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From this September, the Government has made a huge change in the way that children in schools are to be assessed. This is to tie in with the New National Curriculum, which we began to use in 2014.  The aim of this guide is to hopefully give you some clear information about how these changes have impacted the way we assess here at St Nic’s.


In 2013, the DfE announced that there would no longer be National Curriculum levels and schools would have to set up their own way of assessing pupils.



One of the major reasons for this change was because children would often solely focus on and even lose motivation as a result of, their level, rather than read and respond to the targets given by the teachers. Furthermore, some schools encouraged teacher’s to move pupils up through levels quickly, rather than securing knowledge in a subject area.


Our New System

The removal of levels has offered us at St Nic’s an exciting opportunity to experiment and investigate alternative ways to track and monitor progress and achievement.

From September 2015, we have opted to adopt the award winning system, Learning Ladders as our system for assessment for KS1-2. We have also adopted Tapestry as our form of assessment for Reception.

Both of these systems allow teachers to totally personalise assessment for each child against every curriculum skill within Reading, Writing and Mathematics. 

Another benefit of these chosen systems, is that they encourage and provide opportunities for children to secure key concepts and focus on deepening learning. Rather than formal testing, Learning Ladders allows for assessment to happen more frequently as the child learns.


Support your child

From the end of January 2016, you will be able to access Parent View on Learning Ladders. This feature enables you to help your child’s progress, and it lets you view what your child is good at and areas they need to work on. It also provides you with website links to external sites which show you how you can help your child at home.

This feature is also multi-lingual, a fantastic tool, so you can read all about your child’s progress in your home language.


What is looks like…

All National Curriculum 2014 objectives and skills, for Reading, Writing and Mathematics, have been set out in a ladder format.

Under each rung of the ladder there are three white boxes. When your child has demonstrated a suitable independent understanding of each objective, their class teacher ticks off the boxes. Alongside this, you will also be able to view images of your child’s work. These images are used to celebrate your child’s success in achieving the objective.  This feature also enables you to track your child’s progress and areas they need to work on throughout the year.

Your child’s class teacher will update these ladders half-termly.