A New National Curriculum – Tim Oates, Cambridge Assessment

December 7, 2013 alison witts AssessmentCurriculum

A captivating and inspirational walk-through of the considerations, the research and international comparisons that lead us to question curriculum and assessment design.

To possess learning capital we must possess it in some way: high attainment, high equity and high enjoyment supports both factual understanding and deep knowledge.  The national curriculum should be a tiny component of the outcomes of schooling.  Knowledge isn’t about deep conceptual understanding.  The national curriculum and school curriculum differ.  A school curriculum should be adopted that best suits the setting and to ensure that all school-children are fulfilled.

Tim presents a view that that assessment should be measured in relation to what the state is interested in and that these fall into three key assessment mechanisms…

  • a system to demonstrate attainment at 11 years
  • phonics screening in years 1 and 2
  • a mechanism to judge progress (Value Added)

He also made reference to the need for a higher density of formative assessment drawing attention to the lack of relevance of numbers and levels.  Tim promotes systems such as those in Finland, Singapore and Wroxham School where levels are no longer used to define attainment.


Q. How should the benchmark for determining pupil progress be set?

Q. If we choose not to use levels to define attainment, how do we track pupil progress?


cambridge assessmentnational curriculum 2014tim oatesvalue added

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