While that title has probably got you thinking about beaches, sunglasses and relaxing with a good book, this blog is about getting ready for the bit before that – the summer term. With two-thirds of this academic year already under your belt, we want to take a look at what you’re likely to want/need to achieve this term.
What’s left to be covered?
With so much to cover in the National Curriculum, it’s important that time is used effectively. If the majority of the class have already achieved some of the objectives that are in next term’s plan, whilst objectives have been covered but are not secure, then this needs to inform planning. Classroom Monitor users have a number of tools at their disposal to help them quickly check progress through the curriculum. Take a look at your class markbooks, with the objectives ordered by attainment. This will sort your objectives based on the assessments that you have recorded so you can see the objectives which you should and shouldn’t tackle in whole class teaching.
What do individuals need to work on?
When looking at a breakdown of achievement against objectives, you should easily be able to spot individual gaps. This helps you focus guided sessions and interventions on the specific objectives that specific pupils need to work on. Of course this doesn’t necessarily have to be just those who aren’t secure; there may be pupils who are secure who need to broaden and deepen their learning. Classroom Monitor users can do this via the markbook or in the curriculum tracking module, quickly spotting the reds and yellows amongst the greens which identify objectives where particular individuals have had difficulties.
Is the class on track to meet expectations?
It’s important to know who in your class is achieving at the expected standard and who is making expected progress. This will help you put interventions in place that will have time to impact before the end of the year when it’s too late.
In terms of expected attainment, you’ll need to use your teacher judgement to identify what constitutes age related expectations at a particular point of the year. This might be a percentage of the objectives covered or a particular score that is used to make that judgement. Some may want to include data from different sources so want the ability to record a professional judgement for tracking. Within Classroom Monitor, schools can set up separate subjects where a summative judgement of, for example, below/at/above can be recorded by teachers then tracked and analysed.
In terms of expected progress, you need to make sure that you know what each pupils’ starting point was at the end of last year but also at the end of the last key stage. While the curriculum doesn’t lend itself to linear measures of progress, checking prior attainment against current attainment can give an indication of who is and isn’t making expected progress. Classroom Monitor users can group pupils based on their prior attainment then save a favourite so that they can monitor this throughout the year.
How can I prepare for report writing now?
Over the last few years, many schools have been re-thinking the way that they report to parents. The DfE specifies that reports should cover: achievements, general progress and attendance record along with results of national curriculum tests and public examinations when appropriate. However, that is all that is specified, leaving the decision on how to report up to the schools. The amount of effort required to write reports can be huge, so the balance of workload for teacher and effectiveness for parents receiving them needs to be correct.
Something to do now in preparation could be making sure that formative assessment information is up to date. The more regularly that teachers record formative assessment, the better positioned you’ll be for this. If you’re using the online markbooks in Classroom Monitor for your assessments, then this information can be populated directly into your reports. Classroom Monitor also gives you the flexibility to share reports in multiple formats, online or on paper.
Am I ready for statutory end of key stage teacher assessments?
At this point in the year, it’s worth reviewing where pupils are against statements from the Interim Teacher Assessment Frameworks (ITAFs) and where evidence can be found. This helps identify areas where pupils need more work and/or more evidence needs to be provided.
The ITAFs for key stages 1 and 2 are built into Classroom Monitor as markbooks. This means that you can use them to assess against the individual statements to help you make and support your ‘robust and accurate’ judgements. You can also attach ‘evidence that a pupil demonstrates consistent attainment of all the statements within the standard’.
While it’s unlikely that the assessment framework you’re using in years 2 and 6 matches the ITAF exactly, this doesn’t have to mean that you’re starting from scratch. Classroom Monitor users can output a Class Assessment Summary which shows judgements against an ongoing framework that can then be used to directly inform ITAF assessments. Any evidence saved in Classroom Monitor can be output as a Learning Journey which can then be referenced (or attached) to relevant statements in the ITAF. Of course, these assessments are about the key stage not just the current year, so assessments saved and evidence collected in previous years may also be useful.
As so much of teaching, the summer term is often challenging and rewarding in equal measures. Getting prepared for what’s to come should leave you with more time for planning for the beaches, sunglasses and relaxing that comes after.