Progress vs. Grades

Many schools across the UK are placing now more emphasis on individual student subject understanding as opposed to focusing purely on the achievement of certain grades.

SIMS has been accommodating this new trend with an assessment traffic light display.

With these changes to the Progress Grids, teachers using SIMS can now record in a simple traffic light display, whether a pupil is:

  • emerging (just starting to learn a new skill) – RED
  • developing (showing an increased understanding in that area) – AMBER
  • secure (when they have achieved expectations) – GREEN
  • mastered (teachers can also indicate this upon gathering further evidence of deeper understanding being shown.) – BLUE

A limitation of using a straight-forward RAG or traffic-light colour coded system is, what do you do when a student has reached his or her target grade, which is an A*?

In this situation, what usually happens is the attainment would be shown as ‘yellow’ – merely represented as “on-target” for achieving an A*.

Many teachers felt this feedback was unfair as these events would play down the achievements of G&T students, despite emphasising the attainments of middle ability learners. A big no no for differentiation gurus and those calling for more recognition and support for G&T students.

At Milk, we have decided to follow suit with a few slight differences:

  • No data available (recently changed school perhaps?) – GREY
  • emerging (just starting to learn a new skill) – RED
  • developing (showing an increased understanding in that area) – AMBER
  • secure (when they have achieved expectations) – GREEN
  • mastered (for the highest level of attainment possible, e.g., A*) – BLUE

Quite often, when a new student joins a school, the data manager is not always able to acquire that student’s past assessment data. In these circumstances, Milk will display a ‘grey’ grid in the student achievement dashboard.

Another great example of how Milk supports schools with “life after levels”.