Assessment at KS3:
In June 2013, the government published a document for schools on ‘Assessing without Levels’, in which it was explained that the old system of Levels at Key Stage 3 would be abolished and not replaced. They said the following:
We believe this system is complicated and difficult to understand, especially for parents. It also encourages teachers to focus on a pupil’s current level, rather than consider more broadly what the pupil can actually do. Prescribing a single detailed approach to assessment does not fit with the curriculum freedoms we are giving schools. The new programmes of study set out what should be taught by the end of each key stage. We will give schools the freedom to develop a curriculum which is relevant to their pupils and enables them to meet these expectations.
At Huntington, we agreed that levels weren’t very accurate and that they were potentially distracting from learning and the feedback we actually wanted students to act on.
We were guided by the world-leading expert on assessment in education, Dylan Wiliam. See his short video here for an explanation as to why levels proved to hinder learning: