Teacher pathway, Level 4
Outcome: Use Classroom Monitor effectively to positively impact the learning of children with SEND
Why it matters: From our experience, teacher’s needs in relation to assessing pupils with SEND differ from those working at age related expectations. However, one of the key advantages of Classroom Monitor is that it can be used effectively with both types of pupils. This learning guide will help you understand how to assess and track pupils with SEND in a way that supports their specific learning needs.
Time to complete: 30 minutes
Assessing pupils with SEND
One of the key advantages of Classroom Monitor is in how you can use it with pupils with a wide range of attainment. Pupils can be assessed using the criteria that are appropriate to their needs at an ability level that suits them. This means that you can keep all of your assessment information in one place rather than across a number of systems, giving a consistent view of all of the pupils that you teach.
Choice of framework
Within Classroom Monitor, schools have complete control over the assessment frameworks that they use with pupils. This means that you can take a number of different approaches with your pupils with SEND:
Using a mainstream framework: The system itself places no restrictions on the ability level that any particular pupil should be assessed at. This means that you can assess specific pupils at the ability levels that are appropriate to them. Within a group, you could have pupils working at any number of ability levels within the same subject, and further than that a single pupil could be assessed at a number of ability levels within a subject to reflect the ‘spiky profile’ that is common with pupils with SEND.
Using a SEND focused framework: Many special schools and mainstream schools with a large number of pupils with SEND, find that the statements in the mainstream frameworks are not granular enough to support and show progress, or don’t cover all of the learning areas that their students cover. You might want to consider activating a partner framework, copying a framework from another school that you work with (with their permission) or adding a framework of your own. This might be an overarching framework that is used for all learning or a framework which covers the objectives of a specific intervention programme.
Using frameworks created for individuals: Some schools have found it useful to create individual markbooks for pupils based on their individual targets. These can then be tracked, evidenced and reported on using all of the tools available in Classroom Monitor.
The decision over which framework(s) to use for assessing pupils with SEND should be decided as a school.
While core teaching groups are often created centrally in Classroom Monitor, admin users can create additional groups of pupils. In terms of pupils with SEND, creating the following groups may be useful:
In-class groups: If there is a group of pupils working on similar objectives in your class then it may be useful to put them into a group. This makes it easier to assess just those pupils, in the browser or the app, without having to search for them in the rest of the class
Intervention groups: If you have pupils from a number of teaching groups working on the same intervention programme, it can be useful to create a group to make it easier to assess and track them.
Grouping pupils with similar needs: Creating groups of pupils with similar learning needs can be helpful for the SENDCO in terms of tracking purposes and to help identify opportunities for grouping pupils for intervention.
Groups can be created and populated in SETTINGS. When you create a group, you can give other users access so the SENDCO may create groups that are shared with other users, or class teachers may want to share their SEND specific groups with the SENDCO
Using the markbook
There are two key ways that you might want to use the markbook:
If there are pupils working within different ability levels in the same class, it is possible to assess them via the one class markbook. You can load as many specific ability levels as you need by selecting them in the abilities box. This is particularly useful if you load up single strands, as you can track backwards from the age-related expectations to the ones that are appropriate for particular children.
Having created specific intervention or in class groups, you can load a markbook for just that group of pupils. This can speed up the recording of assessment as well as making it easier to spot common ‘next steps’ for planning purposes.
Tracking pupils with SEND
There are a number of reports in PROGRESS that may be particularly usefult to track attainment and progress for pupils with SEND.
The multi ability report is designed with pupils with SEND in mind. It allows you to view data for pupils across more than one ability, rather than attainment within age related objectives. You can select up to 4 abilities for a markbook subject and can then view the percentage of objectives that have been achieved in each of them during the specified timeframe. The data is available in a table and a graph for individuals.
Ability Progress Report
The Ability Progress Report is similar to the Multi-ability report but allows you to view progress made across multiple ability levels in a specified timeframe. You can choose to view the data by individuals or by characteristics groups by selecting your preferred option in the menu. Again, this can be viewed in table or graph format.
This report allows you to look at percentage scores in a markbook subject and how they have changed over time. This allows you to track small amounts of progress as necessary. In the menu, you can pick the subject and the abilty that you wish to report on.
While the Group Matrix uses age related expectations, the Ability Matrix allows you to select the ability(s) that you want to report on. This can be useful if you have a number of pupils who are working at ability levels below their year group as you can see their progress in the same format as those working on age related objectives.
A number of the reports in progress are designed to report attainment and progress in relation to preset age related expectations; for example, data for year 4 pupils will be shown in relation to acheivement of objectives tagged as year 4. This means that, in general, they are not as useful when tracking pupils with SEND. These include the School Overview reports and the Group Matrix report.
Whether and how pupils with SEND will appear in these reports depends on how they have been assessed in the markbook subject selected in the current academic year:
If they have any assessment recorded for age related objectives, this will be used to categorise them in the same way as pupils working only on age related objectives. Any assessment made in lower year group objectives will not be taken into account in this report.
If they have no assessment recorded for age related objectives but they have had assessment recorded for a lower academic year in the subject, they will automatically appear in the 'Sig Below' category.
If they have no assessment recorded for age related objectives and they have no assessment recorded for a lower academic year in the subject, they will not appear in the table and will be shown in the exclusions list. This would be the case if a pupil was only being assessed on an alternative framework to the one selected for the report.