From September 2014 national curriculum levels in English schools were replaced by a new grading system where at the end of each school year children are assessed whether they are:
'Working at the Expected Standard', Working above the Expected Standard', Working towards the Expected Standard' or 'Working below the Expected Standard' for any particular year group.
Pupils in Year 2 & Year 6 are subject to external tests in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar and Maths where they are awarded a raw score based on the number of correct responses in the test. The raw score which a pupil achieves are linked to a scaled score ranging from 80 to 120. A scaled score of 100 represents the expected outcome
Children in other years are assessed using NFER standardised tests where 100 is also considered the expected standard except in Year 1 where 94 is the expected standard.
Children are also given a teacher assessment judgment based on their performance against key constructs.
At the end of the Reception year children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
During Year 1 children sit a phonics check, this is repeated in Year 2 for any child who does not meet the threshold in Year 1.
At the end of Year 2 and Year 6 Children are externally assessed using the end-of-Key-Stage tests.
Children in Reception are assessed against the 17 strands of the ELGs and are awarded either a ELG1 (emerging), ELG2 (expected) or ELG3 (exceeding). Pupils who achieve an ELG2 in all of the prime areas and specific areas of Literacy and Mathematics are said to have achieved 'a good level of development' and are 'school ready'.
Children in Year 2 and Year 6 are assessed in Reading, Writing and Maths both individually and as a combined measure across all three subjects.
Children who do not meet the expected standard are assessed as either working below the expected standard or working towards the expected standard. Children who are working above the expected standard for their year will be challenged futher through application of skills in reasoning and problem solving situations and will be awarded a Greater Depth Standard. To be judged as at the GDS a pupils need to achieve a scaled score of 110+ (Year 2 & 6) or a standardised score of 120+ (other year groups except Year 1 where it is 115).