It is unbelievable! We are at the brink of the end of another school year!
By now you should have a wide range of assessments data from September to date. Depending on your school, you should have collected; formative assessment data from your monthly or weekly tests, quizzes, class work etc. you should also have two sets of summative assessment data for the last two terms or trimesters.
Now is an excellent time to look closely at your data and you should be able to determine a trend for each of your student. Go back to term or trimester one and identify, by highlighting the students who have not made any or very little progress, especially in areas of independent work (minus home work –the student would have had assistance at home and group work where the product is the effort of every member of the group). Look closely at the input of independent achievements: has this student made any progress or has s/he remained at the same grade/mark? Or has this student regressed? Examine the last two summative assessment grades /marks, what is the trend? Ask yourself the same questions: Has the student made any progress? Has s/he remained the same? Has s/he regressed or has s/he attained a better mark/grade when compared to his/her baseline or has s/he reached and /or surpassed the target grade?
Depending on the answer you get, after examining these grades/marks there are a number of things that you might want to do:
- If your students have attained and/ or surpassed the expected targets you will have to set new targets to continue to accelerate the progress of these students.
- If s/he is at least 2 grade levels above the expected grade, then you might want to make contact with your school personnel who is responsible for gifted and talented students. The student should be placed in an enrichment group.
- If some of your students have not made any progress, and their grades have remained below what is expected, then it is time to call your year leader or subject head. Your year leader or subject head should trust your professional judgment and should accept that you have done your best for your students. It is now time for you, your year leader or subject leader to engage your SENCO. Your SENCO should meet with you and take an audit of what you have already done and are doing with or for the students and evaluate the effectiveness of any strategies you have tried. Your SENCO will also share some strategies to use in your classes. You and your SENCO will evaluate the strategies over a term. If all goes well, your students should make progress by the end of the term three.
However, if this fails, your SENCO will at this time engage parents and share the concerns (if not done before) and might have the student added to the SEN register. You might also ask the parents to seek external assessment to determine what is causing the student not to progress as expected. The external agency may also be able to offer strategies which you and the SENCO will try to implement. This process takes time, so you and your SENCO will continue to implement different strategies with the hope of helping the student to make some progress. If this external assessment does not occur for various reasons, continue to try different strategies and document, as you go along.
- Make plans for the students who are not failing but are still not making progress. Often the students who fall into this category are ignored as they are not seen to be in any danger as they are not failing.
The use of assessment data is vital to teachers, it is the life blood of our practice. Data should influence how we plan and execute our lessons, in fact, data should inform our entire practice.
By: Debbie Hamilton-Bogues