CEA Pilot - Case Study

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					CEA Pilot - Case Study

Institution E
Institution Context

The school is a mixed sex comprehensive of 11 to 18 year olds with a high
proportion of free school meals. The school was for the most part of the study in
special measures or on the at risk register.

The focus of attention was on the assessment procedures in ICT - the main focus
was on the implementation of the use of the school VLE (Virtual Learning
Environment) as an assessment tool: to develop tasks and assessment tasks that
students would be able to access and understand in order to improve their
understanding of what was being asked. This was particularly important at KS4 (Key
Stage 4) in order to individualise students’ progress but equally important at KS3
(Key Stage 3) where the introduction of PLTS was a consideration. The program was
introduced with the consent of the SLT with the hope that the development of the
VLE would aid assessment in all four subjects in the pilot.

Working w ith staff
Staff in the ICT Dept were keen to improve assessment procedures at both key
stages and were happy to discuss changes which would aid in improvement of their
assessment techniques. After initial discussions with the ICT team it was decided
that the CEA would lead initial discussions, however, the staff would need to be very
proactive in this. Because of the nature of the ICT team, only the specialist staff were
to be involved in the planning of the assessment techniques however, the non-
specialist staff were to take part where possible in standardisation, moderation and
assessment activities especially those involving students. A positive working
relationship was developed from the outset
It was also agreed that students should be given the opportunity to feed back to staff
their opinions on assessment and assessment techniques introduced. The tool to be
used would be online surveys. The surveys were to be conducted during normal
lesson times so as not to disadvantage those students with no access from home.

CE A Intervention

Number of Meetings
There were, in total, five meetings plus a final monitoring meeting in which the staff
viewed the work done and fed back to the CEA their views on the success of the
The first meeting determined the scope of the intervention, assessed current
practices and ascertained any issues in staffing and training. The initial assessment
tool was used at this stage to determine where staff within the department felt they
fitted overall. In order to judge the success of the intervention it was decided that all
students in KS3 should also undergo a baseline assessment prior to the start of the
intervention. This was especially important for year 7s coming into school where no
previous assessment data was available. The CEA agreed to write an action plan
based on outcomes of the meeting.
The second meeting followed six weeks later and the action plan was introduced to
staff where it was discussed and responsibilities for the implementation of the plan
were agreed.
The staff also brought a number of pieces of student work in order to look at their
internal moderation process. The CEA acted as an external advisor at this meeting
and helped staff come to an informed decision about the standards and criteria used
for assessment.
The second part of the meeting was used to discuss where the knowledge gained
could be used to enable pupils to gain higher attainment by also introducing them to
the assessment process. It was agreed that all tasks set for the pupils at both key
stages would contain a guide on how to achieve different levels in one form or
another but all online. At KS4 they were initially given an examination mark grid
showing what they would need to achieve to gain each grade.
The third meeting followed five weeks later and at this meeting a second
standardisation and moderation exercise was undertaken this time with staff leading
the process. The discussions, though lively, brought about a consensus with which
all staff were happy and they agreed that this process was something that they
should continue on a regular basis in order to maintain their assessment standards.
A review of the tasks and assessments set using the schools VLE and a survey of
the pupils showed that most pupils felt there was some benefit to having work set in
this way. Staff felt that there had been a significant improvement in pupil attainment.
This was especially reflected in the end of term assessment conducted prior to this
visit where students in year 7, 8, 10 and 11 had made better than expected
improvements. The involvement of two of the year 9 teachers had shown only small
improvements and it was determined that the staff were not fully involved due to
commitments elsewhere.
At the fourth meeting, six weeks later, staff reported an external moderation of KS4
work had taken place and the students were performing significantly better than the
previous year at KS4. They also reported that students at KS3 were becoming
involved in independent learning, effectively using self and peer assessment. Staff
felt that this aided the assessment process as their role was more to confirm and
inform the student beliefs.
It was felt that some students at KS4 were not fully able to access the rubrics as the
awarding body language was too complex. The CEA and staff examined them and
decided that a simpler step by step checklist would aid students in attaining higher
grades. The head of department agreed to develop this in line with the summation
board assessment criteria. In line with previous decisions he decided to make
checklists available to students online.
At the fifth meeting in May a final standardisation and moderation meeting was
arranged with another school. This moderation process across schools had not been
undertaken before. Staff from both schools felt that the process was extremely useful
and that a relationship between the two schools in ICT would be beneficial to both. A
second review of student attitudes showed that students felt that the assessment
processes introduced enabled them to achieve more than before. Staff felt that the
new procedures had improved their ability to deliver the right content and to engage
students in a more fun way in eLearning. This was achieved by developing the ability
of students to self and peer assess and to more fully understand the assessment
process. It was agreed that there would be a final meeting with the CEA in which the
full impact over the year would be analysed.

Use of Tools
All CIEA tools were used. The audit tool enabled in-depth reflection to take place. It
provided a composite snapshot but needed to be used alongside a fuller report. The
time between visits was essential for reflection and consideration of the school
situation. The action plan tool was used as a guide and helped to focus staff and kept
the plan short, sharp and to the point. The monitoring tool was an extension of the
action plan and enabled both parties to easily assess progress.

   –   Time for reflection and development
   –   In depth discussions and access to key personnel
   –   The opportunity to work with all of the team for parts of the process and with
       all full time specialists at all other times
   –   Access to decision makers throughout the process


View of the CE A
The department and the SLT were determined to improve and streamline
assessment techniques from the outset. This was partly driven by their desire to
come out of special measures and partly by their desire to improve standards in their
department. They welcomed the involvement of the VLE and saw this as their
opportunity to develop a wide variety of strategies. There has been a 22%
improvement of results in both KS4 cohorts and improvement in years 7 and 8 also
reflect a similar improvement.
The CEA has also benefitted from the pilot in developing team management skills.
Overall the pilot has proved very successful and the impact is both noticeable and
measurable. Students feel they benefit from the new assessment strategies which
drive performance forward and will relate well to the new APP structure being applied
to this subject

View of the Institution
It has been a successful exercise which now needs to be developed by other
departments. The ICT department has driven the 24/7 access of students forward
and the head teacher is now looking at the use of the VLE across the whole school
for both assessment and planning. It is apparent that students enjoy the access to
teachers afforded by this strategy and that the procedures introduced have led to
improvements all around.
As one member of staff put it “In terms of the overall improvement of the department,
I believe that we have made vast improvements…”
This is reflected by the achievement of pupils and staff confidence in assessing pupil
work using a wide variety of techniques and opening assessment to pupils to drive
attainment forward whilst maintaining the integrity of teaching students the life skills
they will need.

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