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The DfE is conducting a review of the primary and secondary National Curriculum.
This site contains the statutory programmes of study for National Curriculum subjects which maintained schools must follow until a new curriculum is in place.

How to use the exemplification files



The exemplification of standards files enable classroom teachers across the country to have a common understanding of different levels and the different aspects of the subject that underpin each one.

You can use the files:

  • to standardise judgements, so that teachers have a shared understanding of national standards before they make assessments

  • as a reference when assessing students and clarifying what progress looks like

  • to support moderation

  • to exemplify good assessment practice.


For tips on navigating the files, see the User guide section.


Schools could use the materials for standardisation training in these ways:

  • teachers assess the work of one exemplification of standards file student using a version with the judgements removed and then compare their judgements with those in the file

  • teachers copy one or two collections of work from their own students, without any annotation or commentary, and ask colleagues to identify students in the exemplification of standards files whose performance is closest to their students

  • each teacher assesses one student and agrees the level judgement with a colleague by comparing the student's work with that of an exemplification of standards file student at that level.


When assessing your own students, you can use the exemplification of standards files:

  • as a benchmark

  • to compare your students' performance with examples that have been assessed against national standards

  • to check how much evidence of attainment is needed at a specific level

  • to see what is typical of performance in adjacent levels, for example comparing two collections of work

  • to check what progression looks like.

In-school moderation

Moderation generally involves a group of teachers reviewing a sample of class teachers' initial assessments, reconciling any disagreements and agreeing a final judgement. These materials help to ensure that the final judgement is based on evidence and is in line with national standards.

Moderators can resolve disagreement by asking: 'How does this student compare with student X or Y from the exemplification of standards files?'

Exemplifying assessment practice

Subject leaders and others running training sessions could use the materials to show how the principles underpinning periodic assessment work in practice, or to illustrate particular aspects of assessment.

Discussion could focus on:

  • attainment at a particular level or an aspect of the subject at different levels

  • extending the range of evidence in different subjects to support periodic assessment

  • how much evidence of attainment is needed to support a judgement

  • differences between evidence from oral work, practical activities and writing

  • whether it is harder to find evidence for some areas of the curriculum than others and what can be done about this

  • identifying the next steps in teaching and learning for a student or groups of students.

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