I read many blogs, documents and tweets with vested interest on how best to assess primary maths now that the new curriculum is about to come into force. As a maths leader, finding a way of showing progress now that the levels have gone, seems to be a minefield. For the time being, my school are sticking with APP and levels, despite some objectives of the new NC not being evident, and of course some moving around the year groups. There is no need to rush into new ways of recording assessment and many people have told me that LA’s are recommending the old way of assessment but surely this defeats the objective in the first place?
After reading @Learningladders5 excellent guidance booklet on their new assessment system, it is clear that there isn’t a definite way to assess a child’s progress or a ‘magic wand’ that will do the hard work for us. However, now that levels are gone, many assessment models, including the school online pupil tracker (SPTO), believe that a ‘Working Towards (WT), Mostly Achieved (MA), Achieved (A) and Exceeding (E) of objectives is the way to go. @Learningladders5 suggests that although children may forget knowledge months later, assessment needs to be done when teachers see it in the here and now. Surely we’d have to be very cautious as to giving any child exceeding, let alone ‘achieved’ then? There’s always that bone of contention when you look at objectives already achieved by children in previous years and you think ‘you’re having a laugh! They can’t do it now..’ and feel like banging your head against the brick wall. I guess we just have to assume this happens from every year group to year group and hopefully the children will pick it up over time anyway.
My worry is how any of the new assessment systems will be able to compare to national expectations? When we’re in a state of teacher’s not feeling trusted to give professional judgements and pressure from Ofsted and league tables, how can we compare or assume an average?
If we are to use the yearly objectives and in affect, start from scratch – do children working at a much higher level, work at higher year group objectives and if so, what happens when they reach year 6 and could potentially work above year 7? It’s fine to say ‘exceeding’ but can can they be stretched within this? What’s the major difference between achieved and exceeding anyway? Surely if they’ve achieved something, that’s enough?
I’d be interested to hear from any other maths leaders (or like minded people in the know) on this subject. Please do note that these thoughts are my own opinions.