How do the national curriculum levels work?
This is a question that is often asked by parents who are seeking help for their children when they approach Tutor My Kids for home tuition in Cambridge, Ely or Newmarket areas.
At primary (junior and infant) schools in England and Wales,
the levels go from level 1 to level 5 or 6.
I’m confused with the letters after the numbers
Each level is divided into 3 sub-levels. The lowest sub-level being c,
then b then a. e.g. 2a is higher than 2b, which in turn is higher than 2c.
What level should my child be at?
there are, but there’s value in discussing national expectations.
final year of junior) at a level 4. This is known as attainment.
1 (end of year2 or infant school). This is known as progress.
Why is level 4 important?
the end of year 6. This is a key level because it correlates very strongly with
GCSE success at secondary school; children who do not attain level 4 at primary
school tend not to achieve their maths and English GCSE.
Why is level 5 important?
secondary schools ‘set’ or stream for ability. This means that the better the
levels your child achieves the higher sets they will be in at secondary. This
is important because generally speaking the higher sets suffer less with
disruptive behaviour and more productive learning occurs.
What are the expectations for Key Stage 1 (infant school)?
(year 2) because children who get level 2 at this age tend to get at least
level 4 at the end of primary school.
the end of year 6.
How much progress should my child be making each year?
whole levels. If your chid leaves year 2 at 2c, they’ll be expected to reach 4c
by the end of year 6.
– very much like children tend to grow in spurts – schools plan for your child
to make 2 sub-levels (2/3 of a level) of progress a year. E.g. if they start
year 3 at 2c, at the end of year 3, they should be at 2a.
a level each year for 4 years (year 3 to year 6) makes 2 and 2/3 of a level
progress over 4 years. This allows for accelerated progress and/or for periods
when children consolidate their learning.
Will my school tell me the levels at which my child is working?
Cambridgeshire, school are happy to discuss levels with them; the problem tends
to be that parents don’t know what to ask or know how to interpret the
Good questions to ask are:
What should I be concerned about?
the school’s interventions are not improving that situation, it might be time
to talk to school again and maybe look at additional tuition.
probably worth some additional investigation. Some schools do not stretch their
gifted and talented children – those children who are ahead of expectations,
which means that they do not maintain that lead; they slip t being ‘at
reading and maths tend to be typical, and maybe a bit behind in writing.
Cambridgeshire when their child is in year 4 or 5 and they want to ensure that
their child will be on track for a good result in SATs at the end of year 6.