School Data Updates

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2B or not 2B, that is the question

By James Pembroke / September 16, 2014 / 9 Comments

I’ve visited a number of schools in the past couple of weeks and nearly all of them intend to continue tracking with levels for all cohorts for this term at least (fine for years 2 and 6, of course). This doesn’t surprise me – it’s the comfort of the familiar – but it’s a bodge…

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No attainment gaps please, we’re intelligent.

By James Pembroke / September 5, 2014 / 0 Comments

If there’s one phrase I hear in the course of my professional life that’s guaranteed to result in my forehead colliding with a desk multiple times in quick succession (or wall if I’m standing up), it’s ‘attainment gaps’, especially if it’s preceded by the words ‘can you provide me with some….’ and followed by a question…

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Attack of the Clones: are data people trying to replace levels with levels?

By James Pembroke / August 27, 2014 / 3 Comments

A couple of days ago the opening salvos of a war between good and evil were fired across the vast expanses of the Edutwitterverse. From their distant quantitative system of darkness, the number crunching legions of the Evil Empire of Analysis were positioning their Data Death Star in orbit around the peaceful and progressive Moon…

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Using on entry CAT tests in junior schools (and how I intend to buy new climbing shoes)

By James Pembroke / August 20, 2014 / 0 Comments

Some things in life are certain: death, taxes, getting a ‘sorry I missed you’ card from the postman when you’ve just nipped to the loo for 2 minutes. Oh, and having the conversation about the accuracy of infant schools’ KS1 results whenever you find yourself in the same room as a junior school headteacher. This…

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How to calculate L4+RWM

By James Pembroke / July 23, 2014 / 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again. I should have written this a few weeks ago when the results were made available on NCA tools but haven’t had a chance, so sorry about that.  Right, first of all, let’s bust a few myths and kill some (very) bad practice. This is how NOT to calculate L4+RWM:…

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VA calculator: confessions of a VA nerd

By James Pembroke / July 12, 2014 / 5 Comments

The latest VA calculator can be downloaded here Now in its fourth year, I thought I’d write a blog about my VA tool, which many schools use to calculate VA and to help with target setting. The original version came about in 2012 for two reasons: 1) I discovered, whilst giving a talk on RAISE to…

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Review: Insight Tracking system for primary schools

By James Pembroke / June 25, 2014 / 0 Comments There are loads of tracking systems available for schools now; and like the Ofsted judgements they seek to achieve (or avoid) they range from outstanding to inadequate. Many primary schools are now turning away from desktop-based systems (usually Excel) in favour of online solutions. Some of these online tools started life as a spreadsheet…

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Primary accountability reforms, assessment beyond levels, and the implications for tracking pupil progress

By James Pembroke / June 16, 2014 / 1 Comment

In March 2014, the DfE published their response to the consultation on primary school assessment and accountability1. Since then, more information has been published on assessment principles and proposed headline performance measures, as well as proprietary tracking systems promoting their developments to tackle assessment without levels. Now that the dust has started to settle (a…

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Key Stage 2 Value Added: Fact and Fiction

By James Pembroke / February 24, 2014 / 0 Comments

Let’s start with the obvious question: what is value added? Well, at its most basic – and at the risk of teaching people to suck eggs here – it is a comparison of pupils’ actual and expected outcomes. The ‘actual’ bit is fairly straightforward: it’s what a pupil gets in a test, obviously. Well, it’s…

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Some thoughts on Key Stage 1 data and recent Inspections

By James Pembroke / February 21, 2014 / 0 Comments

It is evident from recent inspections that Key Stage 1 has become a major focus for Ofsted, and there are increasing demands placed on schools tracking systems. Schools therefore need to ensure that their systems are capable of providing answers to the questions that are likely to arise. As detailed in the latest Ofsted subsidiary…

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