Guidance for Parents

In 2014, a new national curriculum was published and new forms of statutory assessment were developed to align with its content and principles. Pupils currently in Year 6 will be the first children to sit the new SATs tests in May 2016. In addition, from September 2015, national curriculum levels will no longer be used to assess attainment in SATs and in line with this, schools have been asked to design their own system of assessment, ensuring that this is closely matched to the aims and content of the new national curriculum.

One of the reasons why the levels system was removed was that it was felt by the Department for Education that pupils who were exceeding expectations in a subject may have moved up through the levels too quickly without developing sufficient depth and breadth of understanding of the curriculum content for their age.

Over the past twelve months, the Hexham Partnership of Schools has been working together to agree a new assessment framework following the guidance given to schools. We have played a key role in these discussions and are in position to begin to implement the new framework this academic year.

Later in the autumn term, you will receive a summary of your child’s progress to date. In this, we will use the following terminology, in accordance with the Hexham Partnership assessment framework:

Assessment Descriptor

What this means

Entering (E)

Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations for the subject.

Developing (D)

Secure in the majority of the end of year expectations for the subject.

Secure (S)

Secure in the entire end of year expectations for the subject.

Mastering (M)

Secure in the entire end of year expectations and able to demonstrate a deeper understanding and proficiency in the subject.


Teachers will also be using this terminology with pupils in discussions about their progress.

This is a completely new way of thinking for schools and we recognise that it will take time for pupils and parents to develop a fluency in the new system. However, our guiding principle is that the new assessment system, first and foremost, supports teachers, children and parents in their knowledge of how secure the child is in the age-related curriculum content and makes clear where any gaps in their skills, knowledge and understanding may be.
As the year progresses and we provide information to you on your child’s progress, either in report form or at parents’ evenings, we will also provide further details on how we have arrived at assessment judgements.