Do national curriculum levels provide us with a shared language?

The Wing to Heaven

In a few recent posts I’ve talked about the difficulties with using criteria as the sole reference point for exams. I think these difficulties can be seen very clearly with national curriculum levels, which are used as a method of criterion referencing internal assessments.

National curriculum levels are going to be abolished, but it is likely that many schools will continue to use them for their own internal assessments. One of the reasons many people like NC levels is that they provide a ‘shared language’ or a ‘common framework’ about what pupils can and can’t do. In this post, Chris Husbands runs through a lot of the problems that NC levels had, but concludes that they were still worth retaining because of this common language. He argues that national curriculum levels were valuable because ‘they provided a national standard…The loss of a common national framework – something which international…

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