Is Your School Struggling to Show Progress for Your Pupils? By Dale Pickles

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When schools come to us looking for help with assessment for their pupils with SEND, the first question we ask is, what is the problem you are trying to solve? The most common response by far… “We are struggling to show progress for our pupils!”

Identifying Small Steps of Progress

Many schools know their pupils are making progress, but it may be slow and doesn’t show up in their current system. Our Connecting Steps assessment software was developed to address this problem. To show small steps of progress, we created assessment frameworks that break achievements down into smaller steps that lead up to mastering a skill. Each skill isn’t hit or miss; pupils can be seen to achieve several levels on the way to mastering that skill.

Connecting Steps works differently to other assessment systems. Instead of teachers giving a level at the end of each year, the focus is on continuous assessment to help pupils achieve their full potential. It’s designed to make assessment and tracking progress easier, so that teachers can spend their time doing what they do best — teaching.

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Photo Credit, Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Meeting the Needs of Your Pupils with SEND

We created assessment frameworks to show pupil progress that meet a full range of schools’ needs. Our frameworks cover Early Years Foundation Stage (0-5 years), Primary (5-11 years) and age 0-25 years for pupils with SEND.

Using our assessment software teachers can:

  • Record the small steps of progress made by pupils with SEND;
  • Build a bigger picture of each pupil’s learning and achievements;
  • Identify skills gaps and areas for improvement, and then work on these to ensure pupils are able to achieve their full potential.

A Picture Is Worth 10,000 Words

Photos and videos of pupils engaged in learning activities are a great way to demonstrate pupils’ achievements. This evidence of learning can be quickly and easily captured and shared using our evidence management software, Evisense. 

Collect photos, videos, audio files, documents and observations using our Evisenes App and share with parents instantly to boost parental engagement. Evidence can be organised and filtered in multiple ways to suit your school’s needs. Linking Evisense to Connecting Steps gives your school a complete picture of your pupils’ progress. 

Using our evidence management software teachers can:

  • Never miss a ‘wow’ moment by recording video/audio evidence or taking digital photos
  • Boost parental engagement by sharing evidence of progress with parents instantly;
  • Link evidence of learning directly to pupil assessments (when used with Connecting Steps);
  • Save time and make annual reporting easier — capture, annotate and link evidence using the app in under a minute.

We believe in Evisense so much that we offer a 3-month trial of Evisense completely free.

What is ‘Good’ Progress?

This is another frequently asked question. The removal of P Levels has left schools unsure of the progress pupils with SEND should make. 

We recently ran a webinar entitled “What is ‘Good’ progress?” designed to help schools answer that question. It would be great if I could pull out a blanket formula that you could use to judge progress, but it’s just not that simple. Schools need to ask questions of their assessment data to make decisions and make changes within their school. For this reason, the webinar cannot give a definitive answer but it does give teachers pointers to discuss and ideas to reflect on within their school. 

Our products help support schools to determine and evidence even the smallest steps of pupil progress. They provide teachers with the data they need to make their own decisions on progress and next steps, and the confidence to know these decisions are evidence-based.

Dale Pickles works with schools all over the UK to help deliver best practice, reduce teacher workload and help schools move forward with assessment. Dale has spoken at conferences such as The Autism Show and Tes SEN Show. He has written articles for education magazines such as Education Technology and Assessment & Development Matters, and regularly hosts B Squared’s webinars, discussing issues such as ‘What is ‘good’ progress?”.

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