However, as we see in our A Curriculum That Counts case studies this isn’t true. In fact in many cases primary schools are really exciting places offering rich and diverse learning opportunities.
Primary school teachers and leaders are a resilient bunch, and they go above and beyond to give their children the best education that they can. This means educating the whole child.
The reason why so many primary school teachers and leaders are cross, upset and confused by these new assessments is that they utterly fail to capture the sheer variety of learning opportunities that they offer to their pupils, and only measure a narrow range of their achievements.
Look at some of the fantastic examples of things our case study schools are doing:
- Forest Schools
- Re-enacting the Great Fire of London
- Creating in the Mud Kitchen
- Use of drama to deliver history topics
- Creating advertising campaigns for Audi (with a beautiful sports car)
- Using focus groups to secure pupil learning
- Entrepreneurship through “flourishing fivers”
- Celtic roundhouse
- Reading around the fire
- Planning using Bloom’s Taxonomy
Our case study schools have a lot in common:
- They have high expectations for the children in their care and no cap on the aspirations they have for them.
- The curriculum matches the context of the school – none are “bound” by the national curriculum – all use it as a base for the school curriculum.
- The teachers are supported and trusted as professionals.
Our case studies also have dedicated videos on assessment which have lots of useful ideas for schools finding their way in a world without levels.
So yes, there are huge concerns about the Government’s reforms to key stage 1 and 2 assessment and accountability, but let’s not despair just yet. In fact let’s do the opposite. Let’s share the great things we are doing and celebrate the great practice going on in our primary schools.
If you’ve got ideas that you want to share then please submit your resources, comment on the case studies and above all share the good news!
ATL will continue to fight for a genuinely fair accountability system, but at the same time we will also champion fantastic teaching and learning and celebrate the successes of our primary schools.