(Still) Life After Levels: Same As It Ever Was

Book scrutiny this morning for some year 7 and 8 students. Evidence of progress? Yes. Evidence of diagnostic feedback that enables that progress? Well, yes, I suppose so. A bit (admit levels of generosity to colleagues perhaps slightly higher than normal At This Time In The Term i.e. with The End In Sight). And are the students on track to reach their target GCSE grades? Yes, no, maybe.

Evidence from infrequent visits to Other Schools in recent years has shown often bewildering range of strategies to cope with the removal of Levels at KS3 some years back, most of which appear to have replaced notion of Levels with some other arbitrary concoction (I heard of one school who were grading students according to different types of bird. “I am happy to report that Charles is on the Golden Eagle pathway” and “I’m rather afraid to have to inform you that Jezebel is struggling to raise herself from the Common Sparrow pathway”. Cue Prisoner proclamations of “I am not a bird! I am a free man/woman/preferred gender identity!”.)

Common sense however appears to be settling like a fine dusting of snow on Educational Landscape, driven no doubt by the transition at GCSE from Grades As Letters to Grades As Numbers. Good to see evidence in books therefore of students being assessed as being “on flightpath to 5” and “on flightpath to 3”. More elderly and cynical colleagues suggest this Perilously Close to being a Level but they are clearly mis-informed.

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