Unpacking the National Curriculum

28th June 1996 at 01:00
Dorothy Kavanagh offers two examples of judgments which helped place borderline children.

The border between level 2 and 3 in "using and applying maths" A class made 57 small cakes and sold them in the school at lunchtime for 10p each. They took Pounds 2.60 in cash. Their teacher asked them whether there would be enough to give one each to their own class the next day. The computation involved was easy enough for level 2, but the ability to work out how to use computation to solve the problem would put a child in Level 3.

The border between level 2 and 3 in writing It is necessary to look at spelling, handwriting and composition. Alice could consistently spell some common words, such as "in", "was", and "the" but not "have" or "went". She could not be regarded as above a low level 2 for spelling. Her hand-writing had clear ascenders and some descenders and was also a low to mid-point level 2. But the content of her story about a dog was outstandingly lively, included character and dialogue and followed a relatively sophisticated argument between an adult and a child. She was regarded in this area - which carries by far the greatest weighting - as not quite level 3, because there was not quite enough breadth of vocabulary to justify it. But the content of her story placed her firmly in the middle of level 2.

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