Our aim is that all of our pupils make good or excellent progress during their time with us. We meet this aim through our personalized approach and the quality and breadth of our three carefully designed pathways.
Students’ progress within their pathway and against their EHCP outcomes is reviewed every half term (or term in the case of the Blue pathway) by teachers and Key Stage Leaders. Judgements are quality assured by Key Stage Leaders with the Head of School. We have high expectations of every student and class teachers and Key Stage Leaders use their professional experience and knowledge of their students to arrive at a reflective judgement of progress which is “Below Expected”, “Expected”, or “Above Expected” each half term based upon their previous development - the ipsative approach. We do not have a set definition of what constitutes the different levels of progress; what is “below expectations” for one student may be huge progress to another. To contribute to these judgements teachers use a continual monitoring scale within each half term to measure progress towards EHCP and Curriculum Outcomes. This describes progress as emerging, developing and secure which fine tunes our assessment to further bring about accuracy.
For learners following the Blue pathway we recognise the important part that engagement in learning has on academic progress and maintenance of skills. We measure the 5 areas of Engagement (Exploration, Realisation, Anticipation, Persistence and Initiation). For each of the Areas of Engagement progress is reflected and observations made. Evidence for Learning generates engagement summaries in order for teachers to monitor engagement in activities. They then use this information to plan stimulating activities related to the areas of interest and most engagement to promote progress.
Teachers review evidence collected using our Evidence for Learning software on a daily and weekly basis to inform planning and next steps in learning. This evidence is also formally evaluated on a termly basis where reflective judgements are added in order to identify further next steps and any other higher level of intervention or challenge that might be required in discussion with Department Leaders.
These processes in both formative and summative assessment cycles are demonstrated in the diagrams below:
Where progress is “below expectations” we work with parents, outside agencies and pupils to intervene swiftly to positively affect outcomes.
We do not compare the progress of our pupils with the progress of pupils in other schools. This is not a helpful comparison as one young person with SEND is very different from another young person with SEND – even where the diagnosis is similar. This decision was made following conversations with our partner school Highfield Ely, visits to Samuel Pepys School in St Neots and visits to Ash Field School in Leicester. Ash Field is an Ofsted “outstanding” school whom we have worked with to develop our provision. Work by Peter Imray, Penny Lacey and the Rochford Review also informed this decision.
Here is a summary of the assessment within each of our learning pathways:
Early Years Foundation Stage
Birth to Five Assessments, focused on:
Prime Areas of Learning: Communication and Language, Personal Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development
Specific Areas of Learning: Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design
Characteristics of Effective Learning assessment
EHCP outcomes linked to:
My Communication, My Thinking, My Body, My Independence and My Play
Engagement within the 5 identified areas: Exploration, Realisation, Anticipation, Persistence and Initiation.
Green Pathway Development Steps, focused on:
My Communication, My Play, My Body, My Thinking, My Independence, My World
Maths, English, Science and PSHE are currently tracked in “Evidence for Learning” using yellow Pathway Development steps
Summative judgements are made termly according to skills development steps for our creative curriculum subject areas (Creativity, Technology and The World) to inform individual targets.
Here at Highfield Littleport in order to inform teachers of students next steps within each pathway curriculum subjects we have developed our own bespoke assessment system. These development steps are based loosely around year related expectations and Pre Key Stage Standards as an additional progress measure. Blue Pathway steps are based upon early developmental stages and engagement. This means we can track development outside of a students EHCP outcomes in order to ensure a holistic view of a child's progress is gained. This allows teachers to plan next steps in learning to ensure our students are challenged. Students learning within the EYFS have their progress tracked according to the EYFS Birth to Five Framework or their appropriate pathway as students develop. We also use the Fagus Assessment tool for students in care (or previously in care) to track their social, emotional and developmental needs and direct targeted interventions to meet their needs appropriately.
Our full rationale can be found by clicking here.
Teachers baseline students within the first 6 weeks of them working with them based upon information gained at pre-admission meetings, transition sessions, home visits and evidence gathered within our Evidence for Learning software during students early times at our school. Students will also complete comprehensive reading assessments and BPVS assessments if they are cognitively able. This allows us to gain a strong understanding of students capabilities in order for us to ensure they are learning on the correct pathway as well as tracking progress of learning carefully and delivering the appropriate level of challenge.
We have developed a bespoke assessment system in order to inform teachers of students next steps in learning and is based upon the individual child and not a measurement tool.