Assessment of the Curriculum

Severn Teaching School Alliance                   

Mid term report- Assessment for the New National Curriculum.

Link to GOV.UK - Beyond levels: alternative assessment approaches developed by teaching schools

Link to – NCAR Final Writing Frame Document 

Who is involved ?

Seven teachers/ school leader from Primary phase.

Two teachers from KS3/4

 Teaching School Director/ LA School Improvement Specialist

LA Teaching and Learning Consultant

 LA Teaching and Learning consultant

LA Teaching and Learning consultant

What did the study set out to work on ?

Maths-To produce a set of assessment questions/ activities to enable teachers to judge the reasoning, problem solving, using and applying skills in maths , with a particular focus on Fractions.

To explore placing these assessment questions / activities into a developmental hierarchy based on Solo taxonomy.

Reading- To produce a set of adult led questions to enable assessments to be made of children’s progress in deduction and inference when reading.

 To explore placing these assessment questions / activities into a developmental hierarchy based on Solo taxonomy.

To disseminate the outcomes of this research with other schools.

To date what have we found out ?

The group discussed a range of ideas for applying to SOLO to  classroom practice.

Maths group- assessment of fractions.

What have we done and why?

  • Initially decided focus – fractions, because it is a difficulty in Y7
  • Looked at NECTM website – objectives were on the site (but not all of them!!)
  • Split the year groups between the group members – one each
  • For each group, took each statement and looked at existing resources used e.g.
  • test base,
  • levelopedia,
  • Nnrich
  • NECTM web site (
  • Began to look at success criteria
  • Group realised that on the NECTM web site, some of the objectives were missing or of variable  quality
  • Y1 and Y2 had far fewer objectives than other years such as Y6
  • Group felt there was a potential cross over, so group now needs to moderate & check the bigger picture and streamline it where needed
  • The structure of the new n.c. lends itself to turning back on levels and using yearly expectations.  NECTM provided a great starting point.


  • Time is a big barrier
  • Choosing the best examples from all of the ideas
  • Year 4 not done yet as  Y4 resources on the NECTM website yet
  • We need someone else to do this initial donkey work!
  • KS3 NC is not set out in the same way as the KS1 and KS2 models , could this be broken down into early and later KS3 expecations?


  • Some children may not completely achieve an objective and so how is their success measured,  if they don’t meet thresholds for achieving criteria?
  • Could children give low level answers (successfully) to all questions and attain a mark which does not reflect their level of understanding
  • How would overall achievement show profile across the whole subject / skill areas?
  • Reliance on NECTM to do the initial donkey work

Next steps

  • Put together each year group guidance to make them fit into one continuum
  • Initially get the model for one year group looking reasonable & trial this first.
  • Look at Y4
  • Next needed to trial the idea with pupils – not do yet.
  • Get pupils to have a go at the sample Qs to see what type of response they produce – are they at the appropriate level e.g. recall or deeper reasoning.
  • Present this information at a Learning Conference on 27th June 2014.


English group-  reading assessment.

  • Starting point was taken AF3 ( Inference and deduction) for reading and broke down Into different levels of text related questions as a series of  steps.


  • The issue is that one simple question could have a variety of sophisticated responses.


  • A paper was produced in terms of a range of questions were produced.


  •  Following this the programme of study was mapped to the new national curriculum framework covering combined age groups. This was linked  to the existing assessment levels.


  • The group is aware that new performance descriptors will be introduced for Year 2 and Year 6.


  • The group are working towards the adoption of an assessment document including SOLO taxanomy, this has been trialled at Sir Alexander Fleming. This document contains  the SOLO images, a list of verbs and space to record the books being read.  This activity was approached from a listening to story  point of view.


  • The next stage is for the children to be able to self assess when reading and for adults to be able to ask text specific questions.