Section 3: Progress

How do we know how well our pupils are progressing?


A number of models of assessment are developing. This section (to be completed Spring 2015) will build on emerging practice, making links back to the NCFRE and taking account of the following points:


  • Cross-phase collaboration across subjects and schools is crucial.
  • New approaches to assessment must be more integrated with changes to curriculum planning
  • Many innovative schools are moving towards a command or competency model of assessment using language such as ‘Emerging/Developing/Secure/Exceeding’ to describe pupils’ success in relation to the defined ‘content’ of the curriculum
  • Planning and teaching needs to include clear ‘progression objectives’ so that pupils and teachers have real ownership of the goals of the learning
  • Solo taxonomy models are proving worthy of further exploration – they are adaptable to the needs of different subjects but also offer a common approach so good practice can be shared across subjects
  • Bloom’s taxonomy is useful in helping to extend thinking skills and improve questioning for assessment but NOT to devise a new set of levels
  • New ways of designing points systems for tracking progress across cohorts and linked to the ‘command’ model (not dissimilar to the approach used in EYFS) are being developed. These have the virtue of being much more directly related to what pupils are actually learning and are not reliant on disembodied level statements.


The guidance will draw on a number of reports:

1.  The NAHT report on Assessment:


2.  Beyond Levels: alternative assessment approaches developed by teaching schools (National College of Teaching and Leadership September 2014):


3.  ‘The Framework for the National Curriculum – A report by the Expert Panel for the NC review’ Dec 2011:


4.  Tim Oates’ YouTube presentation on assessment and levels at: