Case Studies and testimonials / YK Pao School

YK Pao School, Shanghai

Using InCAS to support bilingual students

(InCAS has now evolved into Cambridge Primary Insight)

YK Pao School is a non-profit private institution founded in 2007. It caters for over 1500 students from China and overseas offering a unique Year 1-12 educational programme with a Chinese-English immersion bilingual programme that integrates elements of Shanghai and international curricula, culminating with the Cambridge IGCSE and IB Diploma programmes.

Michelle Ip Banks, Director of Primary Academics, explains how YK Pao School uses feedback from CEM’s InCAS assessment (now evolved into Cambridge Primary Insight) in Years 2 to 6, to inform teacher planning and reflection, measure individual student progress and identify trends across year groups over time.

We found that InCAS gives us comprehensive information about students...”

YK Pao School playground


Why use InCAS at YK Pao School?

“YK Pao has a unique demographic. We run a dual language programme, following a national and international curriculum. So, there are challenges to measuring student progress when they operate academically in two languages.

“We wanted to get a true measure of how our students are performing across the board. We also wanted to take a much longer strategic view of how we would use the data, so we looked across several benchmarking programmes.

“We found that InCAS gives us comprehensive information about students, helps us understand what is happening on a class level and focus on individual learners.”

Supporting bilingual leaners

“The advantage of using InCAS with bilingual learners, is that it tells us whether students are struggling with language, or if they are struggling with concepts.

“We know that non-native speakers might learn more formal words and structures, but InCAS has a difficulty weighting for native and non-native language which is balanced evenly.

“We look specifically at overall performance, reading, and maths, as well as comparing them against aspects that we know tell us more about second language learners, such as picture vocabulary and non-verbal ability.”

Getting a better understanding of students

“We take the time to look at the whole year group data and identify any trends, and at the beginning of each school year, every teacher looks at their class and the results from the InCAS assessment to get an indication of where they are. Then, at the end of year we reflect on the progress the students have made.

“We developed a series of questions that we ask based on the InCAS data which helps teachers dig into the data.

“Asking these questions and triangulating it against other assessments helps teachers identify where students might need more support or more challenge. This is not about staff appraisal or proof of adding value – our only interest in this is for the students to progress and for teachers to gain understanding.

“The InCAS data helps us personalise learning, set goals for the class and celebrate student progress.”

Start of year questions

  • Overall, how does your class perform? How far above average?
  • Who stands out? Why?
  • Where might students be needing more work in general?
  • Where might individuals need more work?
  • What are some goals you can set for your class?

End of year questions

  • Overall, what is the progress your class has made (one year, more than one year etc.)
  • For students who stood out at the start of the year, what is the progress? Does anything stand out?
  • Have students you flagged at the start of the year been making the progress you had hoped? Why or why not do you think this is?
  • Referring back to your goal at the start of the year, what do you think the achievements were? Any concerns?

Reflecting on data

“Reflecting on the InCAS data is so interesting. When you’ve analysed the data at the beginning of the year to set goals, and then look again at the end of the year and you see measurable outcomes, that’s when you get lots of happy conversations about progress. That’s when you see the InCAS data is really exciting.”

Conversations with parents

“We use the InCAS data much more for internal teaching and learning use, but we do share the InCAS reading and maths age-standardised scores, as well as showing where those scores sit within quartiles.

“Sharing the information can help to reassure parents about how their children are performing, and the age-related scores make it easy for parents to understand.”

The InCAS data helps us personalise learning, set goals for the class and celebrate student progress.”

Why choose InCAS at YK Pao School?


InCAS gives you an accurate picture of annual student progress at individual, year group and whole school level.


You get detailed individual student data that builds a clear learner profile and shows the strengths and weaknesses and where support or challenge is needed.


We get a sense of the bigger picture and can see the trends and fluctuations over time.


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


Find out more about Cambridge Primary Insight