Tracking pupils' progress: CPD activities
Seven continuing professional development (CPD) activities to help your leadership team make sure that tracking supports reflective professional dialogue and informs strategic decision-making. Find the object of the activities, resources you will need and a step-by-step process that you can follow.
Use these activities with the Quality Standards and the 'Tracking in action' section of element 2 of Primary Stronger Management Systems (SMS).
You can adapt these activities to reflect your school's structure and intended outcomes. This could involve cross-school collaboration to share and broaden expertise beyond your own school context.
Select a heading to read the activity and create a sequence of professional development over time.
- Effective use of tracking
Print out the page Tracking in action for use with this activity and share with participants. Reflect on your current tracking system considering:
- How well does tracking chart class and cohort progress?
- How effectively does it map whole-school attainment?
- How accurate are the judgements that inform our school tracking and how do we know?
- How well is this information used to:
- drive learning and teaching?
- shape strategic decision-making (for example, informing the single plan discussed in Element 3: The termly operational single plan)?
- What is the impact of these actions on outcomes for children and how do we know?
- How well does our tracking system identify underperforming groups and individuals?
- Tracking into action
Children's names have been placed on the Venn diagram to show which are on track to achieve age-related expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Point out that in the diagram, most of those on track in mathematics are boys. Invite participants to make further observations about the diagram.
Place three PE hoops on the floor to form the Venn diagram labelled 'Reading', 'Writing' and 'Mathematics'.
For each year group, ask the question: 'Which children are on track to meet age-related expectations by the end of the year?'
Place the names of children on the diagram according to whether they are on track for reading, writing and mathematics.
Ask colleagues to discuss:
- Which children are on track to achieve age-related expectations by the end of the year?
- Which children are at or on track to achieve age-related expectations in one subject but not in another/others?
- Which children are currently not on track to achieve age-related expectations in any subject?
- How does learning and teaching in your classroom need to change to secure combined attainment?
- How will these changes be negotiated and monitored?
Note: The question could be changed to: 'Which children are on track to achieve two levels of progress by the end of the year?'
- Exploring trends
Compare Venn diagrams across year groups, mapping children's attainment for reading, writing and mathematics. Consider:
- Are there any common characteristics for children in the different segments of the diagrams across year groups?
- Are there any common barriers to learning that emerge?
- Is there a specific group across the school that we now feel could be making better progress (for example, more able boys, Pakistani girls, average ability girls)?
- How can these be addressed through the next single plan?
- Exploring an underperforming group
Using data, identify an underperforming group across the whole school (for example, more able boys, Pakistani girls, average ability girls).
Focusing on your identified group, select three children per class. Carry out a Learning Walk (see Learning Walks) to explore the target children's:
- engagement in their learning
- engagement with other children
- engagement with adults.
- What trends emerged to help you understand why this group is underperforming?
- How can this be improved?
Share the headlines from the Learning Walk with all staff. Ask colleagues to consider what needs to change to make sure there are improved outcomes for the identified group for:
- whole school
- year group
- Tracking progress over time
Select a group of children and track their progress over a sustained period.
- Where was progress accelerated?
- At what points did progress stall?
- Are there differences between subject areas?
- What patterns or trends can be identified that might influence future learning and teaching?
- Are there trends which may inform strategic decision-making?
- Quality assurance of tracking data
Senior leaders to quality-assure tracking data for sample children against work in books and recent assessments.
Consider the following:
- Do you agree that the sample children are working at the levels shown in the tracking data?
- Do any common trends emerge in terms of over- or under-assessment?
- Do some judgements need revisiting?
Share headlines with all staff. Use this to inform future moderation activities.
- Exploring aspects of a subject
Use the idea of Venn diagrams to place children against three aspects of a subject to explore trends of underachievement within a subject (for example, Numbers and calculation, Shape and space, and Handling data). Consider:
- How will this influence learning and teaching?
- Are there areas for possible CPD at year, phase or whole-school level?
- Who will and how will this change be led?