Making KS3 assessment work
'In the post-level world that we now teach in, we are responsible for developing our own approaches to assessment and ‘to simplify [that] assessment and focus on teaching and learning and the effective delivery of the curriculum.'
(Commission for Assessment Without Levels, 2015)
The new 1–9 grading system is essentially a ‘mastery learning’ system, which was first expounded by Benjamin Bloom in the 1960’s. The mastery learning system initially focuses on the students’ need to demonstrate their level of mastery in a unit of study or skill set.
The second focus is on teachers formatively assessing the degree to which a student has mastered the unit of learning or key skills, thereby unlocking pathways for improvement. The government has given us the idea that a Grade range 5 and 6 is level with a pass at GCSE, so the Commission for Assessment Without Levels have called this ‘secure’: ‘mastered with the higher number Grade of 7, 8 and 9, emerging would equate to numbers 1 and 2, and developing to 3 and 4.
I’ve developed a method of assessment for drama using the idea of a system of grading rather than a system based on levels. To move forward I’ve actually moved backwards and returned to the 2003 document Drama In Schools, published by The Arts Council, England.
From the document I’ve taken the process of Make, Performance and Respond (MPR) because I believe that these three parts of the theatre-making process are extremely important, and I’ve linked them to three areas of assessment which I think are integral to making a well-rounded and strong drama student.