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Tim Feedback Presentation HERO

Understanding Assessment and Reporting in Key Stage 3 at BIS Hanoi: Part 2

Tim Webb
Tim Webb (12 posts) Head of Secondary View Profile

In the second of three short articles about assessment and reporting at BIS Hanoi, Mr. Webb, Head of Secondary, shows how the National Curriculum levels can be interpreted.

Understanding National Curriculum Levels

In the last week of term 1B (week beginning 10 December 2018), BIS Hanoi will publish student attainment to Key Stage 3 parents. The attainment will take the form of National Curriculum levels. What do they mean?


National Curriculum Levels

In Key Stage 3, summative test results are recorded as a National Curriculum level (see Figure 1 below). Test results are reported to parents in December and June in Year 7, 8 and 9. Your child’s national curriculum level can be compared to the expected progress of an average UK child (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 1:  National Curriculum levels of attainment

High Attainment


Low Attainment


















Figure 2: Graph showing average progress of a UK student from Year 7 to Year 9


Do National Curriculum levels predict future attainment at the age of 16 (IGCSE) or 18 (IBDP)?

Children progress at different speeds; therefore, gauging future performance is often impossible. However, the table below (Figure 3) can be used as a tool to provide an approximate indicator of future performance.

Figure 3: Using National Curriculum levels to indicate future performance

Year 9

6a and up



Year 11: IGCSE




Year 13:


Level 5-7

Level 4-5

Level 1-3


National Curriculum Levels are no longer used in the UK

Most UK schools no longer use National Curriculum levels. Furthermore, the journey of a UK student, whose first language is English, is different from the journey of a 2nd language English user. Therefore, using National Curriculum levels to compare our students to UK students can be misleading for parents. For these two reasons, BIS Hanoi will replace National Curriculum levels with a different attainment measuring system in August 2019.