Lauren Fielding started a series of tweets this evening, which will resonate with many of our #LearningFirst colleagues – particularly during this half term.

Lauren Fielding on Twitter

@BeyondLevels @MichaelT1979 I’m thinking it should be very simple but every tool I’ve looked at seems to over complicate it…Or use steps!

Lauren Fielding on Twitter

@BeyondLevels @MichaelT1979 it took hours yesterday to manually input data and now we’ll have to do the same with groups #boring #ofsteddue

This is a real issue for many, many schools, so let’s see if the #LearningFirst community¬†can help…

Do you have a ‘simple & effective’ tracking system that you use in your school? If you do, it would be really helpful if you could give an outline of it below.

If you also include your Twitter handle, folk could contact you directly for more information, if they wanted to. Would probably be an idea to give your context too e.g. secondary/primary/AP/small school etc., etc.

One comment
  1. Hi there
    I chair an assessment working group in Lewisham borough made up of 5 schools. We all use Learning Ladders and feel that the system really works for learning ( as well as teachers) before anything else; we have worked hard to develop it that way. There are no steps! The main focus is on in-class formative assessment; this is because we have developed this as pedagogy within the schools. Teachers use the system to record when they feel a pupil has achieved a specific piece of learning ( which are ‘I can’ statements as rungs on the ladders – although these are not necessarily learnt in order – we know learning isn’t always linear). Because the system is directly linked to the core curriculum this also helps teachers to see what needs to be learnt next. It’s easy for teachers to note achievement and we have purposely made it that way so teachers don’t waste time compiling data, or pawing over books to make summative assessment judgements a long time after the event. Like this, we’ve tried very hard to get away from all the poor practice associated with levels. Learning Ladders supports planned for assessment and assessment based planning. Use of the system is supported through moderation of learning against the ladder criteria so that teachers build up an understanding of quality outcomes and we are also supporting this further by inter-school exemplification of learning outcomes, which will be put on the system so that quality exemplification of learning outcomes are accessible to teachers, and in turn pupils and parents. At the heart of effective assessment is an understanding of quality. There is a scorecard which comes about through an algorithm that accumulates the achievements of the pupils, but this is a background thing and simply there to assist reaching an overview of pupil achievement when required. There are no mid year benchmarks set for teachers to reach, although the system allows for schools to set expectations, we have used this as a basis for professional dialogue and to help teachers to over see assessment and learning. I’ve just finished an MA in AfL at UCL and examined many different ideas about how to support effective assessment practice so that primarily it supports pupils’ learning and I think as an assessment system, Learning Ladders does this. However, what I know for certain is that effective assessment pedagogy must come first! Leaders need to have clear principles for assessment. If a school thinks data and assessment are the same thing – disaster! If a school thinks tracking and assessment are the same thing – disaster. If schools create benchmarks that teachers are pressurised to meet – disaster. If assessment isn’t part of planning for learning -disaster. So, this is my pennyworth of thought. Lots of people have MAs, lots of people have a lot of say about assessment, I’m just one of them, but if it makes sense for children’s learning first and whatever the teachers are doing trickles down to having an impact on learning, whether it be through assessment, planning or curricular understanding, then it makes sense!

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