Case Studies and testimonials / Eltham College Junior School

Eltham College Junior School

Using InCAS to understand pupils and their potential

(InCAS has now evolved into Cambridge Primary Insight)

Eltham College Junior School is part of Eltham College, a leading independent school in the UK, marking its 180th anniversary in 2022. Eltham College Junior School offers a challenging academic curriculum within a caring community for pupils in Years 3 to 6.

Nicki Devon, Deputy Head, Academic explains how Eltham College Junior School uses data from CEM’s InCAS assessment (now evolved into Cambridge Primary Insight), to get an accurate picture of individuals and their potential, track progress and inspire their pupils to academic excellence.

Having the InCAS data gives us more clarity and helps us understand each of the pupils better and understand their potential.”


Understanding pupils

“We use InCAS with all of our pupils in Years 3 to 6, Nicki explains. “We assess the pupils at the end of each academic year, so teachers have an accurate picture of all pupils in their class at the beginning of the new school year.

“Having the InCAS data gives us more clarity and helps us understand each of the pupils better and understand their potential. We look at the breakdown of scores for Reading, Maths and Developed ability and it gives us a really good impression of what pupils can do, helps us see who the high-fliers are and who we can expect great things from. It also helps us to pick up on any pupils that might have SEND issues and see where further support might be needed.

“We also use the data to inform our decisions about placing pupils in sets and what would bring the most benefit to each individual, whether that is being given extra support or stretched in booster groups or extension programmes.

“InCAS is about getting to know the pupils – and know them better. The data can reflect what you already thought, but it gives you the evidence to add to all the other information you know about the pupils.”

Evaluating year groups

“One of the things that I find most useful about InCAS is getting a picture of the whole cohort performance. We analyse the cohort reports (the Box and Whisker graphs) and we can see how each year group performs in comparison to previous years’ cohorts and we can track them throughout the Junior School. The data is really reliable, so we can get a measure of how our academic standards are continually improving.”

Communicating with parents

“The information we get from InCAS is so vivid and useful. We share the standardised scores of individuals with parents, along with an explanation of what those scores mean in relation to national averages, so they have a clear understanding of how their child is performing and teachers can discuss this with them at parents’ evenings.

“Having the InCAS data means we know how to bring each child forward, it’s data that actually means something and makes conversations with parents easier.”


Meaningful data

“I think one fundamental thing that has made a huge difference is that we no longer produce our own in-house written exams now.

“We have informal assessments throughout the year, but we have released all of the teachers’ time that goes into creating, running and marking the assessments, and then going through all of the scores and tracking meaningless data. We don’t do that anymore because the InCAS data is better. Also, the results are immediate - as soon as the pupils have sat the assessment, I can download the results and we have everything there.”

Recognising potential

“The InCAS data really has an impact on the children in terms of recognition. Sometimes teachers might get a mistaken impression of a pupil, for example because of the neatness of their work, or their confidence or quietness in class.

“However, when you look at their InCAS scores, you get to the real heart of what that child can do with all of those other things stripped away.

“The data can sometimes surprise us and has really improved the recognition of those children whose true ability has been hidden, but we can now give them access to the enrichment or support they deserve.

“I really feel that’s made a huge difference - I would say what's made the biggest difference is that the recognition of those children has been improved.”

The information we get from InCAS is so vivid and useful.”

Why use InCAS at Eltham College Junior School?


Using InCAS is quick and easy, it saves time, and the feedback is immediate.


We get a more accurate picture of each pupil and can compare the ability of the whole cohort.


The data is meaningful and can correct mistaken impressions.


Want to know how CEM data can help in your school?


Find out more about Cambridge Primary Insight