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Explaining "old" National Curriculum levels

The National Curriculum Levels are used to assess your child's progress. The levels at the primary age range from Level 1 to Level 5 and Level 6. If a child is working towards Level 1 then their teacher will give them a 'W (working towards) level'.

The levels are then divided into sub-levels, e.g. 2c, 2b, 2a

C - the child has just met the required standard

B - the child is working well within the level

A - the child has reached the top of the level and is working towards the next level.

Sub-dividing the levels means that teachers can monitor progress on a term-by-term basis.

This is how the levels build up:

W -> 1c -> 1b -> 1a -> 2c -> 2b -> 2b -> 2a -> 3c -> 3b -> 3a -> 4c -> 4b -> 4a -> 5c -> 5b -> 5a -> 6

The expectations for each year group are shown below
◦Year 1 - 1a
◦Year 2 - 2b
◦Year 3 - 2a/3c
◦Year 4 - 3b
◦Year 5 - 3a/4c
◦Year 6 - 4b

Children are expected to achieve one level of progress every two years so that a child achieving a 2b at the end of Year 2 should achieve a Level 4b by the end of Year 6. However, all children are individuals and so for some children starting school below the national average, achieving a Level 3 would be a success. The children working at Level 5 and 6 in Year 6 are working at a high level.

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