Assessment at Old Hall
At Old Hall we assess our pupils using the B Squared Connecting Steps assessment software. B Squared allows us to show the small steps of progress pupils with SEND make and supports teachers to identify next steps.
Because of the wide range of needs our pupils have at Old Hall, we need an assessment system that can track and monitor progress for all.
B Squared provides a number of different frameworks within its system, which allows us to tailor pupil assessment based on the individual needs and stage of education. This individual approach to assessment mirrors our individual approach to our pupil’s education and learning.
Pupils can move between frameworks or remain on the same framework for their entire school career depending on which is best suited to the curriculum they follow, promoting systemic learning and supporting pupil progress.
“Schools have trusted the B Squared team for over 25 years. Connecting Steps is our robust, proven assessment software package. Trusted in over 3000 schools around the world. Designed to work with pupils of different ages and abilities by using different assessment frameworks” B Squared Webpage 2022
Frameworks at Old Hall
Those in the Early Years Department follow the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum, and are be assessed using the Early Steps assessment tool.
Early steps has been developed using the EYFS Framework 2021 and Development Matters 2020. This allows us to record the achievements of our pupils, covering the range from birth to the Exceeded Early Learning Goals (ELG) across all 7 areas. Breaking down the stages into smaller steps assists in the observation process.
All of our pupils in the PMLD department, along with some pupils from other departments from across the school will be assessed using Engagement Steps.
This assessment framework was developed in response to the recommendations made within the Rochford Review 2016, and builds on the work already carried out by the CLDD research project (The CLDD Project) in 2011.
The team at B Squared has designed the Engagement Steps framework to support the learning and assessment of pupils not yet engaged in subject-specific learning, covering what was once recorded as the developmental range from P1(i) to P6.
The Engagements Steps framework is divided into key developmental areas which reflect the four areas of need and has been updated to reflect the changes brought in by the Engagement Model.
Progression Steps framework supports teachers to record the achievements of our pupils who are working moderately or severely beneath age-related expectations in some or all areas of their development. Pupils assessed using Progression steps are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in all areas of the national curriculum. It also supports the new Pre-Key Stage standards from the DfE.
Running alongside these main frameworks, we also have access to the Autism Progress framework. This allows us to capture data around the unique challenges faced by individuals with autism. This framework has been developed in collaboration with experts from three leading Autism charities alongside experienced SEN teachers, Speech and Language Therapists, and Occupational Therapists.
This additional assessment tool enables teachers to monitor and assess the impact of a person’s autism and to build a profile in the specific areas of Communication, Flexibility of Thought, Social Interaction, and Emotional Regulation. From here they can identify areas where support is needed and access a bank of targeted support strategies to help overcome barriers. Any skills in Autism Progress that are in our other frameworks are automatically linked, giving a more holistic view.
All of the frameworks within B Squared allow us to capture evidence of pupil’s progress. However, one of the most important features of B Squared is that the system allows us not only to track the skills that our pupils have mastered, but also those smaller steps and marginal gains that they make towards these skills.
It also enables us to demonstrate the non‐linear progress that our pupils make. Many of our pupils have a ‘spikey profile’ where progress is not always made in a systematic, step by step way. B Squared allows us to capture this evidence and demonstrate where progress is made across multiple levels. This enables us to record and celebrate all of the skills a pupil has achieved.