17 December 2021

What do the levels mean?

A number of parents have recently asked this question, referring to the levels shown on the End of Year Achievement Summary, as well as in Spotlight reports.  If your children has just started school it is highly likely that you'd be wondering the same thing.

The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is divided into levels, each level takes 2-3 years for children to work through.  Children in both Year 1 and Year 2, are expected to be working at Level 1 of the NZC.  Children in both Year 3 and Year 4 are expected to be working at Level 2 of the NZC, and so on.  You can see from the diagram below that each curriculum level spread across multiple year levels.  
The New Zealand Curriculum / Kia ora - NZ Curriculum Online
Like many other schools, we divide each level into 3 sublevels;  We have used 'A' or 'achieved', to indicate that the child is achieving at the high end of the level; 'P' or 'proficient' to indicate achievement in the middle of the level; 'B' or 'beginning' to indicate the child is just within the level.  

End of Year Achievement Summary

In our End of Year Achievement Summary, you are shown the Level your child has achieved in Reading, Writing and Mathematics, alongside the level expected of children at this Year level.
The following example shows a Year 3 child's reported achievement level; this child is achieving above expectations in Reading and Writing, and within the expected range for Maths.

For Level 1
Sometimes we've described children working within Level 1 as being "early Level 1" or "pre- writing".
1A = (Level 1 Achieved) achieving at the top end of Level 1
1P = (Level 1 Proficient) achieving in the middle of Level 1
1B or 1 early = (Level 1 Beginning) achieving at the start or beginning of Level 1; or 'early Level 1'  -  this is where a normally achieving child near the end of their first year at school would be achieving.
Pre Writing  typically describes children who have recently started school who are at the very beginning of Level 1.  
(It's not a particularly good descriptor and we intend to change this in the future.)

Here's an example showing reported levels for a Y0 child who has been at school for just 1 term.  This child is achieving within the expected range in all 3 core learning areas.

Levels in Spotlight

You will also see Levels indicated in our Spotlight reporting.

When teachers use Spotlight to report on your child's learning, they select a WALT from our Learning Pathway that describes what it is that the child has been learning to do.  (WALT stands for "We Are Learning To...." and is the Learning Outcome or Achievement Objective that is being learnt.)

Spotlight also shows you the learning area that the Learning Outcome comes from and the level that your child is learning at.  If the WALT is shown in grey and has the words "Working Towards" they have not yet achieved this WALT, i.e they are still learning it.  If your child has achieved this WALT it is shown in green.

Here are 2 examples:

This first example is for writing.  The WALT tells us that the child is learning to write compound sentences, and that this is from Level 1.  This WALT has not been achieved as it is shown in Grey with the words "working towards".  This child is working at level 1B-1P which is an appropriate level for a child in their first 2 years at school.

This second example is for maths.  The WALT indicates that the child is learning to add and subtract with materials by counting them.  We can see the child has achieved this WALT because it is coloured green and says "achieved".  This is an Level 1 early WALT which would be appropriate for a child in their first year at school to be learning.

Teachers select a few WALTs each term to report on in Spotlight to give an indication of your child's learning and progress.  When they do this they usually also add a photo and write a comment about your child's learning .  There will be many WALTs that your child is learning, often several at a time, that are not reported on.

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