Assessment without Levels

Our new assessment system

The new 2014 National Curriculum signalled a shift not only in content but also the expectation placed upon pupils became considerably higher across Key Stages 1 and 2.

As a result, the new, more rigorous curriculum, means it is not possible to have an exact correlation between a level that was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment and the requirements new National Curriculum, this means a shift in thinking and in the way we assess our children’s outcomes.


‘Assessment without levels gives schools the opportunity to develop their own approaches to assessment that focus on teaching and learning and are tailored to the curriculum followed by the school.’

Final report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels, J.Macintosh CBE, September 2015


As a creative, forward-thinking school, Upton Primary, have embraced the changes as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that gives a clear indication of what is expected of our learners along with providing more clarity for parents about exactly what their child can do.


‘Schools can ensure their approaches to assessment enable pupils to take more responsibility for their achievements by encouraging pupils to reflect on their own progress, understand what their strengths are and identify what they need to do to improve.’

Final report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels, J.Macintosh CBE, September 2015


Key principles for Assessment at Upton Primary School

The principles that underpin our assessment system are:

  • Every child can achieve: teachers at Upton have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
  • Learners will be assessed against curriculum learning objectives
  • Well-planned creative teaching sequences across the Curriculum and contextualised (where possible) in Maths will be carefully scaffolded using the NC objectives and the White Rose Maths Mastery approach, leading to assessment of the objectives set
  • Children will make age appropriate progress – the focus will be on moving learners through each year group at the same rate to ensure learners leave each year group at age expected

In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Year 6 objectives. We use these to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:

A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for English would be said to be working at the expected level for English at the end of year 3. A child achieving half of the objectives for Year 5 Maths, would be classed as working below the age-related expectation for Maths.

Our assessment and reporting system includes:

  • Ongoing assessment through, carefully planned questioning and reasoning opportunities  will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve
  • Children will know what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why. They will become increasingly confident when discussing their learning (including self-assessing on a daily basis)
  • Regular feedback both written and verbal between the teacher and learner
  • An assessment document is ‘live’ in books which allows the teacher and learner to know what has been achieved and the child’s next learning steps
  • Triangulation of data, evidence in books and pupil voice

More able children

Rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum, the focus for these children will be on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening their learning.