Within the last decade there has been huge change in the UK educational systems, practices and policies, all of which have been heavily influenced by social, economic and political factors. Assessment in particular, is an area which has been extensively scrutinised and debated within the field of education. To date researchers and professionals alike are continuing to refine existing assessment systems, seeking to develop and improve them in order to positively impact on the teaching and learning of school age children.
In May 2013 it was announced by Secretary of State: “as part of our reforms to the national curriculum, the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed” (Lilly et al., 2014:08). It is believed that the removal of levels will allow for more focused assessment systems and curriculums which are not driven by attainment targets, levels and sub levels. The Department for Education have put schools at the centre of designing their own assessment systems which meet the needs of their pupils and are fit for purpose.
Assessment without levels at ACE
Prior to September 2014 the school operated using levels to assess pupils’ progress however, after a great deal of research the ‘ACE points tracking system’ has replaced this previous system. On their entry to ACE, our pupils will complete an assessment for each individual subject. These assessments are termed ‘Pupil Entry Assessments’ (PEAs). Following the completion of these assessments, the pupils’ baseline points scores are generated. Every assessment period thereafter pupils are given: 1 point for limited progress, 2 points for good progress or 3 points for outstanding progress. It was determined at the outset that pupils are expected to make 12 points of progress over the academic year. Within each assessment period, staff will record whether pupils are achiveing above, at or below their expected progress for individual subjects. Furthermore during each assessment period, pupils’ ‘Social and Domestic Circumstances’ and ‘Skills and Competencies’ are assessed.