Some of our Partner schools have been trialling the new Foundation Stage Profiles for Early Years since late last year and now have lots of profile data to work with. The revised framework covers children from 24-36 months, 36-48 months and with final Early Learning Goals at the end of the Key Stage. They will not be adopted in the UK untill September but we have used an early draft of the profiles to help our schools prepare well in advance.
Observations of a child are recorded by ticking off observations in the MarkBook using the “EEE” criteria of Emerging, Expected and Exceeding.
The statements within an age range are organised under the three prime areas for development (Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal Social and Emotional Development) and the four specific areas for learning (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design). An overview sheet for the whole class is available with coloured boxes indicating the degree of completeness in each area with Dark Green, Green, Yellow and Pink indicating 85%, 60%, 35% and 10% as Exceeding respectively.
Click to enlarge the EYFS residual sheet.
Clicking a child’s name in the sheet will provide a star chart of an individual’s total scores for each of the areas (in Green below) overlaid on the mean scores for the whole class (in Blue). Each axis in the plot represents one of the areas.
The star chart provides a very easy way to spot strengths and possible weaknesses for a child. While the overall figures in blue may highlight areas which need to receive more attention and time in the classroom for the group as a whole.
The assessment profiles are a way of grouping related assessments in the MarkBook and providing tools to analyse the results. A new tool available with release 1.0.17 of ClaSS provides an immediate and colourful indicator to spot when students attainment moves forward or sometimes drops back.
Key Stage 3 assessment profile with traffic light indicators
The column to the right is their baseline attainment from the previous year the and blue column to the left gives a measure of the amount of progress between that and the most recent assessment to date. The new feature adds a comparison between each assessment column and the one before with Green for improvement and Red for a drop. The result is immediate and effective.
In the above example the profile is working with National Curriculum Levels but the same method could be applied to any assessment scheme designed to show incremental progress over time.
Thanks go to staff in a number of ClaSS schools, including Lynn in Amsterdam and Graham in Prague, who have made suggestions for this new feature.
The comments in ClaSS find many and varied uses in different schools. They prove popular because they are a quick and easy way to record incidental bits of information about a student for future reference and without any extra effort to share that information with other staff.
Now its just as easy to use those comments to communicate with parents, to send home timely information about a student’s activities, behaviour or academic information in school. A “Share with parents” option is now available on the comments form to any staff who have responsibilities at the year level or above.
The option can be used to share comments from other teachers once they have been reviewed for correctness. They are marked as shared in the InfoBook list in ClaSS:
In ClaSSic the same comments are available to parents under the new Comments link:
The comments are displayed for the parent with the profile photo of the teacher posting alongside and with the option to write a reply comment by clicking on the title line:
Those paper slips stuffed in the morning register and lost scattered on the way to registration can now be replaced with the new Notice function in ClaSS. Intended for the events of the day, either to be read out to students during registration or just for the teachers information, a notice pop-up appears when a teacher first accesses the Register tab on a morning:
A Notice can be shared across multiple registration groups by checking them in the list of registers on the Completed Register page. Then press the Notice button at the top to write the message and schedule the day it is to be active. There can be multiple messages added for the same day for the same group if needed.
Recording homework in the MarkBook has two main advantages. First and foremost it helps parents see what homework their children should be doing. It does this by listing the homework details like date due, description and any references through to the the parent portal ClaSSic: you fill out the details when you create the homework column in your MarkBook and the synchronization with ClaSSic does the rest.
Secondly for teachers it allows, at a glance, a comparison of when work was set and collected with the attendance record of each student. So, you know who really did miss that piece of homework because they were out of school.
If you’ve not recorded homework before then here’s a brief instruction sheet: Setting homework guide.
Student targets have been given a higher profile through the the Green Tick for Targets which now sits alongside the Merit Star for every student. These are visible in all student lists, across Register, Info and MarkBook. All staff have access to this and clicking on the Green Tick gives immediate access to the current Target sheet for a student:
It is expected that form tutors are usually responsible for entering and updating Targets and this is done through the student profile page in the InfoBook. An instruction sheet is attached: student_targets
Full attendnace report for a student
The summary button in the register now generates a full attendance report for a pupil. This includes both day-by-day attendance marks for the whole year and some overall statistics for absences and lates. If the same is needed for a previous year or a precise date range then you can use the Attendance option in the Report book.
The assessment profiles in ClaSS provide a means of grouping and organising assessments in the MarkBook. Their fundamental function though is to allow for reporting and analysis of student grades and they accommodate any kind of custom template to achieve this. A new template has just been completed for analysis of GCSE grade performance. Developed in consultation with academic staff in one ClaSS school its now available to other schools on request.
Subject level analysis of A*/A and A-C performance.
It provides for both student level monitoring of A*/A and A – C grades at regular intervals during the course, and for summary percentages of A*/A and A* – C at subject level.
View the full example of the sheet gcse_attainment_analysis.
Compare with the custom template performing the same function at Key Stages 1 and 2, and it gives an indication of how flexible and powerful the templating system can be.
Attainment grid for Year 1
Tracking attainment within the MarkBook has been done for a while now by grouping related assessments together as an “Attainment Profile”. Well new charting functionality has been added to these profiles which makes it much easier to get an overview of the results for a class or even a whole cohort. A great example is the chart used at Key Stages 1 and 2 and shown in the screen-shot.
The example plots the results of four assessments over the course of a year for one class where the size of the dots on the grid indicates the number of students achieving at a given NC Level. The progression over the year (going from bottom to top) is immediately revealed by the shift in the dots from left to right with more students achieving higher levels. The coloured backgrounds act as a guideline with white indicating the target achievement band.
The new charting functions allow for many different kinds of plots and even for a degree of interactivity. In case of the KS1 and KS2 grids you can see demonstrated in the training video how this has been used to highlight individual students within the context of the cohort.
You may have noticed that there’s a new little gold star on ClaSS. It pops-up if you leave the mouse cursor hovering next to a student name in the MarkBook, Register or InfoBook This is the new merits function about which their is a very brief description in the ClaSS Manual.
It requires the minimum amount of information to be recorded to make it as quick as possible – just the activity or area which the merit relates to and the number of points awarded. There’s an optional space for more detail to record your commendation if needed.
The merit points can be tied into a house system and there is a more detailed description about managing the houses.
The merits window currently reports a running total for the individual student and their relevant house total. We’ll be adding full reporting for highest scorers etc. later next month.
If your school is interested in adopting the Merit Star and you didn’t participate in the initial consultation phase then just get in touch. All that needs to be confirmed is the list of “Activities” which you want in the selection box and the points scheme you use. For instance, you may or may not be interested in using demerits. I’d suggest it as a solution for tracking low-level problems like uniform, as ClaSS can generate analysis for anyone of those individual “activities”.