3 common pupil tracking mistakes… is this you?Wednesday 12th September 2018
We’ve all made mistakes along the way, and we certainly include us in that. Here at OTrack we’re in a great position to monitor how pupil tracking has evolved, and how any mistakes have been put right.
We work with over 1500 schools, that means we’re in a great position to find and learn from trends.
So we decided to do a bit of tracking ourselves. Over the last 18 months we’ve been monitoring how schools use OTrack, and taken a look at what changes have been made. This work highlighted some common practices, and how they were changed.
We’ve seen a huge increase in over-complicated theories for pupil tracking in the four years since the removal of levels. The good news is, we’ve recently seen many schools stripping back their ideas, and the feedback we get from these schools is always really positive.
We think it’d be unfair of us if we don’t share this info with you, so here goes…
1: Too much to do
We’ve always tried to build OTrack in a way that means it will work how you want it to. This, we think, is great – but it also means that you can keep adding more and more features to your tracking system. Before you know it, you can end up inundated with mountains of jobs, data and reports.
Pupil trackers have many features available: summative tracking, objective-based tracking, tracking the outcomes of tests – and of course loads (and loads) of analysis reports. But remember, just because they’re available it doesn’t mean you have to use them. We suggest you only use the features that suit your schools’ needs and hide the rest.
OTrack Tip: Take a look at our new bookmarking feature. You can now ‘favourite’ what you need, bypass the things you don’t use and keep things simple.
2: Assessing with new levels
It seems like a long time since the majority of schools were using Entering, Developing and Secure (E, D, S) to assess; with E being expected in Autumn, D in Spring and S in the Summer term.
At the time, many thought this was ‘Assessing without levels’. In hindsight it’s pretty obvious now that it was actually ‘Assessing with new levels’.
We started to see a slight movement away from ‘E, D, S’ during the 2015/16 academic year, and this increased in following years. It’s quite surprising how many schools are still using it, or something similar.
OTrack Tip: Consider using a Point In Time Assessment model (PITA). We’ve found that more and more schools are starting to use this robust method. It certainly isn’t levels, and it seems to be widely recommended by many educational professionals.
You can read more about PITA in the articles below:
- Here’s our PITA blog: What is Point In Time Assessment?
- Check out point number 2 in this blog: What I think a primary tracking system should do by James Pembroke, the ‘TES Data Doctor’.
3: Measuring progress
This is a big one, and sometimes the one that schools find hardest to leave behind. In a nutshell: don’t measure progress using points, monitor progress using your professional knowledge. This works nicely with the PITA method of tracking.
OTrack Tip: It’s easily done in OTrack by monitoring if pupils understand what is being taught over time (and, you don’t have to tick boxes to do it!).
As mentioned above, progress is a hot topic – so I’ll be releasing a multi-part blog about this over the next month or so, please keep an eye out.
Get in touch
If you want to ask questions about any of these points, or if you would like us to visit your school to discuss this – just get in touch and we’ll get something arranged.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org