Recovery and Assessment
By Emma Ringe, Schools Director, Whizz Education
Real-Time Assessment and reporting on children’s progress across the whole school, are some of the most significant challenges facing schools today. It can come at a substantial cost yet often does not provide the information needed to gain the insights to make robust decisions.
EdTech offers solutions but can over promise and under deliver if not implemented correctly and as part of an educational programme tied to clear objectives. Programmes need to be linked to real-time learning analytics into students’ progress and levels of learning in addition to capacity building, data-driven course correction, ongoing pedagogic support plus high impact tutoring. These elements need to come together to be able to monitor progress effectively and will have a higher impact on improving attainment than EdTech alone.
In early 2020, Roskear Primary School was looking for a solution to target pupils with SEND and those not on track to achieve age related expectations, to support their learning goals in maths and make it easy to track progress.
Miss Furnish, Headteacher, Roskear Primary School, explains: “Any investment in EdTech needs to be considered carefully as full commitment from teaching staff and students is needed to get the best out of any solution. Working in partnership and collaboration with Whizz Education ensures we have been able to achieve this engagement across our school, maximising our investment and the results now speak for themselves.”
Jess Morris-Marsham Maths Leader, Team Leader for Years 3 and 4 and Year 5 Teacher at Roskear Primary School continues: “Every half term, we assess standardised age scores. The results have shown accelerated progress. For example, our most recent assessments identified the Year 2 pupils who were below ARE in the autumn. Following the after-school interventions, where children used the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor for two hours per week, each one of those children had reached ARE within six weeks.”
Real-time, continuous formative assessment is one of the keys to addressing the issue of recovery. We need to know where children are in relation to their ability and attainment as this enables teaching staff to identify, prioritise and address gaps in learning.
Virtual tutors generate data analytics in real-time, as an automatic by-product of their learning, providing continuous assessment data. This has allowed teachers and Whizz Education to track learning progress and loss.
Roskear teachers are now empowered and picking this up themselves since staff training on ‘5-minute analysis of data’. They can now identify struggling students and know how to use the virtual tutor to address this. Roskear acts upon the data and has arranged after school clubs for extra access to the virtual tutor for the lowest attaining 20% of students.
Meaningful assessment also requires a standard learning metric that benchmarks every student in a school. We have found that the Maths Ages of Year 6 students determined over time by continuous assessment informs teachers where to focus the class teaching. It means Data-driven instruction can be embedded in the school day.
We use analytics generated by the virtual tutor, synthesised with qualitative feedback and reflections from our Education Success Partners to enable the implementation plan to be refined so students and teachers realise the full benefits of individualised tutoring. We refer back to the objectives of improving ARE and increasing the Maths-Age for example, by working in collaboration with schools to understand the context, any challenges and behaviours, and then we develop a course correction to improve performance.
Data can also be used to compare students’ progress with performance in a school’s chosen third party assessment. For example: alongside the quality face-to-face classroom teaching, during Autumn term, the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor has helped 86% of Roskear children attending after school Maths-Whizz sessions increase their STAR Maths score. For children attending in school sessions 72% had increased STAR Maths score.
Reliable data can be used to supply to boards of governors and OFSTED.
Whizz Education collaborates with schools across the UK to identify specific learning objectives and develop strategic implementation plans. By working together, we can make a significant contribution to recovery through data driven, continuous assessment programmes designed to spot learning gaps and enabling teachers to give targeted support without additional burden.
To find out more visit: www.whizz.com