Assessment with a difference - adaptive learning journeys throughout the key stages

by Jodie Lopez

scroll down

Since 2014 you have probably heard the term “assessment without levels” more times than you can count on all fingers and toes, and probably way more than that. A terrifying opportunity it was really for many. No major support in place and everyone else was either panicking internally despite their outer calm, or outwardly panicking. Every school started to search for some way to confidently move all their staff to a new curriculum, a new system, a new way of doing things, and a new set of tests and accountability stakes, all at once.  For the majority of schools there was no immediate transformation. The autonomy was a red herring really as often Local Authorities and tracking systems you already used may have come up with a “solution” that looked like the answer to all problems. However, it all still hinged around the same ideas of tracking pupils in linear fashion on pretty graphs. That feels good because it fits with what we already understood so was a smooth enough move across. 2b became 2 Secure. 1c became some sort of “emerging” - although only for Year 1! We know we still need that data no matter how much we want to scrap the lot and just give every child a learning journey.

There are many systems who have adapted to some more “no more levels” type outputs and inputs. However, it often takes something totally new to break the mould completely. Kinteract has done exactly that. I have often had discussions with schools about how life after levels means every year group needs to do a bit more of what the Early Years teachers have always done. Little and often assessment, meaningful observations, next steps and celebrating all the achievements - not just with the MAT or the LA but with parents and pupils too!

Kinteract has been built around the idea of a learning journey - or timeline - that follows a child all the way through every key stage. Achievements are charted along the way as well as next steps and general observations. The major difference is a break away from any traditional “box ticking” exercises. Yes you can track all your curriculum objectives for whichever one you follow - including your own bespoke one - but you can also tag, and filter, using hashtags just like mainstream social media allows. Not just for academic subjects or curriculum-linked things either - but following the whole child. So you could tag an observation with learner attributes such as #risktaking. Or add in #caring to reflect your focus on values. These observations can be shared with parents and pupils so that every stakeholder can be part of building up a whole-child, unique, and personal journey through progress and development.

Evidence can be added in the form of photos, videos and chat functionality. Notes and documents are added and stored with each child’s profile for ease of access and search-ability. SLT can get an easy overview of the feed of activity and filter down to find common themes and threads. Reporting helps give an overview of class and cohort achievements and can help to focus resourcing and planning for classes and groups, as well as individuals.

You can also add any summative or formative assessment in along the journey but the focus of the timeline moves you away from the traditional idea of perfect, 2-sub-levels-per-year, linear progress and onto that individual journey for every child. You can add as much, or as little, as you like to each child’s journey. The key is about celebrating achievement, focusing on next steps, and sharing success and results. That EYFS best practice filters through the whole school seamlessly and their portfolio travels with every child.

I know that many schools are choosing to use tests to track traditional progress due to lack of consistency in the Teacher Assessment piece at the moment. Kinteract is a great way to set the formative assessment aside from those summative tests, and put assessment for learning in the hands of teachers, pupils and parents where it belongs.

An easy-to-use app makes learning portable and simple. Book a trial today to see what Kinteract has to offer and see what happens when assessment leaves the boxes behind.