There has been significant disruption to school due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Many students have had significant time out of school.
In the autumn term 2020, the school was open to all students who were not advised to isolate. However, many students have had significant time working from home during this time in line with the national guidance, many classes were repeatedly closed due to suspected or positive cases of Covid-19. Therefore, schooling has been generally disrupted.
In the spring 1st half term 2021 the school followed national guidance and all students apart from those who were identified as vulnerable, or children of key workers were advised to work remotely. This has been challenging for all. Due to the needs of our students and their families, staff have worked hard to tailor remote learning to the needs of the individual. Although generally this remote learning has been as successful as it could be we recognise as a school that remote learning cannot replace the experience of being in school.
Many students have been accessing school part time over the Spring 1st half term from 1 day to 4 days a week depending on need. We recognise that the experience of school for these students has also been disrupted. There have been significant restrictions to students in regard to access to specialist resources such as the swimming pool, PE facilities, sensory rooms, Food Technoloy Suite and the IT room. Students have been restricted to accessing only their classroom and their designated outside area for recreation. Groups generally have been small averaging 5 students per class. We therefore recognise that these restrictions will have affected teaching and learning opportunities and therefore progress rates.
Target Setting and Teacher assessment
In the Autumn term 2020 just before the half term break, teachers baselined new students and set targets for all students in English, Maths and PSHE/Citizenship. When setting targets, teachers assumed that students would be in school following a relatively normal timetable for the year.
Teachers have continued to assess students and upload evidence collected onto SOLAR. This includes photographic and observational evidence.
As to be expected, many students are currently making below expected progress due to the disruptions to school and many having had significant time absent from school. Current data of pupil progress rates are therefore misleading, and targets need to be reviewed to ensure they are challenging but realistic.
Generally, students have had a term of disruption this academic year. Therefore, the decision has been made for teachers to review their student’s targets this Spring Term. If teachers feel that targets are still achievable by the end of the academic year, they can remain, as they have been set. If teachers feel these targets are now unrealistic due to a term of disruption, they can change the end of year target to the predicted target for the end of Term 2. This means that target setting is still robust and based on predictions at the beginning of the year but takes account of the situation.
John Grant Levels
The school recognises the diverse needs of the students in the school. Assessment needs to reflect the needs of students, track progress and celebrate successes.
Therefore, students Assessment pathways will be tailored to the individual.
The school has made significant progress towards developing the ‘John Grant Levels’ (JGS) which are intended to replace the P-Levels and National Curriculum Levels we currently assess students against.
The John Grant Levels will replace levels; P4 to NC 5.
The JGS break English and Maths into ‘strands’ so that progress across these subjects can be tracked.
Students will be assessed against the Early Years Foundation Stage levels in Reception and Key Stage 1. They will then move to the JGS Levels if appropriate. Some students may need an extra year in KS2 to continue being assessed against the EYFS levels; this will be agreed in a pupil progress meeting on an individual basis.
Students who are still working below the JGS Levels in KS2 will either continue being assessed against EYFS levels for a further year or will transfer to being assessed against Routes For Learning.
Students in KS3 and beyond who are placed in the ASC Specialist provision will be assessed against the AET framework which is appropriate for the needs of students with Autism.
Most students in the school will be assessed against the JGS Levels.
We hope that by the end of this academic year the descriptors of the JGS Levels will have been written and we will transfer to using these during 2021-2022.
Pupil Progress Meetings
Pupil Progress meetings have been held over the Spring Term 2021. These meetings have been positive and informative. They are held between the class teacher and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Recording of these meetings has differed from previous pupil progress meetings due to the current situation. The teachers have completed 2 records. One record for students who have attended school regularly and the other for those who have received remote learning and have been working from home.
Those students in school record; this record summarises if students are working above, at or below expected progress against their targets. The class teacher and member of SLT then discussed these results and identified any areas for development. It is clear from the meetings that although these students have accessed school regularly their learning has been disrupted so we have seen more students working below expected targets. (See target setting above)
Those Students working remotely record; this summarised level of contact with families, levels engagement, feedback on work completed at home, any concerns regarding regression and general wellbeing. These discussions have shown a diverse picture of students requiring different approaches to remote learning and levels of engagement. The teachers have worked closely with parents and carers to ‘do as much as they can’ while understanding the pressures on families. We also understand that some students have struggled to ‘work’ at home due to their learning needs.
Curriculum Leader Meetings
Curriculum Leader meeting are to be held in March 2021. These will be held with two members of the Senior Leadership Team and a school governor. These meeting are intended to both celebrate and recognise initiatives and progress in the subject and to offer challenge to ensure provision for our students is excellent.
Curriculum Leaders are required to discuss their policies, action plans and budget requirements. These documents are working documents and are continually reviewed by the Leader. Curriculum Leaders have been busy writing high-quality Medium-Term Plans. These are ongoing.
As with pupil progress, we understand that some initiatives and actions have not been completed in the predicted periods of time. This is due to restrictions such as Leaders being unable to complete lesson observations or learning walks in the normal way.
These meetings are essential to keeping us looking forward and to ensure plans are in place to ensure high standards.
Summer Term Report
It has been a challenging time for schools. We see the value of data to inform and identify strengths and areas in need of development. Data needs to be robust and reliable. As current data is misleading, no numerical data has been included in this report.
In the summer term, a summative report will be written reflecting on pupil progress in English Maths and PSHE/Citizenship based on teacher set targets. These targets were set at the beginning of the academic year and teachers have been given the option to reduce end of year targets to End of Term 2 targets given the situation and students being unable to access education in the normal way for a term of the year. This data will therefore be robust and reliable.