Methods of Evidencing Capacity
We are interested in
Formative assessment - Using assessment 'live' to engage with the child to help them understand mistakes and move forward.
Ipsative assessment – gauging progress in terms of personal progress and improvement, rather than comparing performance against fixed benchmarks (criterion-referenced testing) or against a population of peers (norm-referenced testing) – is much more effective at promoting pupil engagement and improvement than any kind of summative testing.
CAPPS (Collett Assessing Pupil Progress) grids of assessment
Our work in progress for assessment grids was created in the removal of National Curriculum Levels.
The 'I can' statements in CAPPS include specification objectives of external (and internal) accreditation of relevant Pathway outcomes for pupils.
The CAPPS grids identify the school's curriculum Pathways' essential content coverage. All Pathways' assessment objectives are identified on the CAPPS sheets - this contextualises the learning at different levels and, ensures pupils, staff and parents can determine whether the child's current pathway remains the correct one. Extension work and further breadth is evidenced at levels of attainment and support deeper and wider learning.
CAPPS are a significant tool for assessment, but always in conjunction with the EHCP outcomes determined with parents, the child and professionals.
Assessment is continual.
Three data drops per year create summative assessment data, from which we evaluate progress in learning and determine the effectiveness of interventions, at which time changes are made where needed to the provision for the individual child.
A basket of different measurement tools are used to ascertain:
- The individual’s progress in learning
- Achievements and outcomes – addressing appropriate relevance with their journey towards adulthood
- Understanding and the ability to demonstrate this across different contexts
- Comparison with neuro-typical learners’ expectations of outcomes and rates of progress in order to benchmark attainment and determine gaps in knowledge
- Age-related skills are capitalised on for securing rapid progress where possible and building self-esteem
We are keen to measure what is worth measuring
- Pupils' personal and social development
- Pupils' abilities in communicating effectively
- Pupils' progress in relevant academic, arts and sports subject areas
Pupils' independent abilities
We identify pupils' progress through:
- Formative assessment (diagnostic testing and marking helps form the next areas of teaching/learning),
- Summative (at the end point - evidencing standards reached) and,
- Ipsative assessment (progress related to their own development)
As such, assessment is a key aspect of:
Celebrating individuals' achievements
Enabling others (e.g. employers/college) to build on proven skills, knowledge and abilities
- Comparing pupils' attainment with similar learners and, neurotypical learners
- Effectively establishing the levels of support needed to continue learning and making progress
- Examining the effectiveness of our teaching
- Evidencing the individual's comparative strengths, from which to build on
CAPPS - Collett Assessing Pupil Progress System
Why we needed to create our own system of assessment
- National Curriculum levels were disbanded in 2015
- Schools were then required to either buy an off-the-peg system or make their own
- We took the opportunity to create something effective and bespoke for special needs learners
- We anchored progress against national data of mainstream and special school pupils
- We can show progress instead of being limited by the barriers of NC and P-Scale Levels
So, what is the focus of the assessment at Collett?
- Progress in learning, particularly in PSD, Communication and Kinaesthesia underpinned by literacy and numeracy
- Developing independence and functional skills
- The acquisition of new skills and knowledge
- Inclusivity of children, parents/carers and professionals in the co-assessment of pupils' learning
What makes Collett's system effective for SEND learners?
Many systems for assessment are only age-related and categorise our children as under-achievers. We feel this is over-simplistic. Invariably, people with cognitive disabilities, achieve less than a child of the same age, who learns at an 'ordinary' rate - evidenced through the Government's Progression Materials regarding progress across the country.
The System uses 'I Can' statements, which build up as points over the course of the year, identifying small increments as well as leaps in progress. As such, CAPPS captures pupil's spiky learning profiles and age-related abilities. All of which are monitored through challenging targets based on their comparative abilities and, benchmarked with national data.
Different 'starting points' (recorded ability at a recorded age) are important to know in order to see how much progress is made between that point and a subsequent point in time (data is most often measured from the end of academic years/ ends of key stages).
Every day is a new day! We do not know any child's potential, nor should we create glass ceilings that prevent progress as a result of low expectations. With synapses in the brain forming in the plasticity of our brain- these sparks of learning need encouraging to transfer to the parts of the longer-term memory in the brain.
CAPPS is used for each child at The Collett, from EYFS through to external examination accreditations, enabling children's strengths to be mapped at whatever point they meet. Both concrete and abstract aspects of learning feature in the hierarchy of skills and knowledge. It is a flexible system, easy to understand and work with, whilst also reflecting the requirements of the new national curriculum and new external examinations.
Basket of Assessment Measures
- CAPPS: Our in-house assessment system
- Government Age-related Tests for Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 children: Literacy, Numeracy, Phonics
- Subject-specific testing for baselines and progress analysis
- WRIT: Wide Range Intelligence Testing: Testing that is standardised to find a child's IQ score
- Hodder Reading Tests: Testing reading to ascertain ability scores that translate to Reading Ages
- Helen Arkell Spelling Tests: Testing to find the spelling age of our pupils, with diagnostic results for further practice
- Occupational Therapy and Educational Psychology Assessments: Testing to ascertain abilities and diagnostic tests to establish a programme of further support
- Speech and Language Communication Needs Assessments: Testing to ascertain abilities and diagnostic tests to establish a programme of further support
- External Examinations
- Skills based qualifications e.g. swimming, cycling
- Entry Level
- Entry Level Certificate, Award or Diploma level
- Level 1 Qualifications (GCSE 1-3 grade equivalent)
- BTEC Level 1 and Level 2
- City and Guilds Level 1 and Level 2
Reason for use
Exam Access Arrangements
Hodder Diagnostic Reading Assessment (DRA)
Reading rate, comprehension processing measure, text level comprehension
Reading speed tests/Subtests (Continuous text) for 25% extra time
Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH)
Handwriting and has 5 subtests: copy best, alphabet writing, copy fast, graphic speed, free writing (10 mins), free writing subtest or DASH composite score may be used
Writing speed tests/subtests for 25% extra time
Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2)
A battery of tests that examines: Phonological awareness, phonological memory, rapid symbolic naming (phonological processing speed)
Tests/subtests of cognitive processing
(e.g. phonological, auditory, visual, working memory speed) for 25% extra time
Test of Memory and Learning 2nd Ed (TOMAL-2)
A comprehensive battery of subtests that assess various aspects of verbal and visual memory. (auditory short term and working memory, visual memory)
Tests/subtests of cognitive processing
(e.g. phonological, auditory, visual, working memory speed) for 25% extra time
Helen Arkell Spelling test
Words dictated in the context of sentences
Spelling tests – can provide evidence for a scribe as a last resort. Helen Arkell testing is good for diagnostic phonics analysis.
Wide Range Intelligence test (WRIT)
Examines a child’s level of cognitive ability by assessing both verbal and non-verbal abilities by means of verbal and visual scales
Vocab subtest can be used for language modifier
Wide Range Achievement Test 4 (WRAT-4)
Measures and monitors fundamental reading , spelling and maths skills
Word reading, sentence comprehension, spelling, maths computation, a reading composite
Subtest that assesses single word spelling - can provide evidence for a scribe as a last resort
A closed type comprehension subtest – Reading comprehension for language modifier
Cognitive Testing - WRIT
All pupils at The Collett School present with complex learning difficulties that impact on their progress in learning, highlighted when comparing this with the expectations of age-related/ neuro-typical learners' progress and attainment.
The WRIT (Wide Range Intelligence Test)
is designed for individual administration to persons aged 5 through 85 year therefore is suitable to all pupils in school (4 – 17 years). It has strong psychometric integrity and its application is to identify ability levels and other exceptionalities that will identify barriers for learning and inform educational provision to overcome these difficulties.
The test is administered by a trained teacher/HLTA in conditions that observe testing principles and courtesies as described in the testing instruction requirements.
The results are obtained and presented in a simplified table for the teachers to interpret and consider it as part of an educational pen portrait. Further identification of underlying abilities allows the school to secure focused interventions to address weaknesses and further develop individual strengths.
The test results usually confirm observational traits (spiky profile) and are consistent with diagnosis although they highlight specific areas that then can be addressed in lessons on an individual level. They ensure precision of intervention and a long term implication and projection. A starting point for further research could be Eric.
Where appropriate, the results are shared with parents and other professionals to evidence the pupil progress and inform the right curriculum and environment to maximise learning.
Reporting to Parents
There are many ways parents and carers are informed of their child's progress over the course of the year. These include:
- Face to face meetings with parents
- Letters and information sent home
- Weekly newsletters
- Assemblies that parents are invited to attend to see the presentation of ideas and activities
- Notes between parents and teachers through Class Dojo
- Email correspondence between parents and staff
- Telephone conversations between parents and staff
- Termly Parents' Evenings, with a dedicated slot to talk to the child's teacher
- Summer reports
- EHCP Annual Review meetings
- EHCP reports
- Copies of referrals and letters between professionals
We will be challenged by the new GCSE examinations, which are designed for the young person who can retain knowledge, has a good working memory and can access examination situations. The new GCSEs are linear courses, with no coursework but examinations at the end of a two year course. Where many of our children have reading ages of below 10 years, this presents them with a great challenge in terms of understanding what is required of them.
Below are County and Private Occupational Health Services that may be of interest:
NHS Occupational Health:
Kids In Sync: