The Department for Education (DfE) announced last year that there would no longer be National Curriculum levels in 2015-16. The DfE believed that the old National Curriculum and the levels system failed to ensure that children had a breadth and depth of knowledge at each level. There is now no national requirement from the Government stating how schools should assess and record progress.

At Burlish Park, we retained levels last year while teachers worked hard to introduce the new, more demanding curriculum and senior leaders researched the best assessment system for our pupils. Since September we have been using and trialling an assessment system adopted jointly with the pyramid of schools here in Stourport.

This system focuses on whether each child is working…

  • at the expected standard for their age
  • below the expected standard because of gaps in their learning or understanding
  • above the expected standard, recognised as greater depth of learning

Each year group is expected to master a set of age-related objectives from the National Curriculum to meet the expected standard for their age. Teachers assess progress towards these every half term.

During the course of the year, we would expect children to move through three stages – one each term – giving 3 points progress a year:

Emerging –   by the end of Autumn term

Developing – by the end of Spring term

Secure –by the end of Summer term


Our main aim is that every pupil is secure within their age related expectation by the end of the year – for example, a pupil in Year 4 would have a target to be ‘Year 4 Secure’ by the end of the year. (Y4S)

In addition, some pupils may achieve a ‘depth of learning’ grade, shown by a hashtag – #3 or #4. (Y4S#3)

A minority of pupils may be working on objectives in a year band below their own; they will receive support to help them make accelerated progress (more than 3 points) to catch up with their peers.

The Early Years curriculum and assessment system in Nursery and Reception remains unchanged and continues to be measured as Entering, Developing or Secure within the age bands 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months. At the end of Reception, children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.