Exploring each intersection in more depth is key to the strength of this approach.
This section explores triangulation of teacher judgement with two GL Assessment data sets, thus providing a fuller view for each pupil. This stage reflects customers who are looking at data from two GL Assessment data sets, i.e. ability and attainment, ability and barriers to learning, or attainment and barriers to learning. Exploring each intersection in more depth is key to the strength of this approach.
This intersection is perhaps understood by many schools in a different way as an intersection of ‘expectation’ and current attainment, regularly expressed as a target of pupil attainment outcomes. Often this ‘expectation’ may be defined externally and based upon some measure of prior attainment. School success is then measured by achievement against this expectation and therefore, this is a powerful driver of school decision-making.
The GL Assessment approach to this intersection is different and provides schools with the capability to give additional depth to the attainment/expectation intersection. The GL Assessment approach looks at the intersection of ability, as measured by CAT, and attainment.
One of the very useful things you can do with CAT4 scores is to compare them against the standardised age scores from Progress in English and Progress In Maths. In this way, any students who are underperforming are immediately brought to the fore.
(Dr. Derek Cassells, Principal, Maharishi Free School)
When compared to attainment the key question is whether the pupil is achieving to their potential.
CAT data will provide a highly personalised indication of each pupil’s potential, most powerfully via the standard age score (SAS). When compared to attainment the key question is whether the pupil is achieving to their potential. This question can then be asked across a range of attainment assessments, for example, English, maths, science, reading, as well as in-school assessment. This comparison can be at an overview level, for example, their SAS for CAT compared to their SAS for the individual attainment assessments. Is the pupil on track or is there a deficit/residual?
Starting to work across more than one set of data begins to develop more in-depth questioning. In this particular intersection it most importantly gives a raw attainment scores perspective – is attainment at, below or above expectation?
Looking at the intersection of ability with specific attainment assessment data in more detail provides an opportunity to develop more specific questioning, such as, contrasting in more detail the finer-grain data which closely correlates across ability and attainment, for example, CAT Quantitative data with maths, verbal reasoning data with English and reading, etc.
However, comparing two sets of data combined with teacher judgement, although providing more information and the potential for more insightful questioning and decision making, still only provides a partial view. For instance, if comparison of ability and attainment data demonstrates underachievement, why is this pupil underperforming? This has to be one of the key questions requiring investigation; it is not explained by ability compared to attainment alone. Unanswered questions still remain.
Ability/barriers to learning intersection
This intersection can provide a rich set of data that can be exploited in order to understand the reasons why potential is not being achieved. Many schools may have GL Assessment CAT data in combination with a range of data from barriers to learning assessment data; in turn this may be triangulated with school-based attainment data. If barriers to learning are identified and are yet to be addressed, then it is logical that the pupil’s potential is not yet being fulfilled. The key question is why is this pupil not achieving their potential? Using the barriers to learning assessments will investigate some of the specific reasons.
Attainment/barriers to learning intersection
This is the intersection more commonly understood and systematically analysed in every school, with or without GL Assessment data. This is certainly true where assessments are focussed upon specific learning needs, for example, dyslexia screeners. It is arguably the easiest area to craft the question bank to support data exploitation; indeed this intersection is systematically ingrained within school systems through SEN support structures and, therefore, most questions derived from the single barriers to learning data ‘set’ are linked to attainment by default.
... a complete data set upon which to make the best informed decisions to support the most appropriate next steps for that student
“The combination reports have been useful in helping us to identify pupils who are not making expected progress. The combination report highlighted individuals who would benefit from some of the intervention strategies provided by GL Assessment, which we have taken advantage of.”
(Melanie Charles, St Hilda’s School, Bushey)
Ability/attainment/barriers to learning intersection
With ability, attainment and barriers to learning data available and combined with factors that inform their judgement, the teacher has the whole pupil view, a complete data set upon which to make the best informed decisions to support the most appropriate next steps for that student.
If barriers to learning are identified and are yet to be addressed, then it is logical that the pupil’s potential is not yet being fulfilled.
“For our students, the benefits of these assessments are extremely wide ranging. We can personalise teaching, implement a range of interventions, support and challenge appropriately, grow aspirations, and equip them to take best advantage of life’s chances. Ultimately, we want them to believe in themselves, the way we believe in them.”
(Cath McCarney, Vice-Principal, Bluecoat Academy)