Now that we have finished the end of key stage assessments and results are in, there is time to reflect on what the new assessment arrangements mean.
One of the things that has become clear with the removal of ‘best fit’ is that we need to adapt our understanding of what a writer is as defined by national assessments. If we consider the Simple View of Reading, there is a very clear understanding that to be a reader you need to have the decoding skills and language comprehension. You are not a reader if you can decode the words but not understand them and nor are you a reader if you can understand words but not decode them.
The same can now be said of writing.
Composition and effect is present in the assessment criteria but worded very differently. It is about noun phrases for detail and precision, about atmosphere, about the use of dialogue to show character and managing shifts of formality. One of the things that the exemplification files did do was to show how the quality of the writing is linked to the grammatical devices used by commenting on their impact.
This year has been stressful in terms of not knowing what the assessment would look like at the beginning of the year. Almost every teacher I have spoken to recently has said that they will start next year very differently to the way they did this year, knowing what they know now.
Is there anything you will do differently in September?