National Curriculum levels
At Key Stages 1, 2, and 3, the National Curriculum is accompanied by a series of eight levels. These are used to measure your child's progress compared to pupils of the same age across the country.
All schools assess pupils' progress during the school year, though some make more frequent use of the National Curriculum levels than others. You'll receive information about the level your child has reached at parent-teacher evenings and in their school reports.
Your child will be formally assessed at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. At the end of Key Stage 1, the teacher's assessment of your child's progress will take account of their performance in several tasks and tests in English and Maths.
At the end of Key Stage 2, your child will take national tests in English, Maths and Science. These are called Standard Attainment Tests (SATS). You will be sent the test results and his teacher's assessment of his progress. By the end of Key Stage 1, most children will have reached level 2, and by the end of Key Stage 2 most will be at level 4.
Cognitive Abilities' Tests (CAT)
Schools often use tests of cognitive ability to discover each pupil's potential in verbal, non- verbal and quantitative skiills. Scores are given according to the tests which an individual school selects.
The value of these to the parent of a child who stammers
Then attainment should be monitored against the pupil's potential. When a pupil stammers it is possible that teachers may underestimate ability, as so much initial assessment and general impressions of ability are based on the child's capacity to provide oral responses.
It is important that you take steps to ask all your child's class teacher when you receive a report if your child is attaining at the level expected of his potential. It is helpful if you you ask the teacher to explain the tests of cognitive ability that your child has taken and the meaning of the results that he achieved. If you keep a copy of those results, every time you speak to the teacher you can ask whether your child is reaching the attainment level appropraite to his ability in that subject. When your child is not attaining at a standard commensurate with his ability then there must be further discussion and some intervention arranged.
Helping your child to cope with assessments and tests
Teachers receive training in administering tests and assessments and if oral work is involved you are entitled to enquire about the approach that will be followed for your child. If he is quite comfortable with his speaking, even when stammering, then it is just important that everyone involved with him gives support and praises him for his efforts. However, if he gets anxious and finds any kind of change to his school routine disturbing then you do need to talk in advance with the class teacher to alert her to your concerns and see how he can be supported. There are strategies, such as giving extra time, for adapting oral tasks at BSA:Education-Tests that teachers can follow should it be helpful.
Do remember that a child should never be made to feel that he is a failure because he has not done well in an assessed task. Tests and assessments are intended to identify your child's level of attainment and any difficulties that he may be encountering, so that planned intervention can be offered. When your child stammers it is essential that you make sure that his self-esteem is not undermined by any inappropriate comments made about his level of attainment by family or friends.
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