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National Curriculum

Level descriptions

Attainment targets set out national standards of performance – what children should know, understand and be able to do – in National Curriculum subjects at nine different levels. Each target consists of eight level descriptions, plus a description of exceptional performance above level 8.

These national standards allow children, parents and teachers to see how well they are doing, how this relates to what they have done before and how it compares to children of similar ages across the primary phase.

Primary schools should use the level descriptions for English, mathematics and science. You do not have to use the level descriptions for other subjects. However, teachers may wish to refer to the subject attainment targets in the later stages of the primary phase to develop a sense of level of achievement. The areas of learning outline progression more explicitly than before, and this will support planning for the next steps in learning.

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