Why national curriculum levels need replacing

The Wing to Heaven

One of the main reasons why people say we need to keep national curriculum levels is because they provide a common language.

I am all in favour of a common language, but levels did not provide this, as I have argued before here. Since I wrote that last post, I have come across this fascinating paper by Peter Pumfrey. It was written nearly twenty years ago, when levels were first introduced. It looks at the results of pupils in the KS1 reading tests. It is summarised by Bonnie Macmillan in Why School Children Can’t Read:

An investigation comparing pupils’ standardised reading scores with their level of attainment on national curriculum tests is starkly illustrative.  Children who had been assessed as having attained level 2 (the average expected for their age) on national curriculum tests were found to have reading ages, determined from standardised testing, ranging from 5.7 to…

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