Assessing Pupil Progress
The new National Curriculum has set out clear expectations for what children should achieve by the end of each key stage and, for English, Maths and Science, has provided guidance as to when in each phase this content should be covered. The programme of study expected end of year outcomes have been adapted to help support practitioners in making their step judgements over each academic year. These formative statements may be shared with pupils to help define and guide next steps in learning. As a key time saving element the Target Tracker software has been designed to allow group assessment entry and reports to get a quick and visual snapshot of pupil achievement.
The statutory statements published in the National Curriculum show end of year expectations. Our curriculum advisers have worked collaboratively with highly skilled practitioners to produce guidance and exemplification to support transition and, a key concern with any new system, moderation. These examples are presented in the Target Tracker software as additional statements of guidance, examples of children’s work, or a video file with audio.
This supporting guidance is available for English, Maths, Science and Computing.
TRACKING ATTAINMENT AND PROGRESS WITH STEPS
To track pupil attainment we have devised a system of steps. This performs the function of communicating progression and attainment in a simple format that may be aggregated to produce reports of overall and average progress. This is based on a carefully considered logical approach to assessment and follows on from the assessment system we have introduced in EYFS.
The terminology has been selected for consistency and clarity but also to avoid any suggested judgement when describing the attainment of pupils working below the expected band for their year group.
Each year band has been broken down into six steps: beginning (b) beginning + (b+) working within (w) working within + (w+) secure (s)secure + (s+)
The three broader sections may be thought of in these terms-
Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focussed on the criteria for the band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still to gain complete confidence in.
Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focussed on the criteria for the band. This is a teacher best fit decision but could be informed by statement assessments between around 40% and 70% achieved.
Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focussed on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met.
Secure + effectively represents the consolidation of the band and, while pupils will still need to pass through it in the following year, it allows settings to identify pupils who, while still operating at age related expectations, have attained a more thorough and wide ranging grasp of the content and concepts. Secure + demonstrates the foundation from which a pupil may proceed onto the criteria in the following band.
Where the sections have been broken down into steps this is designed to allow the teachers to represent and report progress for a pupil where they may not feel that the best fit is within the next section. For example, a pupil may be assessed as Band 2 Beginning in the Autumn term in year 2. The next time the teacher records a summative assessment they may not feel that the pupil has progressed to Working Within, but the pupil has made progress. An assessment of Beginning + allows that progress to be represented and will feed through to overall class and key stage reporting. The inability to record smaller progress measures was a frustrating issue with the outgoing levels (and points) system.
At appropriate termly or half termly intervals, teachers select a step to show where each pupil is working.