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Assessment without levels

Following the introduction of a new National Curriculum framework from September 2014, the government has also decided to remove level descriptors.  The government’s policy of removing level descriptors from the National Curriculum is set out in terms of freeing schools from an imposed measure of pupil progress. The Department for Education has said that levels are not very good with respect to helping parents to understand how far their child is improving. In their place, from September 2014, “it will be for schools to decide how they assess pupils’ progress”.


With levels removed and the focus now on raising the achievement of every pupil, Fordbridge's governors, leaders and teachers have chosen a new way to measure pupil attainment and progress.

Our new assessment system 

The old and new curriculum have different content. Many of the objectives in the old curriculum have shifted to lower year groups in the new, more rigorous curriculum, this means it is not possible to have an exact correlation between a level that was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment and the requirements new National Curriculum, this means a shift in thinking and in the way we assess out children’s outcomes.


The school has welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents.  We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.


The principles that underpin our assessment system are:

  • Every child can achieve: teachers at Fordbrige have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
  • The National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
  • Children will make age appropriate progress – 12 months in 12 months.
  • Teachers are experts at assessment - assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.


In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations; this is broken down into key outcomes (known as KPIs) for each curriculum year. We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:

  • A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for English (and no further) would be said to be working at Year Group Secure for that subject.
  • A child achieving half or so of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as Year Group Low for maths.

Our assessment and reporting system includes:

  • Ongoing assessment by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.
  • Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why.
  • The use of a “Must, Should and Could” in each lesson which are discussed and agreed with by the children during each lesson, work is then assessed against these.  The children know that the Must is what every one should achieve, the Should is a bit more difficult and the Could is even harder.  The Must, Should and Could set out clearly what the children have to do to be achieved.
  • Three way feedback, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
  • Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.


Tracking progress over time

School will regularly assess each child against the key objectives (KPIs) through teaching, marking and planning.  This information will be entered on a tracking system which will show the level of understanding and knowledge each child has.  This information will inform staff of what the child needs to do next to achieve their potential.  Staff know where the children should be, level wise, at the end of each academic year and regular discussions with the Senior Leadership Team take place to ensure that this progress will be made.


More able children

Rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum these children will work on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening their learning.


The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.


Early Years - Nursery & Reception

Children in Nursery and Reception will continue to be assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile.


Assessments will be based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:

  • Emerging, not yet reached the expected level of development
  • Expected
  • Exceeding, beyond the expected level of development for their age 


Progress will be tracked using a matrix system which will show where the children started, where they need to be by the end of the year and where they currently are.


Reporting to Parents


We will continue to have discussions at parent, teacher, consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring terms will be based on the assessment system in place for each age group.  You will also receive more detailed information at the end of each year.




The New Mathematics Curriculum

The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure all pupils: 

• become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately

reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language

• can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 


At Fordbridge Community Primary School, our new maths curriculum is designed to provide children with engaging, enjoyable and challenging opportunities, in order for children to continuously develop their mental and written calculation skills, as well as providing them with a sound understanding of different mathematical concepts, which enable them to solve problems and reason mathematically. Our aim is to support children, so that they gain breadth and depth across the range of objectives covered per year group. Through the different schemes followed at Fordbridge Community Primary School, including Numicon and Bright Pi, we encourage children to use resources to gain a concrete, visual understanding of different concepts.


It is widely recognised that parents and carers play a vital role in helping their children to achieve success at school.  Below is a helpful handbook, which demonstrates how maths is taught at Fordbridge Community Primary School, as well as suggestions of activities that you may like to try at home.  

Maths - Overview of Expectations for each year group

Children have a varied and creative approach to English at Fordbridge. Throughout Reception, Year1 and Year2 children follow the RWI programme, where they learn phonics, reading for fluency and comprehension, letter formation, spelling, vocabulary and sentence skills. They also have two creative writing lessons per week in order to enhance their writing and to ensure our children have lots of writing opportunities. In addition to these English lessons, Guided Reading lessons take place everyday.

When the children have completed the RWI programme during year 2 they then move onto the English curriculum. Years 3 - 6 also follow the overview above. Each half term, the children complete a different unit of work based around a novel, visual literacy or a unit linked to their theme. During each unit of work, children will have opportunities to produce a variety of different writing for different purposes. We ensure our English lessons are fun, creative and develop children's writing and spelling skills each day. Children in years 3-6 also have guided reading lessons four times a week and a handwriting lesson at least once a week.

   Read Write Inc Phonics


Here at Fordbridge Primary we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading. RWI is a method of learning centred around a systematic approach to letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn how to blend sounds
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out

  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

When using RWI to write the children will:


To find out more follow this link:


  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.

  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk

  • write simple sentences

  • Use adventurous vocabulary within their writing


Spelling at Fordbridge Primary

Read Write Inc. Spelling (new edition) for Years 2 to 6 has been specially created to meet the higher demands of the new curriculum spelling appendix.

  • Spelling rules and concepts are introduced by aliens from an exciting online spelling planet
  • A range of fun activities teach children adventurous words and build their confidence
  • Every child’s progress is recorded in pupil Log Books
  • Children are prepared for the spelling component of the Key Stage 1 and 2 statutory assessments

Follow the link to find out more:


During phase 1 children will learn to spell through RWI phonics and a key word approach.




We are proud of the broad and balanced curriculum we offer pupils. Please find information below about different subjects and how we teach this.


If you require any further information about how we teach subjects, please make an appointment to meet a member of the Senior Leadership Team.



At Fordbridge, our children will learn about various Themes throughout each year. Theme lessons enable the children to enhance their historical and geographical skills. Each Theme has a specific focus, such as a period in history or a specific country. 


We use Theme as an opportunity for the children to understand the world around us by learning about diverse places, people and natural and human environments. We explore how societies develop and have changed through time. Within history, we encourage our children to think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective.


Curriculum Overview

English Overview new curriculum


Science at Forbridge aims to engage and enthuse the children’s inquisitiveness and curiosity about the world in which they live. In Foundation stage, the children learn through play and exploration. Pupils skills develop in order for them to observe places, materials and living things; consider features of the environment and how environments can vary and make simple observations of animals and plants.

Pupil’s from year one through to year six are taught using The Engaging Science Scheme of work. Written in collaboration with Solihull schools, this scheme of work enables children to experience all strands of science including physics, biology and chemistry. The strand of ‘working scientifically’ also threads through all themes studied by the children.


Pupils at Fordbridge are taught Computing through the Rising Stars 'Switched on Computing' scheme of work. The scheme delivers the full Computing programme of study with a focus on providing opportunities for pupils to work collaboratively and creatively on the new topics. These topics include programming, computer networks and productivity.


During the Autumn term, pupils from Years 1-6 have been focussing on teaching E-Safety to give pupils the skills and knowledge to use technology safely. Pupils will be introduced to programming and coding after the half-term break, with each Year Group then teaching from the Rising Stars scheme after Christmas.





As part of the children’s religious education, we will be following ‘Discovery RE.’

Discovery RE is an exciting new curriculum which will help the children to develop a greater understanding of the 6 main religious groups:

Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism.

Christianity will be taught in ever year group.  Each year group will then focus on one or two other religious groups, developing children’s learning in a more progressive and in-depth way.

The new scheme also makes strong links to our British Values; Tolerance, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Democracy.