Since 2006 progress for pupils from Y1 – Y10 has been measured using PIVATS (Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting) and there has been year on year improvement in the average points scores for all cohorts. In 2009 the Progression Guidance was produced by the government to show expected progress rates for the different cohorts and these were in line with our own performance.
In September 2014 the National Curriculum was given a thorough overhaul and new assessment without levels was introduced. This meant that PIVATS was no longer an appropriate tool for our pupils since the goalposts it was measuring between were moved out of kilter.
Our response was to introduce CATS (Curriculum and Assessment Tools), written especially for our pupils but shared widely locally and regionally. This was loosely linked to the Stat Sheffield assessment materials which are still in development, to enable moderation.
In our first year of CATS we have been able to assess an accurate starting point for each pupil and set targets both short and long term, which should enable pupils to meet or exceed the expected rates of progress relevant to their starting point. Progress is reviewed formally each term and targets revised accordingly. Interventions are put in place for the few pupils who are not making the expected progress for whatever reason.
On-going work with other schools, working with pupils with more profound and complex learning difficulties, is leading to the development of a set of meaningful assessment tools for this cohort which will be in place in September 2015, allowing staff to measure minute achievements.
Pupils from KS4 onwards who have the potential to follow examination routes are entered for a range of qualifications and accredited pathways. Those who follow a vocational pathway gain unit awards for their efforts.