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Interim Teacher Assessment Frameworks for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

The long awaited performance descriptors for Year 2 and Year 6 have finally been published. However, they are now called the ‘Interim teacher assessment framework’ and are for 2015-2016 only. You can download the assessment frameworks here for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The framework is to be used for end of year assessment only and they are not intended to guide individual programmes of study, classroom practice, methodology, tracking of progress or to be used to mark individual pieces of work. The previously published term ‘mastery’ has disappeared and been replaced with ‘Working at greater depth within the standard.’ English Adviser Shareen Mayers shares an overview of the new assessment framework, with a particular focus on reading and writing.


What does it include?

The interim assessment framework includes end of year statements to make teacher assessment judgements.


Three standards (where appropriate):

ü  Working towards the expected standard

ü  Working at the expected standard

ü  Working at greater depth within the standard


Key Stage 1

Reading, writing and mathematics have three statements (as above). Science has one statement (Working at the expected standard).


Key Stage 2

Reading, mathematics and science have one statement (Working at the expected standard) and writing has three statements (as above) because it is the only area that is not tested.


Key points to note:

ü  There is no longer a ‘best-fit’ judgement and pupils need to meet all of the statements within that standard and all the statements in the preceding standard (where there are three standards). This is to ensure that there are no gaps in learning and that pupils have understood all of the key aspects. This may be challenging for some pupils who find spelling difficult as this carried less weighting previously.

ü  At Key Stage 2, only one statement is needed for reading, mathematics and science because the test will give a score which will determine whether the pupils are ‘at the expected standard’ or ‘at greater depth.’ 

ü  At Key Stage 1, exemplification materials only seem to be available for reading and writing and there is no mention of these materials for science or mathematics.

ü  At Key Stage 2, exemplification materials will only be provided for writing but it is not clear when these will be published.



-       At Key Stage 1, there is a very heavy focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting with no reference to composition. Although, these do not reflect what we should teach to pupils as composition is a part of the National Curriculum. To meet the expected standard, pupils only need to write a narrative about their own and other’s experiences. A range of writing for different purposes is only expected for the ‘greater depth’ standard.

-       At Key Stage 2 and at all standards, pupils are required to write for a range of purposes and audiences but with no reference to writing different text types which were previously necessary. There is a heavy focus on grammar, punctuation and spelling with some reference to ‘creating atmosphere’ and ‘integrating dialogue’ within pupils’ writing.



-       At Key Stage 1, the expected standard does not appear to match with the KS1 reading test performance descriptor for what is expected at the end of KS1. For example, making predictions is only mentioned for pupils ‘Working at greater depth’ within the expected standard but making general predictions is listed as what pupils need to know to meet the standard in the KS1 reading test.

-       At Key Stage 2, the expectations for working at the expected standard seem to match the expectations for meeting the standard in the KS2 reading test for 2016.

Additional areas to the KS2 reading test standard include: reading age appropriate books which includes whole books and not extracts and reading aloud with intonation.


Handwriting at both KS1 and KS2

There is an important statement about handwriting and it is copied below to avoid any confusion:


 ‘Where pupils have a physical disability that prevents them from being able to write, the statements relating to handwriting can be excluded from the teacher assessment. Where pupils are physically able to write and meet all of the statements except for being able to produce legible handwriting, they may be awarded the ‘expected standard’ but cannot be awarded the ‘greater depth’ standard. This refers to the final statements within ‘Working towards’ and ‘Working at the expected standard’.


DfE Interim Assessment Framework for KS1 and KS2.


This is going to be an interesting year for assessment!


Shareen Mayers

Adviser for Keen Kite Books

Shareen is an experienced primary school teacher and senior leader. Currently, Shareen is the Lead Primary English Consultant/Adviser for a successful and high performing local authority and still regularly teaches in the classroom. She has a proven and extensive track record of raising standards in English across a number of schools and local authorities. She is a published educational author for leading publishers.