In a previous moderation and monitoring blog we touched briefly on curriculum tracking. With teaching and learning at the forefront of assessment, this blog shows us how to use curriculum tracking to target the right areas and ask the right questions.
Within Classroom Monitor, the Curriculum Tracking tool streamlines the analysis of curriculum strands – you can decide to look at a particular group, class, year group, or even whole school.
You can also compare groups against each other. For example, you could compare last year’s Year 4 to this year’s Year 4 to see if they were achieving similarly at the same point, within each strand. Why might this be useful? Is it the same teacher or a different teacher? Does it flag up a strength of a teacher which could be useful to share across the school at the next INSET? Does it show any weaknesses or areas that a teacher is avoiding teaching until the last minute and that they need support and CPD to address this?
It can also show whole school trends. Does every year group struggle more with fractions than other areas of maths? Have we had a push in reading at the expense of writing?
Although the bars show numbers of pupils, the graph presents the data with a focus on the curriculum strengths rather than the individual pupil strengths, helping to find trends which can go unnoticed when looking at individual data. Any grey bars show objectives which have not been assessed yet. The intelligence gained should support mid-term planning. It can also help identify if there is a potential issue in terms of coverage.
Curriculum tracking doesn’t necessarily provide you with the answers, but it flags issues that need further investigation. If you see a sea of red it could be that pupils are struggling but it could mean that you may have a teacher (or teachers) who lacks confidence in their judgement that pupils are secure in a particular area? Lots of greens and blues early in the year could show that pupils are racing ahead, or it may just point to a lack of depth of learning which needs further consideration.
If this is the case, internal moderation discussions can really help teachers to have the confidence in their own judgements and to ensure consistency across the school, using evidence portfolios for individual pupils or exemplification. It may also be that teachers need some support with making judgements, which can be provided as written guidance from subject leaders or assessing alongside more confident colleagues.
Although Curriculum Tracking is mostly used to look at subject strengths and weaknesses, clicking on the bar to reveal the pupils can also give you further insights. Are the pupils achieving higher than the others on the same strand in an intervention? If so can the intervention leader run INSET for all teachers on how they teach this area? It may show that they are consistently achieving lower than the class in the same strands and require a specific intervention that needs to be resourced.
Curriculum Tracking can also be the answer to the question “If Ofsted say they want to see progress but say we don’t need to show any particular data or graphs and we don’t want to show levels…what can we show?”
Imagine showing them your Curriculum Tracking from last year which flagged gaps in one strand, and how this year this is being taught consistently. Allowing you to focus on what the assessment is all about – making a difference to teaching and learning.
Click here to book a demonstration of how this is managed within Classroom Monitor.