Beyond levels: knowledge-rich and task-specific mark schemes

Clio et cetera

ladder This is not what progression in history looks like.

In my last post, I criticised the old National Curriculum levels or, more specifically, the 1991 Attainment Targets to which schools kept trying to revert. The ladder-like progression models of 1991, in which progress in history was modelled as a set of linear steps, had proven woefully simplistic. The Level Descriptors, first introduced in 1995, were designed to be used at the end of a Key Stage and were absolutely not to be used for individual pieces of work: they were too generic for that purpose. Desperate to demonstrate progress, however, schools split up the levels, turned these into ‘pupil friendly’ language and plastered this across classroom displays and pupil notebooks. There has to be a better way.

I am increasingly convinced that one part of this solution needs to be that the mark-schemes that we use to assess pupil work…

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