Don’t replace levels with levels – CASE STUDY

As we approach the end of the first term without levels, we’re sharing a brilliant example from East Whitby Primary school of how effective Curriculum Manager can be.

East Whitby Primary School has 223 pupils with 42% eligible for free school meals. They received ‘Requires Improvement in their last Ofsted inspection in 2013. They also have one of the lowest speaking and listening levels in North Yorkshire when children join the school.

“Frog’s Curriculum Manager was an invaluable tool to get us ready for the new curriculum and life after levels.”

When Head Teacher Simon Smith joined East Whitby Primary School just over 12 months ago, the school hadn’t looked at the new curriculum or considered the removal of attainment levels.

“The first thing we did was review the current curriculum. We picked up very quickly that there was a mishmash of what we were teaching against what we were assessing.”

After reviewing the curriculum the school looked at the various options available to them to support their assessment goals.

“We found that a lot of what was out there seemed to be just replacing levels with another form of levels without saying it. We wanted assessment to drive teaching and learning”

At a National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) conference Simon was introduced to the NAHT key performance indicators (KPIs), where he also came across Frog. The NAHT KPIs were exactly what the school were looking for as they focus on developing what a child knows.

“We started by having discussions with our SLT and then the teachers about all the KPIs. During this time we used Frog’s Curriculum Manager to update, tweak and add new KPIs as we went along. Having everything in one location on Curriculum Manager made this task so much easier and more efficient.”

KPIs were trialled with groups of children to make sure they were working. They were then adjusted as a team using Curriculum Manager.

“Having assessment driving the learning has given teachers better accountability. Discussions are a lot more focused using the KPIs in Curriculum Manager. Instead of discussing what levels children are at, it’s now focused on what the child can and can’t do.”

When they had finished creating their curriculum and KPIs, they used Curriculum Manager to publish it online and share it with parents.

“Parents have been really positive about the shared objectives, even if at first it seemed scary where their child had to get to. They are now helping their child work towards their objectives because now they understand it and get it.”

Now they’re using the new curriculum every day, the next step is to sit down again and define what good looks like for each objective. They will then make these exemplar materials available to everyone through the Curriculum Manager Learning Locker.

“This is an ongoing journey but thanks to the effort we’ve put in early on we’re in an excellent position to make the most of this opportunity.”

We made Curriculum Manager to help schools with life after levels. Here’s some of the things you can do with it:

• Customise the new National Curriculum and NAHT Assessment Framework KPIs
• Set new KPIs and say what good looks like for the entire year
• Brings all your learning objectives together in one place
• Publish your school’s curriculum online as required by the Department of Education.

You can find out more about life after levels and get Curriculum Manager for yourself here

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