The National Curriculum states that:
The level descriptions provide the basis for making judgements about pupils’ performance at the end of Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. At Key Stage 4, national qualifications are the main means of assessing attainment in National Curriculum subjects.
|Range of levels within which the great majority of pupils are expected to work||Expected attainment for the majority of pupils at the end of the key stage|
|Key stage 1||1-3||at age 7||2|
|Key stage 2||2-5||at age 11||4|
|Key stage 3||3-7||at age 14||5/6|
If we extend this, we can make some simple ‘rule of thumb’ judgements for levels in Years 7, 8, and 9. The table below shows roughly which levels students in each year should be attaining.
|Projected GCSE grade |
(ie with 2 years more study)
The ‘Projected GCSE grade’ is a guide only. One of the problems with using the level descriptions in Art and Design (as with other foundation subjects) is that this is based on unmoderated teacher assessment. It may be helpful then to relate judgements to the moderated national standards in GCSE in this way. More experienced teachers can look at work in Year 9 and have a fairly good idea of where that student will be in two years’ time with further study in art.
However, if we are to use the levels directly, the language in which they are written is not especially useful for assessing progression clearly. It is certainly not written in a form that students can access.
The following table addresses this issue by simplifying aspects of the language of the Art and Design level descriptions. It turns them into a form that is more useful both for assessment and also for setting tasks which can create evidence for making appropriate judgements about where students are at the end of Year 9.
Assessment in Art and Design
|Explore and investigate||Understand||Evaluate and develop|
|3||You can explore ideas and investigate using materials||You are aware of other artists (style and context)||You can visually adapt and improve your work|
|4||You can explore ideas and investigate using materials||You can comment on the work of other artists (style and context)||You can visually adapt and improve your work and combine and organise ideas|
|5||You can explore ideas and use materials to develop a project with guidance||You can be guided to make a personal response to the work of other artists (style and context)||You can visually adapt and refine your work and analyse and comment on images|
|6||You can explore ideas and use materials to develop a project with some independence||You can show some independence in making a personal response to the work of other artists (style and context)||You can visually adapt, refine and evaluate your work and take account of the response of your audience|
|7||You can explore ideas and use materials to develop a project with independence and confidence, with skill in handling visual and tactile qualities||You can make judgements that support a personal response to the work of other artists (style and context)||You can visually adapt, refine, analyse and evaluate your work to produce work of good quality and take account of the response of your audience|
|8||You can appreciate and use the potential of materials and processes to develop ideas and meanings with skill in handling visual and tactile qualities||You can research, document and present information on the style and context of other artists’ work that assists the development of personal ideas||You can visually adapt, refine, analyse and evaluate your work to produce work of high quality and take account of the response of your audience|
This table has also been provided as a handout:
The assessment sheets included here provide the opportunity to assess projects formally. Generally, this is carried out when a project is complete; however, formative assessment towards the end is often very useful.
As Art and Design teachers, we are very used to giving lots of verbal feedback and assistance to students, indeed, this is at the heart of Art and Design teaching. However, the assessment which can be carried out using the provided sheets gives us a different type of opportunity, and a clear way of providing feedback to the student.
As a variation, the target section on the teacher’s sheet can be completed in the lesson by the student and used in the same lesson as a discussion point. The teacher can then either validate the target by signing it, or make an addition or change if appropriate. This has proved to be a really useful way to focus students on what they need to do to improve their own learning. Note that these sheets can be adapted for use in your own situation.
A class assessment sheet has also been provided: