As assessment manager I’m often asked how I manage the assessment in my school. I thought I’d write it down for a quick and easy reference for all interested parties.
In special schools there is much differentiation in lessons. 10 children means 10 lots of differentiation per lesson and that produces copious amounts of data over a day, week and term. It’s my job to bring some order to this data in order to help the children progress.
I use Pivats for end of year assessments. From this I set targets. ( pivats kindly does this for me). I then take last year’s attainment, work out the levels of progress and rate as ‘exceeded’, ‘achieved’ or ‘progressed’. The latter includes lateral progress as some of our children are too poorly to constantly progress upwards. This is based on the Government’s requirements of every child making 2 levels of progress over a key stage. I do this for all the core subjects for the whole school. This is then entered on to a spreadsheet for the individual subjects which cleverly tells me how many have met, exceeded or progressed with their targets. Armed with this information I can draw out the % improvement in every subject, spot any problems and introduce interventions where necessary. I can also check G and T and boys v girls etc. I can see where our teachers need CPD and feed this in to the current SDP.
I also use B squared for ongoing AfL. I use this as it covers the whole curriculum and not just the core. It’s excellent as it shows improvements in percentages which children with complex difficulties need. I use pivats and B2 as a back up for each other plus it makes my assessment very thorough.
During lessons I ask all teachers to take photo’s of children hitting a target. We save these to the cloud and it forms an online portfolio of evidence. Very poorly children have no written evidence of their learning so photo’s prove this for them. It’s also proof of what you’re claiming on B2. Children love to see their work on the IWB which is an incentive for them.
I also use the Government’s interactive target setting tool. I enter end of key stage data and it tells me how much my children should progress at the end of the next key stage. This can be altered if necessary in the case of children who are extremely poorly.
My B2 data is entered to Caspa. This is the equivalent of RAISEonline. Again this sets targets for me and I can check progress. It also tells me how much progress is needed during the year. Pivats and B2 are lacking in this area.
We also do internal moderation. All teachers work together and check we are assessing in the same way. Likewise we do external moderation. 6 special schools in the region meet half termly to check we agree on levelling. This is good as it shows we are in tune with other similar schools.
Next I produce a progress chart for each child for their review. This documents their achievements and attainment throughout the year. Parents love this.
I also do Neale reading test, Spar spelling and reading tests, Oxford and Cambridge reading tests and a maths test. All of which are documented and compared to last year.
The last job is to produce an assessment report. This is a huge A3 folder showing B2, Pivats, Government’s targets and progression throughout the year for every child in my school. This is presented to the Governors and Ofsted when they come to call.
All of this sounds like a lot of assessment and it is. However, our children are very special and work hard under very difficult circumstances. I owe it to them to make sure I work just as hard on their behalf.