The p-scales are a set of descriptions for recording the achievement
of pupils with special educational needs (SEN)
who are working towards the first level of the National Curriculum (level 1). They
are split into eight different levels with P1 being the lowest and P8 the highest.
Level P8 leads into national curriculum level 1. Levels P1 to P3 are not subject-specific,
as they describe early learning and conceptual development. At these early levels,
a curriculum subject offers a specific context for learning.
Department for Education, 2010
How do teachers know what a particular p-scales 'looks like' in practice?
Special schools come to an agreed consensus of what each level descriptor in core subjects looks like in practice, so that they can moderate pupils' work.
This can be even more effective if groups of local special schools work together and come to a shared understanding as this ensures more rigour when assessing pupil progress and attainment against the p-scales.
Read this short document gives a more detailed description of p-scales.
Watch the video of an English lesson at a special school again.
The teacher has planned to differentiate her lesson through different learning outcomes and tasks.
One of the pupils featured in the video, Anthony, has been assessed as working at level P6 of the National Curriculum for Writing and Communication and is working at level P7 for Reading.
Familiarise yourself with what this means by looking at the levels descriptors for P6 and P7 for all of the areas within 'English' on pages 8-12 of the following document.
In the lesson, Anthony is expected to:
- Follow instructions for making a sandwich
- Sequence actions, and
- Make the sandwich
Look at the P6 descriptor for 'writing' on page 12 of the p-scale level descriptions document and then look at the example of Anthony's work.
Does Anthony fulfil the P6 criteria and match the moderated piece of work? Compare your answer with the completed assessment and moderation form below.