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St Bernards Catholic


In 2014, the government made a change in the way that children in schools are assessed. This was to tie in with the National Curriculum that came into schools and became statutory in all classes from September 2015. It was a new way of thinking for schools, and assessment began to look very different to how it has done for the past 20 years. The aim of this guide is to hopefully give you some clear information about all the changes.

English - The programme of study for English is partly knowledge-based; this means its focus shifted to more emphasis on knowing facts, developing skills and understanding features in writing. Changes were characterised by an increased emphasis on the technical aspects of language but with ongoing attention on the creative aspects. English is set out year by year in Key Stage 1 and two-yearly in Key Stage 2. Appendices give specific content to be covered in the areas of spelling and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. These are set out yearly across both key stages.

Mathematics - The main areas in 2014's programme of study for mathematics are called domains. These are number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range – every year group has a unique combination of domains and sub-domains. There are problem-solving objectives within the other areas of study. Most of the changes to the mathematics curriculum involve content being brought down to earlier years, (detailed year group breakdowns of these programmes of study can be found on the School’s website).

St. Bernard's approach, using Milestones 

At St. Bernard's we have separated the curriculum into three 'Milestones' so to breakdown the curriculum for English and Maths into more coherent and achievable sections. So, after completing Early Years  and working towards the Early Year's goals, children in year 1 begin working towards Milestone 1's goals.  Then in year 2 our children work towards completely achieving Milestone 1. 

In year 3, children move to working towards Milestone 2, where is in year 4 the children move to securing themselves in the goals of Milestone 2.

Finally, come year 5, children move to the last milestone (Milestone 3). After working towards the milestone's goals in year 5, in year 6 the children aim  to have met Milestone 3's goals.

Please see the table below which shows the information above in an alternative way. 

 DfE Descriptor

Target Tracker



Beginning to work within the milestone 

Yet to be secure in the end of year expectations but beginning to work within.


Advancing in the milestone 

The child is meeting many of the milestone's goals and gaining security in others.


Deepening in the milestone and exceeding expectations 

Secure in almost all / all the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently.


 If you have any queries whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact the school.