Life Without Levels



A Life without Levels & ‘A Mastery Curriculum’ at Abbeyfield School


At Abbeyfield we have developed a ‘Mastery Curriculum’ at key stage 3. We assess students’ progress throughout the key stage using a bespoke assessment system that clearly informs us about what our students can do. This curriculum can be downloaded using the links below.


The intention with the curriculum is to map students learning from Year 7-9 to ensure students are stretched and challenged and ready to start a package of GCSE courses at the end of year 9.  The curriculum has a much stronger focus on developing skills in learners as well as ensuring mastery of key knowledge in all subjects.


To assess students accurately against key skills and knowledge we have introduced the language of:

  • Developing
  • Secure
  • Mastery
  • Excel


This language is key to creating a system that supports the assessment of work and conversations between teacher and pupil about a student’s competency with relation to the identified key skills and knowledge for a particular unit within a subject.


The intention is not to simply create a tracking system but to facilitate a language that can be used in the classroom with students. This helps to create a challenging environment in which students are clear about their competencies with core knowledge and skills.


This system is underpinned by the use of statements (commonly referred to as ‘I can’ language) which subject areas have created. These will support the assessment process whilst also informing students of what being secure with a skill looks like and what you need to be able to do in order to master a skill or key topic.


By tracking skills and knowledge, we will be able to give a clear and detailed picture of what students can do & what they understand in each subject area.


Deputy Head – Teaching & Learning Ralph Plummer says “The new system of assessing students can only lead to a raise in standardsas they move towards mastery and clearly understand the progress they have made


If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in contact:


Mr Nick Norgrove

Deputy Head Student Progress

Nic Hathway

Associate Senior Leader Assessment & Advice


Please feel free to download sample materials from some of our subject areas below. This includes annotated exemplar material from Science, assessment grids from Art and ‘I can’ statements used in English. Additionally, a copy of the mapped curriculum for new Year 7 students can be accessed from the link below. A more detailed description of how the system has been developed is also available on the final link.