What better way to start Term 3 than settling down to examine your school’s data. Now, every year I ask myself the same question…why is end of term 2 data always so bad?
APS scores showing advancement of approximately 0.1 points, children who ended the year as a 3A writer now sitting in the 2B column, being unable to see a cohort on one page as there are now too many names crowding around the ‘in danger of not meeting age expected outcomes’ section.
To address my own issues I have these musings..
1. Having age expected outcomes is a massive pain in the tracker as every teacher now knows where their class should be at the end of the year. When children arrive in September already there this causes concern…they’re not meant to be there so as logic dictates they will sit there until enough time has passed under the watchful eye of the teacher to justify moving up regardless of the actual progress seen when flicking through the books.
Now that is isn’t very current teacher friendly so….
2. Last year’s teacher might call that a 2A but in my class you’ve got to do a little bit more, after all you are in year 3 now. A year 3 2A is different to a y2 SATS 2A. No, you will sit at a 2A until you are a proper 2A. Which as luck will probably have it will be after a year with me.
Wow, that’s not very current teacher or last year’s teacher friendly….hmmmm what about…
3. Teachers worry! If these children are already where they should be and I let them continue to make progress and up attaining highly next year’s teacher will kill me!
Now I’m having a go at next year’s teacher. How about…
4. We don’t really want to show great progress straight away that won’t be sustainable, how about we show things down a bit and they can make up the progress later on.
This is getting me nowhere. Instead I think I should just clarify a few points
1. Kids don’t go backwards over the summer.
2. If last year your class made poor progress in autumn but made it up during spring and summer how about agreeing that whatever yout do in terms 5 and 6 that allows for outstanding progress you do that in terms 1 and 2 as well.
3. Don’t wait until Christmas to tell someone that progress isn’t happening…if you’re worried do something differently or ask for help.
So far so teacher beating. It’s not all their fault it’s the system… so ideologies and the system needds to change.
In terms of next year I think I will change when we collect data…
Term 1 (to get the lack of progress out of the system)
Term 2 / 3 (As and when progress put into the tracker over term 2 and 3.)
Term 4 (That way we can judge the effectiveness of what you put in place to support poor progress and attainment in the previous terms)
Transition periods between year groups should be longer (maybe half of term 6 should be spent in new classes with new teachers) and most importantly of all collaboration with teachers at the end of the year to agree levels going through to the next academic year.
Will this have any impact? Check out my January 2014 blog to find out!
Is it a way of establishing control? This is MY class now and I have not had enought time but I will sort out this mess! Come June we all smile, clink our champagne glasses together and sing, “For he/she’s a jolly good fellow”. Interestingly June data is also related to performance management… Maybe Performance Managements should be in January and based on this data? Would we get the same results? What really gets me is how come in June children who made either minus/ zero progress almost always make great progress? What also gets me is how when challenged in December/Jan because there has been no indication that said children were going backwards it seems to come as a shock to the teacher as well? I totally agree that by setting age related expectations we shackle teachers to expect those results for the vast majority. This has the knock on effect that the more able sometimes are seen as being the level above (when quite often they are far above) this means that the vast majority seem to be a million miles away and are marked even lower. You have only got to see SATs marking at Level 4 and 5 to see how far many teachers expectations are from the reality of what is expected. Nothing wrong with high expectations but data can get you into all sorts problems, therefore it has to be right.