Many schools have asked us recently if it’s OK to still use “traditional” methods like points progress when looking at their data. Classroom Monitor does still support you with this. Our blog this week looks at the choices you have of using traditional methods alongside the new when showing progress.

We’ve spoken a lot over the last two years about all the ways you can show progress without levels. Anyone who’s come to one of our roadshows, or indeed has read the blogs and emails over this time, will know that we’re keen to ensure schools have a range of options to support them with life after levels. We’re still dedicated to continuing that journey with you – in fact, keep watching this space in the coming months to find out what we have lined up for next year!

Schools still have the traditional ways to show progress in Classroom Monitor, such as reordering the markbooks, and they can choose percentages instead of scores/levels. We’ve also introduced some new ways to talk about progress. This includes new features such as the Assessment Summaries,  the percentage coverage in every markbook/curricula, and changes  to online reporting. All of this gives you the flexibility to adapt your curriculum to suit you, and really brings formative assessment to centre stage.

But in practice, we know that although the ‘life after levels’ autonomy can be great for schools, it’s also OK to look at your data in more traditional ways! We know there’s a whole ton of reasons for this: maybe you’re being asked for traditional looking linear progress graphs by your Local Authority or SIPs; or because when Ofsted turn up at the door you want to hand over the most simplistic and easy to explain data that you can; or simply so that you can feel in control of your progress data for internal conversations around school improvement or teaching and learning.

So as much as it may seem to fly in the face of the assessment without levels pieces we’ve done recently, we want to remind you all that you can still look at data in more “traditional” ways in Classroom Monitor if you wish.

Whether you want to use the “points” that sit behind the system, or simply want to compare attainment at various points in time with linear line graphs or comparative cohort data, we have you covered!

We must, however, add a few caveats with “points” as a method – it is not just a case of applying the old way of looking at points onto the new curriculum. Essentially, points represent a linear numerical scale and the new curriculum is not linear in the way that the old one was. We have written a help page specifically to show you the best way to use the “points” and look at some of the possible challenges. Our recent white papers may also shed some more light on that, so have a read if you’re struggling with the changes.

There are new ways to interpret the data that will allow you to get all you need in terms of comparing cohorts and flagging up concerns. You can then use this to have a real and ongoing impact on teaching and learning, which is what really matters. There’s also a page in our Training Centre which looks at all of the difference options available to help you demonstrate progress.

What your data looks like in those graphs and tables in the system really depends on your chosen curriculum and any adaptations you have made to your Classroom Monitor account. It’s not as straight forward for us to write a page of help files on looking at progress anymore – simply because everyone has a different set up. Whether it’s a difference in threshold percentages, or different weightings, or a different point scale…we just cannot give you a “one-size-fits-all” guide to how to interpret your data anymore.

We do have various videos in our Education Zone available, as well as pages about our most commonly used curricula, but if you’re at all unsure on what your data looks like, and how to interpret it, then we urge you now to use the coming days and weeks to make time to contact us and talk it through with one of the team. You could choose to chat over the phone, book a webinar, or even book one of our experienced trainers into school to work with multiple staff members.

We are not here to judge! If you want to look at progress without levels/scores at all – we can help with that. If you want to hold on to the ways you are used to while you transition more slowly to a life after levels….we are here for you too! Just let us know what you need – and really importantly, who/what is the data for, and we can help you find the best way to analyse it. What IS important to us is that YOU are confident with using YOUR data – so don’t be shy, get in touch, we are confident that we can show you how to get the data that suits you.

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