where possible, inter-school moderation

There is also the work done by Tim Oates, of Cambridge Assessment, who was also the chair of the Epert Panl that informed the government’s decision to move away from levels.  Here in this TES article there is a Question and Answer session and there is also a YouTube video of him talking about life after levels and the need to change the current system

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