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Children across the UK are assessed in schools in a standardised way – this gives schools,  local authorites and the Department of Education powerful data to help raise standards. Each stage of primary education is assessed and are broken down as follows:


The New Foundation Stage Profile has 17 ‘Early Learning Goals’. The children are assessed as being either at the emerging, expected or exceeding assessment scales for each of these goals.  At the end of EYFS a child is expected to achieve the Early Learning Goals. The ELGs are broken down as follows:

Prime areas of learning which are:

  • Communication and Language - three goals
  • Physical development - two goals
  • Personal social and emotional development - three goals       

Specific areas of learning which are:

  • Literacy - two goals
  • Mathematics - two goals
  • Understanding of the world - three goals
  • Expressive arts and design - two goals

At the end of EYFS if a child attains the expected level (or better) in all the prime areas (8 goals), literacy (2 goals) and mathematics (2 goals) they are described as being having a ‘Good Level of Development’. This would provide a very solid platform for the next stage of their education.

Pupils are assessed on entry (giving a baseline) and continually throughout their EYFS year. Communication with parents is key and gathering evidence to prove what stage a pupil is in relation to each goal is crucial.

The end of year report will breakdown each of the ELGs for parents.


Once pupils move in to KS1 they start a more formal stage of their education and are assessed in a variety of ways. Each assessment method allows teachers to give an accurate picture of the strengths and developmental needs of a child. Children spend two years in KS1 - Y1 and then Y2.  In June, during a child’s time in Y1 they sit a Phonics Test to ascertain their abilities in this crucial area. In May of their time in Y2 pupils sit formal exams; these are known as standard assessment tests (SATs). Children sit tests to assess their reading, writing (including spelling and punctuation) and mathematics abilities.


Once leaving Y2 children move to KS2 where they spend four years until they make the step to secondary school.

Varied assessment continues and children sit formal exams in all year groups (Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6). At the end of Y6 pupils undertake SATs once more, in May to assess their abilities and knowledge before leaving primary school. The exams are in reading, spelling, punctuation, grammar and maths This information is vital for secondary schools as they aim to place pupils in appropriate sets in Y7 as children embark the next phase of their education.

The assessment system that Great Waltham C of E VC Primary School have adopted is also used by some of our River Chelmer Primary Partnership (8 primary schools linked with Chelmer Valley High School). Children in Y1,2,3,4,5,6 wil all be given reports using this assessment system.

The expectation is that schools report children’s progress against age expectations. Broadly speaking:

  1. Working beyond age expectations (a greater depth of understanding) the skills and knowledge for their age.
  2. At the expected level for their age.
  3. Below the expected level for their age.

The key listed below will be used in all written reports to parents. The bands refer to:

  1. Acquiring
  2. Securing
  3. Greater Depth
Attainment Explained: Effort Grades:

NE = not entering the level required for the knowledge, skills and understanding for Y1.

A=Excellent; tries very hard at all times


A = acquiring the level required for the knowledge, skills and understanding for Y1.  B=Good; tries hard most of the time
A+ = moving towards securing. C=Satisfactory; an acceptable level of effort
S = securing the knowledge, skills and understanding for Y1.  D=Improvement needed; must work harder
S+ = moving towards greater depth. E=Cause for concern; little effort being made
GD = a greater depth of understanding for the knowledge and skills for Y1.   


This is the example for Y1. In Y3, the key remains the same but the letters relate to Y3; this continues for all year groups. The ‘NE’ key is necessary for the small number of pupils who may be behind their chronological age group or for children with Special Educational Needs. For children who are performing very well the expectation is that they will receive the ‘GD’ attainment and this would be known nationally as ‘greater depth’. It is not expected that children learn skills outside their year group, rather, they deepen their knowledge and further their skills. This may be difficult with very able mathematicians. If your child falls into this category you would be notified by class teachers.

Children working at the securing range will be age appropriate and in line with national expectations. Children at the acquiring band at the year’s end will have to work hard to catch up and may have intervention sessions at school.

A child’s journey across one school year may look like this:

Autumn Term  Spring Term Summer Term 

Working in the ‘Acquiring’ band

Working in the ‘Securing’ band

Some pupils may still be in the ‘Acquiring’ band

Continuing to work in the ‘Secure’ band

Some pupils will be working at the ‘greater depth’ band


Please contact your child’s class teacher if you have questions about your child’s attainment and progress.