As part of the end of year assessments, from Year 1 to Year 5, we use a series of tests which, as well as providing attainment data, provide data which enable us to monitor pupils’ progress from year to year. The exception is Year 6, where we have been using the SAT exams as a measure of attainment. It is important to realise that the National Curriculum levels which we report to parents are not derived directly from the tests. The tests provide information which is combined with other assessment information, gathered over a period of weeks, and from which the teachers then allocate levels to each child.
We have decided that from this year we will no longer use SATs as part of our assessment process. For some years now the SATs system has been moving away from testing and towards greater teacher assessment. Indeed, National Curriculum levels themselves are expected to be discontinued in due course. Five years ago, SATs were used to test science, maths and all aspects of English; now they test only maths and some aspects of English, with teacher assessment playing a much larger part. Instead we shall use the same series of tests that we currently use in Years 1 to 5, as these exams provide more useful information. They are also less restrictive, and we will be able to continue to extend the children into Year 7 and 8 work rather than ‘dumb down’ to focus on Year 6 SATs revision. We shall continue to provide comprehensive reporting of progress, using nationally standardised assessment data, in maths, science and English – we shall simply use a different test system as part of this process.