Capita recently released a their new ‘programme of study marksheets‘. They allow teachers to record a grade against each and every statement in the entire national curriculum. They work well, but there’s no option to give an ‘overall’ summative assessment for a subject. Here’s a solution I worked out for a school that wanted a closer link between formative assessments and the overall strand and summative subject assessments.

Why Summative Assessment Still Matters

To explain, here’s a video I made recently as part of my programme of study (PoS) course:

In the video I take the grades entered by a teacher into a typical PoS marksheet – E for emerging, S for secure etc – and extract just the statements that are relevant for the NAHT key performance indicators system:


On the left hand side we have the 7 elements of the national curriculum that the NAHT rated as the most important for year 5 reading. In the middle we have a set of statistics: the total points across the 7 elements (where M=4, S = 3, D = 2 and E=1), then the number of statements where the pupil is E for emerging, D for developing, S for secure and M for mastered. The last two columns of numbers identify in how many of the statements the pupil is either secure or mastered, expressed first as a count and then as a percentage. The final three columns are the overall grades: one for the reading strand, one for the word strand and a final over-arching reading grade.

Schools tell me that a summative assessment still needs to be made to track progress over a period of time. This is to demonstrate  progress to Ofsted. Yes, progress can also be demonstrated by reference to written work the children have produced but schools tell me that not all progress creates written evidence, especially in KS1.

As the video shows, the final reading grade is then used is a more traditional summary tracking marksheet, and looks like this:


Notice how we calculate progress by counting the grades the pupil has passed through since the end of the previous summer. This is a crude way of calculating progress but pragmatic schools continue to use it, until someone finds a better way!

If you want a similar system for your school, contact me for more details.