Based on the current National Curriculum Levels the skills that are required for a Level 6 in both reading and writing are principally the same as those required to get a C at GCSE in English Language. From this I feel it would be prudent to use this as a benchmark for the rebuilding of our assessment system. In order to highlight the similarities between a Level 6 and a C grade, here is a ‘pupil speak’ version of the criteria for Level 6:
- Level 6 students use a variety of sentences and begin those sentences in interesting ways;
- Level 6 students use a range of language features that are suited to the style of writing and text type they are producing or analysing;
- Level 6 students can engage a reader with a range of descriptive features and unpick alternate interpretations of other texts.
Why are they getting rid of it?
The level of sophistication between the writing of a KS3 student and the writing of the same student in KS4 is different; the students will have learned more words and been exposed to more styles of writing and taught stuff in the interim hopefully, but the skills are the same. I am not proposing that a Level 6 and a C grade are the same, however I am highlighting the fact that the skill set they are using is the same. The tools they use to create and reflect on texts. The structures and skills needed for a Level 6 should enable every student to achieve a pass in English GCSE.
Any English teacher reading this will know these similarities. From this link between the skills required for both Level 6 and a C then we must assume that in fact the Dept for Education love Level 6 as much as I do. Why else would they outline these skills as being what is required for a pass at GCSE? I intend to use it as the basis for assessing skills next year – more to follow… want to help?