KS3 Combined Humanities – National Curriculum Levels

As so many schools are also adopting a more combined approach to teaching the Humanities subjects, I have produced NC Level descriptors that incorporate the main elements of the Geography, History and RE descriptors in one grid

This can be used to report on progress where giving separate levels may be more difficult. These are not official levels – they are my own work. However, I thought others may find them useful when assessing pupil progress in Humanities

KS3 Humanities Levels DJD 2010

APP exemplification materials published for Foundation subjects

The exemplification of standards files for foundation subjects (including History and Geography) have been published at last. They support effective assessment by demonstrating national standards across key stage 3 at National Curriculum levels 3 to 8. They are a resource and reference point for teachers:

  • when assessing pupils’ work in relation to national standards
  • for training and professional development purposes
  • when thinking about next steps for students.

Each exemplification of standards file includes: examples of students’ classroom work assessed against national standards; other supporting evidence; a detailed commentary; and an overall assessment judgement on the students’ work.

To search use the drop-down menus to choose the subject and level. Then click on ‘find’.

To access the materials click here

APP in Geography and History – update

The latest news that I have is that materials relating to APP in Geography and History will be released by the summer of 2010. Although I can find no official news on the release, I was recently informed of this news at a curriculum conference by a subject advisor.

The progress tools for teachers will include:

  • The APP handbook to help teachers use the materials and implement the approach.
  • Assessment guidelines for assessing pupils’ work related to curriculum levels.
  • Standards files, which are annotated collections of pupils’ day-to-day work that exemplify national standards at different levels. These help teachers to reach consistent judgments about curriculum levels.

The Geographical Association will publish Assessing Your Key Stage 3 Geography Curriculum in April. The book anticipates and helps prepare for the implementation of APP in geography.

All other History and Geography materials are expected to be published on the National Curriculum website by June 2010.

For more information about how APP will work in our subjects, take a look at the presentation I produced recently by scrolling down the page or by clicking here: Getting ready for APP in Geography and History

Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) in Foundation subjects

Despite a lot of talk about APP in Foundation subjects, it appears that no resources or official guidance has yet be published for the Foundation subjects such as Geography and History. Along with other Foundation subject colleagues in Wiltshire, I took part in the QCA trial last year, using the draft documentation and materials.

After the attending the training session and using the materials on a small group of students, I was pleased to find the materials were easy to use and the task straightforward. More importantly, I could see the point of it and how it would help provide useful information and guidance for students, parents and teachers. However, we were told that this was only a draft and that the trials would inform any changes that may be made before being rolled out officially.

As I said, that was over a year ago and I have heard nothing since submitting my evaluation. The QDCA website still states that materials for KS3 Foundation subjects will be published in 2009-10. However, as yet, there is no other information on their website.

As soon as I find out any more information, I will be sure to post it here. However, in the meantime, I have added some links below to useful websites which will tell you a little more about APP and it’s purpose

What is APP? – QDCA National Curriculum website
APP guidance – National Strategies website
Getting to grips with APP – Downloadable pamphlet
APP Case studies – Secondary Magazine

What can we learn from the experiences of the Core subjects?
The English department at Downlands Community School in Hassocks has been applying the new QCA Assessing Pupils’ Progress for three years. See it in action in a Year 9 English lesson, focusing on a specific Assessment Focus to target students’ learning needs around writing. Head of English, Paul Barber, who introduced APP to his school, also discusses the challenges and successes they have had using this approach.