Ibstock Place School is an independent co-educational day school for pupils aged 4 to 18 in South West London. The school has a strong family ethos and provides a rich variety of opportunity in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and it has been using CEM assessments as part of a whole-school approach to assessment since 2001.
Head of Learning Support, Christine Young, explains how the school uses CEM’s MidYIS assessment for the early identification of individual student needs and for understanding cohort trends.
‘We find the MidYIS assessment data useful in two main ways: as a cohort analysis tool, looking at predictions, trends and analysing the value-added, as well as using the data in a more nuanced way as part of the overall narrative around each student to identify learning needs and monitor performance.’
Seeing the big picture for each student
As a selective, highly academic school, it is important to monitor progress and gain early indications of students who may be under-performing in this fast-paced learning environment. Christine has lots of contact with the new Year 7s and uses the MidYIS data holistically, sharing it with faculty heads and teachers and using it as a starting point to gain a bigger picture of each student.
‘We find it really useful to look at a breakdown of the MidYIS scores, particularly comparing Reading Comprehension scores and the Proofreading and Perceptual Speed and Accuracy scores, as we find that good teaching and independent school confidence can sometimes mask more complex profiles and learning needs.
‘We use the overall MidYIS score as a starting point to compare to performance,’ Christine explains. ‘But we also collate the whole range of other information that is available for the student including information from previous schools, notes from the interview and registration forms, as well as early comments from teachers.
‘All this information is then translated into a spreadsheet of all students, which is colour-coded and shared with the Maths and English faculties, helping us to immediately identify points of interest or areas of concern, for individuals and the whole cohort.’
Gathering and sharing information helps Christine and the staff to ask questions, look at options for gathering more information and to consider diagnostic testing where it might be required.
‘The MidYIS data is not the end of the story, but it is extremely useful in adding to the overall picture,’ Christine explains.
‘It is important to keep the purpose of the data in mind – MidYIS gives a snapshot of students’ ability and should be viewed alongside other data points and information. Early identification is crucial, and the data is a starting point – it helps to make teachers aware and can confirm teachers’ findings that certain pupils are struggling which might then lead to intervention.’
Sharing the MidYIS student profiles with teachers stimulates discussion and leads to the setting of appropriate levels of challenge."
Using data to make a difference in the classroom
Christine explains how the data is embedded into classroom practice to support high-quality planning, teaching and learning. Becoming familiarised with this type of data forms part of teachers’ ongoing data literacy.
‘The Housemasters and Heads of Faculty for each subject share the information with teachers and it informs faculty planning, schemes of work and lesson planning. Our teachers are positive, engaged and interested in making use of data,’ Christine explains. ‘It is important to have a holistic, longitudinal and contextual understanding of the data and how it relates to students.
‘Sharing the MidYIS student profiles with teachers stimulates discussion and leads to the setting of appropriate levels of challenge. It can also be the starting point for the development of interventions, and senior management can also use it to identify where resources need to be allocated'.