Core Skills Tracker
Tracking of pupils’ progress forms an essential element of the school’s provision, informing teaching, therapy and support.
The evolution of the tracking system used at More House School has been directed by a purposeful shift from tracking the acquisition of knowledge, to tracking the acquisition of essential skills. In today’s modern workplace, we can all access nearly any fact in a matter of seconds using the powerful computer carried on our person – our smartphone. Yet employers complain of the lack of employability skills possessed by graduates, unable to apply knowledge, unable to synthesise and evaluate information, unable to present ideas or work within a team.
Using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a framework, our core-skills tracker is used to assess each pupil’s progress in each of his classes. In every academic-subject area a pupil’s skills development is monitored through the hierarchical progression of:
Knowledge - Comprehension - Application - Analysis - Synthesis - Evaluation
In so doing, pupils’ acquisition of knowledge is assessed, but far more powerful is the continual measurement of their ability to manipulate that knowledge in accordance with the hierarchy of skills.
These six skills relate directly to the wording of grade-descriptors in GCSE and A Level syllabi documents, in every accredited/examined course delivered within the More House School academic offer.
The focus on these skills and their relevance to the grade descriptors at GCSE and A Level encourages pupils to become the masters of their courses, empowering them to understand their own performance and opportunities for excelling.
Our teachers are better informed to be able to prioritise the development of certain skills over others, according to pupils’ individual strengths, and to the marks available in each subject-area.
In the Learning Development Centre (LDC) tracking of pupils’ progress is focused on mapping the development of the same skills monitored in each curriculum subject-area through the Core Skills Tracker. The therapy and literacy teams track the acquisition of each skill achieved by each pupil according to his specific special needs requirement, having a direct influence on the pupil’s progress within the Core Skills Tracker being addressed in all academic subjects.
The LDC Core Skills Tracker ensures that each pupil is graded on his ability within the four disciplines of Speech and Language Therapy, Literacy Tuition, Occupational Therapy and Numeracy Tuition. Each of these disciplines has specific groups of skills which are graded according to the pupils’ development. Pupils learn to understand the relevance of each activity and how its achievement will impact on their skills within the classroom.
This model enables all LDC staff to grade progress for each pupil in every aspect of the LDC provision, demonstrating direct relevance to their academic progress.
Pupils are helped to understand that these six core skills apply across all of their subjects and therapeutic work, but with differing weightings. Teachers can identify strengths and weaknesses in individual students and target development effectively. Pupils can be helped to recognise their own profile. Differing pupils’ profiles help to identify strengths, and can support decision-making over courses.
Our use of this new model for tracking, designed entirely in-house and using our Management Information System (MIS) through our own bespoke adaptation, enables us to build data which, over time will become increasingly powerful. This model supports our teachers, therapists and tutors to be as effective as possible in supporting each individual learner in the school, and maximises pupils’ outcomes.
Other forms of monitoring and tracking progress
Half-Termly Progress Monitoring
In addition to the Core-Skills Tracker, each pupil’s parent is able to access, at any time, their son’s record of overall progress, and engagement in his learning, by viewing the half-termly Progress Monitoring Grades sheet, published to the Parent Portal of our Management Information System (MIS), and updated with new information six times a year.
Parents' Evenings and Annual Reviews
Parents are also invited to at least one parent and teacher consultation evening (Parents’ Evening) per year, and are expected to attend an in-depth annual review meeting in order to share in examining progress, especially in relation to the pupil’s therapeutic skills targets. Close communication between parents and the school is encouraged throughout the academic year.
At the end of the year, parents receive a detailed, annual school report addressing the progress and engagement of their sons in all academic subjects, in their pastoral development, in respect of the residential provision where applicable, and in all therapeutic disciplines other than counselling.