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Sunday, 16 March 2014


Everyone in education from pupils to teachers to S.L.T. hear the word progress on a daily basis. It is the thing we strive for everyday and what we all want for our pupils. The rate of progress for individuals changes depending on lots of factors, some terms, years is rapid whilst others is slow. Likewise when compared with each other progress differs from pupil to pupil.

So What is progress? 
'A movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage', 'continuous improvement' and 'the process of improving or developing something over a period of time.'
 How do you measure Progress?
 'When considering data on pupils’ progress shown in RAISE online and for each year group of pupils currently in the school, inspectors should pay particular attention to the proportions that are on track to make, or have made, expected progress and more than expected progress.' Ofsted
Most schools currently measure progress from pupils:
Progress Towards their Termly Target
Progress Towards their End of Year (or KS) Target
Progress Since the End of Last Year
Progress Since the Last Keystage
Progress Since Last Term

However recent changes to the curriculum has led to changes in assessment of progress and attainment:

As part of our reforms to the national curriculum, the current system of “levels” used to report children’s attainment and progress will be removed from September 2014. Levels are not being banned, but will not be updated to reflect the new national curriculum and will not be used to report the results of national curriculum tests. Key stage 1 and key stage 2 tests taken in the 2014 to 2015 academic year will be against the previous national curriculum, and will continue to use levels for reporting purposes.
Schools will be expected to have in place approaches to formative assessment that support pupil attainment and progression. The assessment framework should be built into the school curriculum, so that schools can check what pupils have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and so that they can report regularly to parents. Schools will have the flexibility to use approaches that work for their pupils and circumstances, without being constrained by a single national approach.

Taken from - Myths and facts Curriculum and assessment DFE 27th February 2014

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said that it was crucial for schools to devise a common means of judging pupil performance.

“The idea of 20,000 different models of assessment is not a good one,” he said. “We want schools to use broadly similar systems. Although levels weren’t brilliant, complete fragmentation is not good either.”

Very confusing times ahead but what is clear is teachers on the chalk face must continue to using both summative and formative assessment to ensure the continued progress of their pupils, to do this we need to:
  • Be clear about the learning goals and the success criteria by which learning will be judged, sharing them with pupils using pupil-friendly language
  • Show pupils that all responses, views and opinions are valued and encouraging them to view errors as learning opportunities
  • Give specific, constructive feedback, which indicates how pupils can improve and the steps they need to take in order to do so (via written, scaffolded marking and verbal feedback)
  • Give time for learning to be absorbed (realistic achievable goals which still allow pupils to be stretched) 
  • Encourage pupils to reflect upon their learning and to monitor their own progress, for example, by means of self and peer assessment. This means time to respond to marking, time to talk with their peers and teacher
  • Take every opportunity to observe learning rather than relying on test results or evidence in books
  • Questions, questions, questions - an essential assessment tool
  • It is also important that the focus is on improvement and that pupils understand what they need to learn or the skills they need to develop in order to improve and reach certain goals
  • Use present formal tests (statutory, optional or commercial) as they can provide useful evidence
    about what pupils know and can do
  • Use moderation to inform assessments - Moderation can be described as a dialogue between teachers and other professionals, to agree and make judgments about what pupils understand, know or can do. Moderation activities can range from informal (for example, a discussion with a teaching assistant about an interesting observation of a pupil’s work) to a formal external process (e.g. local authority moderators reviewing teacher judgements). Moderation partners may include
    colleagues within your school, teachers from other schools (e.g. from a local school
Review your methods of assessment continually, remain open to change, partake in dialogue with your fellow teachers, be in tune with the needs of your class having the confidence to use your knowledge of them as learners.