The 2014 Primary National Curriculum is a significant change to the previous curriculum. The biggest change is the removal of levels and level descriptors. This is the first real change to assessment has since its inception in 1988.
One of the main aims of the curriculum is to not restrict schools, schools can explore different ideas, different methods without being restricted by the National Curriculum’s requirements. However this freedom does come with very big costs. The two biggest disadvantages are the lack of support/guidance and the lack of standardisation. Schools are still required to have a rigorous assessment system in place so they can show progress within the key stage. This is for each school to develop and use, but if every school develops their own system with their own aims, objectives and levels, how can schools work together effectively and how can schools pass meaningful information on to the next school?
How has B Squared Updated?
We started developing our new breakdowns in response to the new curriculum when the new curriculum was released in 2013. Our English, Maths, Science, PSHE and Computing breakdowns were available when the new National Curriculum came into effect in September 2014. We developed 2 breakdowns, a breakdown based on school years in line with the new National Curriculum and a breakdown called Steps - based on the structure of the National Curriculum schools have been using for the last 25 years. Schools can then choose how they want to assess their pupils and use the appropriate breakdown.
Our new breakdown based on years is targeted towards mainstream pupils. It will assist schools to show progress over short periods of time, target interventions early and to use the software with pupils, so they can see what their next steps are.
Our Steps breakdown structure is based on the old National Curriculum, but contains all the new areas and has the same raised expectations as our Years breakdown. Steps is useful for pupils working significantly below age related expectations, where professionals do not want to discuss attainment in terms of Years.
To help schools to develop their curriculums further, we will be expanding the breadth of some of our subjects. Schools can show the different areas they cover and the depth they go into within these areas. Computing is the first curriculum that had this change, this was followed by DT and PE.
As we released the new curriculum we produced documents to help teachers with the transition to the new curriculum. They identify how the focus has changed within subjects and how we have reacted to this. The document below explains the implications of the new curriculum, how the curriculum has changed and the changes we made.
If you would like any more information on how B Squared updated it's assessments for the new national curriculum, please contact our sales team on 0845 4660 141 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.