Before I discuss assessment without levels and give you a few thoughts, let me let you into a little secret. One that I have kept close for long time. I haven’t given an individual piece of work a national curriculum level for about 15 years! In that time I have been praised in Ofsted inspections for giving high quality feedback and having a well thought through approach to assessment. I have had a clear rationale for assessing work and have been convinced that this approach works. But recently I have sullied myself. I have been working in a school where I have no choice but to give individual work a level. Yuck!
I felt guilty, like a liar as I wrote 4a, 5b, 6c next to the essays I marked. Why? Because I knew deep in my soul that I didn’t have a clue what these numbers and letters meant, that I was plucking them from the air and making them up. The students were either ecstatic or down hearted when they saw the number and letter on their work, convinced that it was worth something, instead of the hoax that it really always has been.
I can truthfully say that I am over the moon that levels have gone, or will go across the land. But, isn’t it a shame that no-one on SLT’s, to my knowledge, has thought through exactly how to replace them. Why? Is it:
- That they are too busy collecting data and creating paper trails on everything that moves to satisfy what they think Ofsted are looking for?
- SLT is mainly made up of PE, and Maths teachers and they are convinced that levels work?
- That no one has a clue how to create a one size fits all subjects, system?
- All of the above?
If you want our advice and a few thoughts on assessment with out levels / how to operate with integrity in a level free world, click here for more…