Summary of changes to KS1 and KS2 writing assessments

Posted by Rosie Neill - Last updated on August 30, 2021

This week, the government’s Standards and Testing Agency released changes to  KS1 and KS2 tests, teacher assessments (TA) and LA moderation.

There's lots to take in so we’ve put together this summary of the document’s key points to help you get a quick understanding of what’s new.

Assessment date change

The date for submitting KS1 & KS2 assessments has been pushed back to 30 June 2016.

Assessment supporting evidence Students helping each other with their writing

The evidence to be provided in support of an end of key stage assessment must demonstrate:

  • The pupil shows attainment of all the ‘pupil can’ statements relating to the standard they’ve achieved
  • The teacher is confident that the pupil meets the ‘pupil can’ statements (although there’s no need to provide evidence for this as the pupil’s work will likely show this)

You don’t need to: provide tick sheets for an LA external moderation visit.

You can use: your school’s existing processes for TA, internal and external moderation.

Students working at the ‘expected standard’

The threshold of the ‘expected standard’ for KS2 is now broadly the same as the previous level 4b. But, these pupils are able to demonstrate a range of attainment.

The document gives 2 examples of pupils achieving the ‘expected standard’:

  1. Example 1: Morgan

Morgan shows enough evidence for his teacher to deem him working at the ‘expected standard’. His work shows that he’s working at broadly the same level as 4b.

  1. Example 2: Leigh

Leigh does not meet all of the ‘pupil can’ statements to be considered ‘working at greater depth’, as a result he’s also considered to be working at the ‘expected standard’.

To note: ‘working at greater depth’ is not the same as level 5.

LA moderation process 

Teacher helping students with their writing

The LA moderator will review a representative sample of students’ work. They’ll then hold a ‘professional dialogue’ with teachers to confirm whether teacher assessment standards are being appropriately applied.

Next steps: 

  • Local authorities may require schools to change teacher judgements for individual students if they are not in line with national standards
  • The LA will your school if you should expect a moderation visit. These will take place on or after 20 May 2016, up until 30 June 2016, but you’ll be given notice beforehand.

In the case of: the school feeling some pupils may potentially demonstrate additional evidence before the TA date, this will be discussed as part of the moderation process. The school and LA can agree to re-moderate these pupils.

Handwriting and joined-up handwriting

  • Pupils deemed working towards or working at ‘expected standard’ - do not need to show joined-up handwriting
  • Pupils awarded ‘working at greater depth’ at the end of KS1 - must be able to join-up handwriting in most of their writing
  • Pupils considered ‘working at greater depth’ at the end of KS2 - must meet all of the statements relating to handwriting in the preceding standards

Example materials for KS1 and KS2

Teachers who are confident in their judgements do not need to refer to the exemplification materials.

These are there to help teachers who want a helping hand with their TA.

Writing evidence of independent workingPen and paper

If writing evidence has been redrafted by the pupil, this is acceptable as independent work.

The redrafted work may be prompted by self, peer or group evaluation, or after discussion with the teacher.

Pupils can also independently use resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses, word banks, classroom displays, books or websites.

Work is not independent if it was:

  • Modelled
  • Heavily scaffolded
  • Copied
  • Paraphrased
  • Redrafted because the teacher directed the student to change specific words or punctuation

Difference between exclamations and exclamation marksExclamation mark

According to the national curriculum, an exclamation is one of 4 forms of sentences. An exclamation: 

  • Is most often indicated by an exclamation mark
  • Must be introduced by a phrase with ‘what’ or ‘how’
  • Should be followed by a subject + verb + any other elements

An exclamation mark is a punctuation mark that shows the writer wants to indicate heightened emotion. It can:

  • End statements, commands and exclamations
  • Be placed after a phrase or single word (e.g. an interjection)

To remember:  Pupils deemed working at the ‘expected standard’ or ‘working at greater depth’ at KS1 must use a sentences with different forms in their writing.

Ofsted and Regional School Commissioners (RSCs) 

Since this is the first year schools are working with the new interim assessment frameworks, Ofsted inspectors have been asked to take into account national performance and contextual factors when considering a school’s performance in writing at KS2.

RSCs have also been asked to be mindful of the impact on marking decisions about issuing warning notices and tackling underperformance.

  • To read the full government document (dated 8 March 2016), click here.

What do you think? What do these changes mean to you? Share in the comments below...


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