2016 Teacher Assessment Exemplification Materials

James Clements 2

Well, we’re finally there. The DfE has released the last exemplification materials: documents for reading and science KS1 and KS2 have been published and KS1 mathematics has been updated to include exemplification for ‘working towards the expected standard’ and ‘working in greater depth within the expected standard’. All of the materials can be found here, but here’s a quick overview of the new documents.

Date for Teacher Assessment Submission

The teacher assessment submission deadline has been moved back. All submissions must now be made by Thursday 30 June 2016 for key stages 1 and 2.

Using the 2016 Materials

The Standards and Testing Agency say:

  • Schools must use the interim TA frameworks to reach their TA judgements.
  • If teachers are confident in their judgements, they do not need to refer to the exemplification materials. The exemplification materials are there to help teachers make their judgements where they want additional guidance.
  • The judgement as to whether a pupil meets a statement is made across a collection of evidence and not on individual pieces of work.


  • The teacher assessment allows for assessment of the elements of reading that can’t be easily assessed through the national tests: for example making inferences based on a text that is read to them or reading fluently, decoding words accurately.
  • At both KS1 and KS2, the examples given for teacher assessment take place as part of the usual business of teaching: a guided reading session and listening to an individual child read.
  • Unlike the national tests, the texts the children read in the TA exemplification documents aren’t extracts especially chosen for assessment- they are rich, quality whole texts. The books and poems chosen provide a good level of challenge, matched to children’s confidence in reading – A Year 2 child is enjoying Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl and a group of Year 6 children discuss The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.
  • At KS2, evidence of reading isn’t only drawn from English lessons; opportunities to read books and retrieve information in subjects across the curriculum are used as evidence.

Mathematics at KS1

  • Examples are drawn from children’s usual work in class – their maths books, card-sorting tasks, work on whiteboards, and worksheets, rather than specific assessment tasks.
  • At KS1, the exemplification materials show children have made use of concrete apparatus (which might include number lines, cubes, Numicon, Cuisenaire rods) to support their number work.
  • For the assessment statements involving mental calculations, written evidence is still given. Practically, for these statements a teacher might choose not to refer to the exemplification materials, instead drawing on their knowledge of a child’s confidence in performing mental calculations as shown in class.


  • At KS1 and KS2, there is just one performance descriptor – ‘working at the national standard’. Children will either meet it or not.
  • As there are no national tests for science at either key stage, how teachers assess children’s scientific knowledge and skills is up to an individual school to decide.
  • At both Ks1 and Ks2, examples are drawn from children’s usual work in class – their science books, worksheets, write-up of investigations rather than specific assessment tasks or science tests.

Evidence for Teacher Assessment

With all of the different subjects, there is no requirement for schools to create special portfolios of evidence to provide evidence of each standard as has been done here in the exemplification materials. Judgements can be made by the teacher based on their knowledge of a pupil and the assessments and evidence from their work in class. As the DfE TA Clarification document makes clear: ‘schools are free to use their existing processes for teacher assessment and internal/external moderation.’


James Clements is a member of the Advisory Board for Oxford Owl, Oxford Primary’s online school improvement service. He has worked as a teacher and senior leader in an outstanding inner city primary school, as a Local Authority Lead Teacher, and was consulted on the New National Curriculum for English. James is now an English adviser and the creative director of Shakespeare and More, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes effective English teaching.
Follow James on Twitter @James_ShMore

Assessment GuideJames is the co-author of ‘A Guide to Assessment: Tools and support for primary schools in England’. The guide is for primary teachers, but will be of particular interest to Senior Leadership Teams (SLTs), including headteachers and middle leaders with responsibility for school assessment arrangements, tracking progress and accountability measures.  Download ‘A Guide to Assessment: Tools and support for primary schools in England’ now.