Assessing, Recording Progress
At Mill Green School, accurate assessment is essential to securing and measuring learner progress. The assessment, recording and reporting of learners’ achievements involves everyone. Assessment is central to class room practice; a key professional skill; essential to effective planning and recognises the range achievements of all learners. Assessment is essentially a process which involves all stakeholders. It draws upon a wide range of evidence and provides constructive guidance about how to improve. A key purpose of assessment is to inform teaching and learning. The assessment and tracking procedures in place enable impact on learning and teaching, pupil progress and achievement. The focus is embedded in enabling all children and young people to become better learners and more confident people.
Using assessment data:
Whole school analysis of data, gained from a range of assessment, tells us ‘how we are doing’ as a school and as individual learners in order to identify key issues for improvement.
Individual pupil data and subject specific data is recorded through BSquared commercial assessment package and the linked Group Analysis Programme. CASPA links with specific BSquared data and enables a measure of comparison of achievement with similar learners nationally. Feedback is used by Mill Green to monitor achievement and progress; identify strengths and areas for development; inform target setting and to allocate resources and interventions appropriately to support improvement.
Students at Mill Green work towards accreditation from a number of providers which ensures recognition of achievement across the breadth of curriculum provision. Agreements with local national and regional business and employers enable endorsement of specific vocational skills linked to assessment within agreed criteria.
Pupil data is tracked regularly by the Senior Leadership Team to support school improvement and identify the need for interventions. Outcomes are shared and challenged as appropriate to individual needs and through regular staff meetings, workshops and monitoring activities. This supports progress, target setting and enables celebration of achievement and planned interventions as appropriate. Pupil data is used to inform the appraisal process.
Subject leaders are provided with additional time to analyse data recorded on BSquared through GAP. A progress report is produced by each subject leader which is shared with all teachers within focussed meetings.
An expected level of ‘good progress’ is consistent for KS4. It is agreed by SLT in line with previous expectations through Progression Guidance or equivalent progress through a KS.
- Assessment judgements made by staff are formally moderated on a termly basis. This promotes celebration of achievements; sharing of best practice; agreed and standardised teacher judgements against agreed criteria.
- Work levelling within class teams is part of more regular class team discussion
- Staff teams work together to moderate work levels to agreed criteria based on P levels and national curriculum expectations and our revised APP as appropriate.
- All staff teams work within an agreed process to moderate a range of work samples over a variety of levels and subject areas.
- Within a network of similar schools across Merseyside, Mill Green School contributed to a resource which provides a bank of neutral and levelled materials to support this process further. Agreed, levelled DfE materials (Assessing the Pscales ) are available to staff teams to further support this process.
- The annual review process is an important part of the moderation process. Individual learner achievement, progress and targets are outlined, discussed and agreed on a multiagency basis against the objectives of the statement of special educational need or the new EHCP.
- PACE2 task based assessment is used formatively throughout the year to moderate and confirm judgements on learner completion of a P level or NC expectations. PACE2 is also used summatively in the summer term to standardise assessment judgements and support teacher assessments which are used within CASPA.
- Designated time is allocated for this process using prescriptive tasks and standardised resources and materials.
- The use of PACE2 to moderate and standardise judgements is resourced and supported considerably by staff in the Curriculum Access Team to ensure accurate and agreed assessment.
- In the summer term, class teams discuss learner levels supported by concurrent moderation of a range of work evidence. This provides the opportunity for agreed baselines and starting points for the next academic year.
- BKSB is used in KS5 in a similar way to PACE2 as described above. BKSB assessment more accurately supports the adult curriculum framework rather than the national curriculum.
- BSquared assessment tool is also used in KS5 to track progress in literacy and numeracy. This is based on progress within the adult curriculum framework.
- External qualification and moderation procedures, as required by individual awarding bodies, are supported within school through accurate internal verification and standardisation procedures.
- Student portfolios of work in the 14 to 19 college phase are moderated on a monthly schedule to an agreed focus by a mixed staff team representing SLT, teaching staff and support staff.
Learners join Mill Green School at different starting points throughout the year and during a learners’ school life. Some learners are transferred from mainstream or other provision often with a record of extreme and challenging behaviour, poor academic achievement, poor attendance and exclusion. Learners often have low confidence and poor self esteem on starting. Some have associated mental health, emotional and well-being issues such as threatened self-harm. Some learners may transfer from similar provision to Mill Green from another LA.
In order to ensure accurate starting points, baseline assessment is carried out, over a period of time, on starting Mill Green School. This involves:
- collaboration with the Curriculum Access Team; PMLD Sensory Support Team ; ASD team; behaviour support and Mill Green’s Family Liaison Coordinator as appropriate
- transition information from a range of agencies (therapy, medical, CAMHS, sensory support, social care, parents, previous school etc;)
- PACE2 task based assessments (all age) and BKSB assessments (14 to 19)
- Observations and records of previous achievement are used to inform the assessment process for accurate levels across the curriculum and to ensure the wellbeing of new learners.
In addition, some learners transfer at Y12 to 14 to 19 college provision at Mill Green School. These learners may be from local 3 to 16 CLD/SLD provision; mainstream high school or other provision. These students usually join college at the start of the academic year following a well planned transition during the previous year. This involves:
- attendance at other schools, by Mill Green senior staff, at final annual review meetings for 14 to 19 admissions
- supported and non-supported visits to Mill Green in the summer term
- close liaison between staff at both schools and transition information from a range of agencies (therapy, medical, CAMHS, sensory support, social care, parents/ carers)
- collaboration with the Curriculum Access Team; PMLD Sensory Support Team ; ASD team; behaviour support and Mill Green’s Family Liaison Co-ordinator as appropriate
- BKSB assessments; observations; and records of previous achievement used to inform the assessment process for accurate levels across the curriculum and to ensure the wellbeing of new learners.
These baseline procedures ensure progression at an appropriate level linked to P scales or National Curriculum Levels or Foundation Learning and the Adult Curriculum Framework (M Level / Entry Level.) College and KS4 learners continue to work within an appropriate learning pathway towards their full potential and the best qualifications and accreditation they can achieve.
Assessment for Learning:
Effective assessment for learning identifies where learners are in their learning; where they need to go and how to get there. Learning is improved through assessment when learners are actively involved in their own learning; are involved in self and peer assessment; are well motivated and have positive self esteem and teaching is adjusted to take account of assessment results.
Assessment for learning depends on well-developed planning; accurate and challenging target setting; effective day to day and formative assessment strategies; skilful use of questioning and higher order questions; feedback on learning; involvement of parents and carers and formative use of any summative or diagnostic assessment used.
- Clear learning objectives/ outcomes which are shared with learners, phrased in terms of what learners will know, understand or be able to do.
- Clear success criteria which is understood by learners.
- Effective evaluation to inform next steps, including the level of scaffolding or nature of prompting required.
- An appropriate pro forma is available as school good practice for short term planning.
- (Further information can be found in the teaching and learning policy)
- Challenging and realistic targets are set and linked to ‘good’ progress; prior achievement and national guidance. Targets are monitored and reviewed termly through Teacher Challenge meetings. All phases in school and college have agreed procedures and age appropriate strategies for target setting; effective questioning strategies and AfL.
Strategies to use for day to day assessment:
- Questioning which is prompting and probing checks for understanding and enables learners to demonstrate learning to support rapid and sustained progress.
- Listening to learners; enabling communication through AAC and allowing sufficient processing or thinking time.
- Discussions, giving learners the opportunity to articulate their successes against learning objectives and reflect on their progress.
- Structured observations of learners on task to include information about tasks or contexts where learners succeed as well as supporting learning through scaffolding, modeling, demonstrating etc
- Analysis of work for indications of success against the learning intentions and identifying next steps. (Include capturing practical work, oral work and collaborative work and annotating effectively)
- Engaging learners in the assessment process through self and peer assessment related back to the learning objective and success criteria. This develops confidence, self-advocacy and helps identify next steps. Taken out sentence!
Feedback on learning:
- Oral feedback which focuses on success and improvement against the learning objectives gives learners confidence to make mistakes.
- Written or visual feedback which focuses on identifying elements of success and one or two areas to improve against the learning objective will support learners to develop skills and concepts to apply them to the next task. Use of symbols and supported reading will enable learners to embed and apply feedback to later work.
- Marking learner work must be in line with school expectations. (See teaching and learning policy.) Next steps in learning must be clearly identified. Where mistakes, mis-understanding and errors have been identified in learner work, teachers must clearly evidence correction and/ or learner understanding in subsequent examples of learner work.
- Learner work and marking is monitored by SLT throughout the year in line with the teaching and learning policy.
- Formative use must be made of summative assessments. Summative assessment repeated over a period of time shows whether support strategies are enabling learners to make progress at a rate similar to or better than learners with similar starting points or learning needs.
Involving parents/ carers:
- Ongoing contact through the home/school book; planned homework; parents meetings; annual reviews; transition meetings and family liaison co-ordinator enables sharing of successes and concerns and allows for any planned actions.
IEPs are an important part of the assessment procedures at Mill Green School. Our learners access curriculum as an entitlement. IEP targets are designed to aid the removal of barriers to learning and are set as targets to enable access to the curriculum provision. The targets may be set to promote communication; manage challenging behaviour; encourage effective learning behaviour or promote positive self esteem.
Some learners have therapy related targets. Teachers are supported by the appropriate health professional in setting and evaluating these targets.
Learners with ASD needs have targets in line with the triad of impairment.
Most targets set should be achievable within the term and should be SMART
IEP targets are evaluated termly and new targets set as appropriate. Parents/ carers are included in the process and encouraged to comment or input into the process. Learners are involved in the process as appropriate to their age and ability.
Annual Review of Statements of SEN/ Education, Health and Care Plans
Annual reviews are held in the Spring Term and are conducted to meet statutory and local requirements. Parents and all relevant agencies are encouraged to attend. Learners attend as agreed with parents/ carers.
The annual review process forms part of our moderation process as achievement, progress and targets are outlined, discussed and agreed on a multiagency basis against the objectives of the statement of educational need/ EHCP. Participants in the review have information about learners in a range of different contexts which constructively informs the process.
Initial Y14 transition reviews are held in the Summer Term of Y13 followed by further more focussed review in Y14. This enables sufficient time to finalise transition plans and arrangements and ensure appropriate transfer of assessment and other information.
Transition across key stages is planned to meet individual and group needs. All relevant recorded assessments and information for the new class group is transferred on an agreed date during the summer term and is made available for all staff involved. Class teams are expected to meet to discuss learner levels and this is supported by concurrent moderation of a range of work evidence. Learners spend a half day with their new class group and staff. Arrangements are flexible for learners who may need a more individual approach or longer planned transition.
KS4 learners are based within 14 to 19 provision. Transition within Mill Green to 14 to 19 provision will therefore focuses on KS3 students and on Y9 students in particular.
KS4 students from other schools who transfer into Y12 at Mill Green School are supported by a planned programme of transition led a member of SLT in liaison with their home school; parents and the family liaison co-ordinator at Mill Green School.
Individual pupil data and subject specific data is recorded through BSquared commercial assessment package and the linked Group Analysis Programme (GAP)
Class teachers may record assessments and observations on learner work; on planning; on individual teacher or student records or on BSquared printouts as evidence of progress and achievement; feedback; next steps; experiences or planned support etc.
Class teams and students in 14 to 19 provision also record using documentation as required by awarding bodies in line with recording outcomes for Foundation Learning. Examples include: unit transcripts; specified recording forms and unit summary records to record progress, achievement and experiences.
Teachers are responsible for regular, consistent and cross curricular recording on BSquared for all subjects. This may occur as part of the lesson or at a later agreed time during the week.
Support staff are responsible, under the direction of the teacher, for weekly recording of PSHE& Citizenship on BSquared.
Recorded progress is tracked and analysed by the Deputy Head Teacher towards targets set in line NC expectations or through learning pathways and the achievement continuum for Foundation Learning. A team of senior leaders, led by the TLR post holder for accreditation, implement internal verification procedures for awarding bodies and regularly monitor recorded progress for students on each learning pathway.
Individual access and therapy targets are recorded on IEPs as outlined above.
All pupil have an attendance record in line with legal with requirements.
Individual support for behaviour, feeding, sensory and therapy needs are recorded on agreed plans within appropriate files.
Minor pastoral concerns are recorded by the pastoral team within agreed safeguarding guidelines
Care plan records for medical and dietary needs are produced and maintained by the school nursing service for use by the teacher and staff team on a need to know basis.
All learners have an achievement file which records progress and achievements over the previous two years. Achievement files are maintained by class teams and students to agreed guidelines and ownership of the files by pupils is important to this process. This summative record of achievement transfers with pupils when moving class groups and is available to parents and other interested parties as an ongoing record of experiences and achievements.
Evidence of pupil achievement and experiences are kept in the form of:
- Annotated pieces of work, photographs and artefacts within pupil records
- Individual target records, subject based assessment sheets
- BSquared and GAP
- CASPA (and archive data from CEM, University of Durham)
- Moderation and internal verification records for qualifications and accreditation
- Teachers short term planning
- Teacher planning/ work files and teacher notes
- Pupil workbook and files
Teachers aim to keep evidence of the process as well as the products of the activity.
Information is kept about pupils in the form of:
- Parents/carers address and telephone numbers
- Safeguarding information
- Health/ medical related information
- Education information e.g. Statements of SEN / EHCPs and reports from other professionals
- Annual Reviews
- Annual Reports to Parents
- Reports provided by school for other professional
- Family Liaison Co-ordinatorelectronic logs
This information is kept in the head teacher’s office; main school office; school nurse’s or office family liaison office with copies of the relevant sections kept in classrooms in a specific “pupil information file”. Parents have access to these records on request.
Accessible and accurate records are used :
- to inform planning so that pupil needs can be effectively met
- to ensure wellbeing and safety
- to inform reporting to parents and other stakeholders
- to share information within school and with other stakeholders
- to ensure consistency and share best practice for school improvement
- to motivate pupils and staff by celebrating achievement.
Reports are provided to different stakeholders in order to share information and to celebrate and provide evidence of progress and achievement.
- Annually, reports are written by class teachers to support the annual review process. These reports focus on a review of the objectives in the statement of special educational needs/ EHCP and identify what each pupil can do in relation to P levels and NC level and progress towards meeting targets terms of what they are working on. The report details non educational provision as well as educational provision. The report identifies the current level of need; the nature of provision in place and whether this continues to meet the current needs of the pupil and probable needs for the future. This process is supported by further reports from the range of other professionals involved as deemed appropriate to the individual needs by the particular service. The annual review process takes place during the Spring Term and a schedule, available from early in the Autumn Term, informs teachers when they will be required to provide reports
- Annual reports to parents are produced during the summer term, usually for a date in late June. These reports detail the progress and achievements made in the full range of subject areas studied and also details well being and covers the broadest range of information about each pupil. The report is an opportunity to celebrate achievements and progress but essentially details what pupils can do; their progress towards targets set and what is currently being worked on in relation to curriculum targets and levels. Parents are encouraged to feedback to school and the report can be discussed in greater detail with any teacher on request.
- Interim reports may be requested at any time during the school year to support the annual review process or in response to concerns or the need for further support or clarification of current levels of need.
- Reports are provided as required to support transitions to other organisations. In Y14, this process is led by the TLR post holder with responsibility for Y14 and transition. Such reports are provided in conjunction with a wide range of information to support the transition of students to their future destination.
- Teachers provide ongoing progress and target setting records to inform the PEP for Looked After Children.
- Educational reports are provided by teachers to inform the process of statutory re-assessment, at the request of the LA.
- Subject leaders are requested to provide a report and analysis of progress for their subject area for ‘subject leader challenge’ meetings. Dedicated time, in addition to PPA and leadership time, is allocated to all subject leaders to collate information and produce this report.
- Identified staff are requested to report termly on key aspects of their role. This report is submitted to governors as part of the termly head teacher’s report.
- SLT report information termly in order to complete sections for SSE.
- Reports may be requested by other professionals in order to support ongoing provision and inform multi disciplinary meetings. Such requests will usually be met through the most recent annual review report. On occasions, however, in recognition of the relevant currency of an annual report or of a particular level of need, teachers may be requested to provide brief additional information. An agreed timescale is applied on these occasions. Other professionals have been made aware of this procedure by the head teacher and are in agreement with this in terms of their requirements.