How do we ensure impact on pupil progress?
On our Making the Most of Classroom Monitor pages, we discuss the ways in which teachers can make their assessment work for them and build 'little and often' assessment into their ongoing teaching practice. This really is the key to impacting on pupil progress. No matter how long we may stare at a graph, even if we toggle between graph and table, or turn the bar chart into a pie chart, the real impact on pupil progress happens in the classroom.
So really the question is, usually from SLT, how can we best support teachers and empower them to make an impact on learning?
Here we look at some of the tools available in Classroom Monitor to make sure that the focus on impacting pupil progress is maintained:
Why do we need to leave behind our ideas of linear progress?
We wrote a blog some time ago about why non-linear progress is important; especially for the children who were previously falling behind their peers. The video below delves further into examples which emphasise why it is so important to move away from an idea of progress always being linear and, somewhat conversely, also shows why this will be likely, eventually, to result in steady progress for all within the new National Curriculum.
How do we manage the focus on Age Related Expectations with a whole class?
In the current National Curriculum, we've been asked to focus on the content and skills required for the age group of the children in the class rather than teaching them according to an ability label. This doesn't mean that we should ignore gaps in prior learning but we should be looking to close any that are there as quickly as possible. Whether dealing with mainstream pupils who are "falling behind" or SEND pupils who may not be working at Age Related Expectations for most, or any, of their schooling, the video below looks at how we can approach lesson planning to ensure we cater for all of the pupils in a class.
How do we track the progress that pupils are making?
In the old National Curriculum, pupils moved from one sub-level to the next in a fairly linear way which made measuring and tracking this progress fairly straightforward. In the current National Curriculum, a pupil accesses the age related expectations for their current year group whilst quickly filling any gaps that they may have in their previous learning. This means that measuring progress is not as straightforward as generating a number and measuring how this matches expectations and indeed Ofsted do not expect to see any particular method of tracking progress. This requires a change in the way that we think about progress. There are a number of different ways of demonstrating progress in Classroom Monitor which are far more informative in terms of impacting that progress than a simple number could ever be.
How do we check that pupils are making expected progress through the key stage?
Again, this isn't as straightforward as it used to be but arguably creates more of an opportunity for us to maximise the progress made by individuals rather than accepting that it is at an 'expected' level. While the progress accountability measure maps a path from an end of KS1 level to an expected end of KS2 standardised score, the usefulness of assigning pupils to one of the 21 Prior Attainment Groups for impacting on progress is limited and indeed the government only ever intended these progress measures to generate a progress score for a cohort rather than individuals. As Ofsted do not expect to see any particular method of tracking progress, schools are approaching this in different ways. Many are assigning pupils to 3 or 4 Prior Attainment Groups so that they can monitor their attainment and you will find more ideas on the demonstrating progress in Classroom Monitor page.