2016 Key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)

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Section 2: Key changes

A summary of the main changes introduced for 2016

2 Key changes

The new national curriculum has been taught in all LA maintained primary schools, and some academies, in England since September 2014. Those pupils who are at the end of KS2 in May 2016 will be the first to be assessed against the new national curriculum.

2.1 New tests

From 2016, KS2 national curriculum test outcomes will no longer be reported using levels. Scaled scores will be used instead.

There will only be 1 set of tests for each subject. The tests will include a small number of questions designed to assess the most able pupils so separate tests, such as the previous level 6 tests, are no longer required.

The mental mathematics test has been replaced with an arithmetic test.

The KS2 tests consist of:

  • English reading: reading booklet and associated answer booklet
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1: short answer questions
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling
  • mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic
  • mathematics Paper 2: reasoning
  • mathematics Paper 3: reasoning

A full set of sample tests and materials has been published to help teachers prepare for the 2016 KS2 national curriculum tests.

2.2 Test administration window

The KS2 tests will be administered in the week commencing 9 May 2016.

2.3 Interim teacher assessment frameworks

Following the removal of teacher assessment levels, interim teacher assessment frameworks have been provided to support teachers in making robust and accurate judgements for pupils at the end of KS2 in 2016.

The interim teacher assessment frameworks for key stage 2 are for 2015 to 2016 only. The DfE is evaluating options for future years.

Moderation of teacher assessment

Details of schools’ and LA’s responsibilities relating to the moderation of teacher assessment (TA) have now been published.

The deadline for submission of teacher assessment data is Thursday 30 June. LA moderation will take place from Monday 23 May.

2.4 Test orders

Maintained schools, academies and free schools do not need to place a test order for the standard versions of the KS2 tests. Quantities of test materials will be sent to schools based on their autumn census data and pupil registration.

Independent schools who want to participate in the tests will need to place a test order by Friday 27 November 2015.

2.5 Modified test materials

Schools can order modified versions of the tests, enlarged print, modified large print and braille, via the ‘Test orders’ section of the NCA tools website by Friday 27 November 2015.

For 2016, braille versions of the tests will be available in both Standard English Braille (SEB) and Unified English Braille (UEB).

2.6 Test results in performance tables

Results from tests taken before 2016 will not be counted in the performance tables.

From 2016, schools may consider entering pupils for some or all of the tests early. Where a pupil does not take all of the tests early, they may now take the other tests in future years.

2.7 Science sampling tests

The biennial science sampling tests will take place in June 2016. The tests will be administered in selected schools by external administrators. For those schools selected, participation is statutory.

STA will contact selected schools early in the spring term. STA’s testing agency representatives will administer the tests.

2.8 Floor standards

In 2016 schools will be held to account for the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard at the end of KS2 and whether they make sufficient progress based on a new, value-added measure of progress.

A school will fall below the floor standard in 2016 where fewer than 65% of pupils achieve the expected standard and pupils do not make sufficient progress.

2.9 Progress measures

Progress measures in 2016 will work in a similar way to current primary value-added measures or Progress 8 in secondary schools. A school’s score will be calculated by comparing their pupils’ KS2 results against those of all pupils nationally who had similar starting points.

Pupils will be assigned to prior attainment groups based on their KS1 results.

The department will confirm what score a school would need to get to have made ‘sufficient progress’ after the tests have been sat.

More detailed guidance on how the new measures will be constructed is available.