Evaluating Progress in Key Stage 1
Firstly there is no “right” answer to this!
Many schools and LA’s have different views on this and Ofsted and the DFE have given little or no guidance.
Without getting caught up in an esoteric discussion on the broad range of skills and knowledge that could be assessed in year 2 of KS1, this discussion will focus narrowly on literacy and numeracy skills, which form the backbone of the Ofsted inspection process.
Teachers evaluate children in May/June of each year through testing and assessment in reading, writing and maths. These assessments form the end of key stage assessments (exit data) that are reported to the DFE for publication in the autumn in RAISEonline. School cohorts are analysed using APS (Average Points Scores) and the percentages reaching each threshold, including L2B+ (the expected National Curriculum (NC) Level).
However no national basis has been agreed for measuring progress in Key Stage 1, despite an increasing focus on this at inspection.
To measure progress a clear start point needs to be identified (entry data) so the distance travelled to the exit data can be measured and evaluated. There are 2 natural entry data points the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) assessments at the end of reception or the first NC assessments made in Year 1 (the baselines).
The EYFS assessments are not the perfect start point as there is not statistical or logical translation between the 17 new EYFS aspects of assessment and the NC levels used in KS1. Hence approximations are used. Some would argue it is too narrow to use just the Reading, Writing and the 2 maths aspects from EYFS (Numbers and, Shape, Space and Measure), and would suggest a wider start point perhaps including aspects from Communication and Language or Personal, Social and Emotional Development. As there is no right answer this, it is for a school to decide but as most senior staff in the primary phase have plenty to do I would suggest this is best kept simple. We are not seeking the “correct” answer to this but rather a quantitative analysis that will give some insight to progress rather than none at all.
The other possible start points for measurement are the baseline assessments in Y1. Most schools will have undertaken these at some point in the autumn term usually just before or after the autumn half term break. These assessments will be on the NC scale and so progress to the end of Year 2 is easy to measure.
Having established 2 possible entry data points (end EYFS and baselines Y1) the question is then “what does good progress look like?”
Using the EYFS assessments there are 2 things a school can do:
- Compare the proportions at and exceeding the Early Learning Goals (ELG) on the Reading, Writing and Maths (2 aspects combined) at exit from reception to the proportions reaching L2B+ and L2A+ respectively at the end of KS2. This can also be done for the Good Level of Development percentage to the overall L2B+ percentage, and
- Prepare transition matrices to calculate the expected and more than expected progress percentages by subject using emerging against the ELG to L1A+, expected to L2B+ and exceeding to L2A+.
Using the Year 1 baselines there are also 2 forms of evaluation possible:
- Points progress between the baseline and exit points for each subject, and
- Transition matrices that show the percentage making expected and more than expected progress. In this case we use 10+ points progress from baseline to exit point as satisfactory, 12+ as good and 13+ potential excellent progress. Some will argue 8 points progress in KS1 is expected progress although most schools/LAs in recent history have tended to look for 12 or even 14 points. We use 10 as the baseline is undertaken part way in to Y1 and children should have settle and begun to progress by this stage.
We recommend the analysis picks out gender, pupil premium, EAL and SEN progress on each measure and, if it is a particular issue for a cohort, the term of birth.
To repeat our opening sentence there is no right answer to this but it is better to do some form of quantitative analysis than none at all. It does need to be handled with care to ask further questions rather than to leap to any form of judgement.
For Schools provides KS1 Data Analysis Reports that evaluate the progress made in KS1 from EYFS and the Y1 baselines. If you would like to order a report or to discuss any points made in this blog please call 0800 788 0444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To see more about our KS1 Data Analysis Report click here.