In September 2014, a new national curriculum was introduced and as of September 2015 all children are now following this curriculum.

No longer is attainment measured by ‘levels’; these have been replaced by end of year age-related expectations, which reflect how far a child has met and achieved mastery within the age related expectation for reading, writing, maths and science. The new national curriculum is more challenging than the old one; for example learning objectives that once were in the curriculum for year four, are now expected to be taught in year three. This means that under the previous national curriculum, where a child was working above the expected level, they may now be working in line with the new expectations. A child who previously was working in line on the old curriculum, may now be working below the expectation. This does not mean that a child has made no progress in this transition period; it simply reflects the difference in standards between the two systems and different measures.

Here in school we have worked hard to ensure that the transition between the old and new curriculum has been as smooth as possible for your child. We have of course been mindful of the need to accelerate learning to match the higher expectations, and clearly, it will be our job to ensure that for the majority of children, their attainment is at least in line with national expectations of the new curriculum by the time they leave St Margaret’s at Hasbury.

Removal of ‘levels’ and the ‘mastery’ curriculum

Many of you will be familiar with the levels system of measuring attainment, which has been in place for some years. The new system measures attainment against the expectation for the child’s year group. A child in year five for example, will be working securely within the expectation if they have covered the curriculum and can apply it to new tasks, thus showing mastery of their learning. More able children are given opportunities to deepen their understanding and apply this year group-based learning to a wider range of situations, thereby deepening their ‘mastery’ of the curriculum for their age. The new national curriculum is premised on this understanding of mastery as something that every child can aspire to: ‘it is about deep secure learning for all, with extension for able students (more things on the same topic), rather than acceleration (rapidly moving on to new content).

Attainment Judgements

The attainment judgements shown on mid-year and end of year reports for years 1 to 6 will be as follows:

Not working at the age related expectation: This means that your child may have covered the curriculum but is not yet able to remember and apply the skills to other situations. We call this shallow learning. This is below the expected standard of depth of application and understanding. A few children may be working at the expectation for the age group below their year group.

Working at the age related expectation:
This means your child has a deeper understanding of what they have learnt which they can apply in different contexts, thus showing mastery. This is the expected standard of depth of application and understanding. The majority of children will be working at this level.

Working above the age related expectation: This means your child is able to apply their learning to a wider range of situations across the curriculum. They are showing a higher degree of ‘mastery’ of the curriculum. This is above the expected standard of depth of application and understanding. Very few children will be working with the curriculum beyond that for their age.

In 2016, all children at the end of key stage 1 (year 2) and key stage 2 (year 6) will be judged against the national expectation for their year.

 The 2014 National Curriculum Programmes of Study will enable parents to look in more detail at the age related expectations for English, mathematics and science.