What is Point In Time Assessment?Friday 20th July 2018
We’ve noticed that most schools who are changing their tracking methods, are moving from linear tracking to a Point In Time Assessment solution.
Schools and MATs have told us that the PITA model fits perfectly with the philosophy of the current curriculum.
Read on to learn how this can help improve your school.
Linear vs PITA
I will use an example to explain the difference between linear and PITA tracking models.
As you know, schools use various numbers of codes and descriptors to record a pupil’s ability. In this example I’ve used four: Emerging, Working Towards, At Standards and Greater Depth. The PITA model however, will work with any set of codes and descriptors, regardless of how many a school uses.
In a linear model, a school may use At Standards to refer to a pupil having understood the majority of the curriculum. This would mean it’s highly unlikely that a pupil could be recorded as At Standards or Greater Depth until the summer term. Because, they simply haven’t been taught enough of the curriculum yet, there’s not been enough time!
So, most pupils will be recorded as Working Towards early in the year. Therefore it becomes very difficult to report the difference in pupils’ abilities until the Spring and Summer terms.
If a school decides At Standards means that a pupil is working comfortably with what has been taught to date, then they have made the shift to PITA.
This simple change in philosophy, means that pupils could be deemed as Emerging, Working Towards, At Standards or Greater Depth within any term. Pupils don’t have to cover the majority of the curriculum to be identified as such.
But what about progress?
For schools using the PITA method, progress can be evidenced by a teacher assessment. Gone are the days when progress is measured by points and numbers, and teachers know their pupils better than any numbering system in any tracking software! Some examples of how to do this would be:
Progress matrix reports are key! A matrix report will help you monitor if pupil’s understand what is being taught over time. The report will take a look at the ‘stage’ of understanding a pupil was at in any prior assessment period, and compare that to the latest assessment.
So, if a pupil was at expected standards and still is now, then he/she has made expected progress. And, if a pupil wasn’t at expected standards but is now, then they’ve made better than expected progress. Therefore, if a pupil was at standards and aren’t now, then they haven’t made expected progress.
Of course these matrices will show you the pupils names. But they will also give you the number and percent of pupils that have made less than expected, expected and more than expected progress.
This gives you all the data you need for progress reporting.
Another option is to predict an attainment code (or descriptor) for the end of each term. You should consider the knowledge you have of the pupils, including prior attainment and information regarding their emotional and social context etc. Then, once you have an outcome of an actual assessment, you simply compare the expected vs the actual to determine if each pupil has made expected progress.
Both of these examples will allow you to analyse progress for each pupil, groups of pupils, the cohort and the whole school.
Find out more
If you want to find out more (whether you’re a current OTrack user or not), please get in touch.
We will discuss your current tracking methods and establish if we can help you move to a PITA model.