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What are assessment focuses (AFs)?

Assessment focuses (AFs) are based on the National Curriculum programmes of study and level descriptions. They cover the areas for assessment and provide the framework for National Curriculum tests. Using AFs for classroom-based assessment enables a direct link to be made to National Curriculum standards in a subject and the Primary Framework learning objectives.

  • The AFs sit between the National Curriculum programmes of study and the level descriptions. They provide a more detailed assessment framework against which teachers can judge the outcomes of their teaching and their pupils' learning. They are tools for assessment, not learning objectives. Evidence for the AFs comes from all parts of the curriculum.

For each AF there are one to three bullet points at every level. These are level-related criteria, which identify what to look for as you observe pupils' classroom work.

  • The process of making a periodic teacher assessment judgement using APP involves matching the criteria for a given AF to qualities you have noted in your pupils' work, then refining your judgement by checking the criteria above and below. The steps to follow to arrive at an overall level judgment for attainment targets are detailed in the Making judgements section (page 25).

In APP, teacher assessment judgements draw on the full context of pupils' work, whereas a test can only sample.

The information gained from the APP approach to periodic review:

  • provides diagnostic information on pupils' strengths and weaknesses in relation to specific AFs
  • enables forward planning based on group and individual pupil needs
  • makes the most of pupils' learning experiences across the whole curriculum.