Cairo English School (CES) is a large and well-established school, providing a high-quality British based international education to over 2000 students aged from 3 to 17. It has around 700 students in the secondary years (Y7-Y12) and offers Cambridge IGCSEs, followed by either Cambridge International A Levels or the IB Diploma Programme.
Andrew Lennie, Head of Secondary, explains how they embed and use CEM data across the school to track student progress and help all students achieve their best.
Having the information from CEM helps teachers plan right from the start of the year. "
Why use CEM assessments?
“Students at CES take MidYIS at the start of Year 7, Yellis at the start of Year 9, and Alis at the start of Year 11. We use CEM because it gives so much information about the students that supports both teachers and leadership and allows us to do detailed analysis to track students internally as well as evaluate the external results.
“CEM data gives us an external, impartial baseline with a large database. Also, because CEM assessments are not content-driven, but skills driven, it makes an excellent tool for international schools as it doesn’t matter what curricula students have previously studied.
“CEM assessments are an ideal tool – we use them for lots of different purposes.”
Tracking student progress
“At the start of each year, teachers use the baseline scores and predictive data from CEM, alongside previous performance and teacher judgement to set aspirational targets. Teachers can track each student’s progress individually and set targets and goals according to each individual’s ability and potential. Having the information from CEM helps teachers plan right from the start of the year.
“The CEM data is a tool to help you. If you don’t know the students at all and you are asked to set a target you are setting it blind and that is where CEM will help you. The CEM data is a guide that helps us to identify students who aren’t meeting the expected grades or who need further support.”
Identifying additional needs and more able students
“At the beginning of each year, students’ baseline information from CEM is shared with the Learning Support department who look at it along with any teacher referrals. This means the SENCO and Heads of Departments can identify those students that may need further diagnostic testing, need different levels of support or additional challenge, and then develop strategies for supporting them which they share with the teachers.”
Target setting - discussions with parents and students
CES use CEM’s Chances Graphs to understand how likely their students are to achieve certain grades in each of their exams.
“The Chances Graphs are perfect for working with students for setting predictions and targets. The teachers use the indication of potential outcomes and their professional judgement to set realistic and challenging targets.
“In discussion with teachers, parents or students, the Chances Graphs are golden: they help to motivate and encourage, as well as warn about potential results depending on effort.”
“An important aspect for the senior leadership team is the analysis of added value against external exams, so the CEM data is extremely powerful. Each year you have different cohorts with different abilities. The large database that CEM has means that value-added can be measured against the starting ability of each year group.
“We compare the CEM data and the predictions, targets and termly scores against actual results to see the consistency of subject performance and actual progress being made by the school.
“The CEM data gives the senior leadership team evidence of school performance. It is an unbiased, true reflection of how the school is operating - if you want to know how your school is performing year on year, the CEM data will show you.”
Sharing best practice
Andrew’s recommendations to other schools for making the most of CEM data are:
Divide and conquer – Don’t share all of the data with everyone. Split the data into usable packets suitable for each stakeholder.
Use the CEM data as a tool to guide and support teachers, not as something to tell them what to do.
Remember, the data gets more reliable for your school year after year. Each year it gets more weight behind it, so stick with it.