How to spot when a child needs support and what needs to be put in place

Learning Ladders are excited to host a webinar with Jenni Dellman, Head of Primary at the British School of Muscat.

Jenni shares her reflections on using Learning Ladders both for learning in school and during this period of remote and blended learning.

Join the webinar to hear about how the British School of Muscat:

  • Incorporates Learning Ladders into their ‘holistic journey’
  • Built a curriculum that is purposeful for their students, reflective of their pedagogy and is tailored to reflect the diverse range of nationalities
  • Engages with Learning Ladders as a High Performance Learning school
  • Utilises Gap Analysis tools to inform teaching and planning
  • Informs parents using Pupil Reports, sharing explicit learning goals using Ladders at Home (translatable in 100+ languages).

A copy of the webinar can be found below:

 

Webinar Transcription:

Jeni Dellman: Hello, everyone, and thank you very much for attending today. A little bit of history just before we start. I’m currently the head of primary at the British school Muscat and have been for the last almost two years. Prior to that, though, I was the assistant head for assessment and reporting, and that’s when my journey to Learning Ladders began. So, I am coming at this from starting at the grassroots and helping with the buildup. 

And obviously things are a little bit different now with everything that’s happening in the world. We went into lockdown on March the 13th and we reopened for Blended learning November the 1st. And I’m sure that some of you may still not even be in school. So, some of this may or may not be relevant. But I’ll give you a little bit as we go along. I think basically before I move on, I think the most important thing here is a disclaimer. This is our personal journey. All this is how we are using Learning Ladders. And as per anything, there is never a one size fits all. So, it could be a case of taking some of this, taking note of it. And it’s all contextual to your school.

So, when we first started looking at Learning Ladders for a number of reasons why we wanted to go down this route, and I’m actually not going to go into all of now because over the course of the last few months, in the next coming months, I know that Matt and the team are doing other seminars and webinars that will cover some of these and a little bit more depth. But from my perspective, if I look at the highlighted areas, those are kind of the ones that help us think about why we chose Learning Ladders in terms of being able to address those needs of the children, being able to look at those gaps that students may or may not have. 

Now, I think yesterday Matt ran a webinar which talked about parental engagement, but also talked a little bit about, you know, the uses of Learning Ladders and the most important bit being that it’s not a day to Dropbox. It’s not a place where you just put a lot of information and then you ignore it. And I think if that’s what it is, you’re going to lose your staff, you’re going to lose your parents, and it’s not going to have an impact on the children in any way at all. So, I’ve kind of listed here a number of the different ways that that we have been using Learning Ladders in a number of different ways that we incorporate it into what we like to call our holistic journey. So, it’s not a standalone it’s not a bolt on. It’s not something that you take separately. It builds into every aspect of what we’re doing.

So, if I think about it in terms of our steps and stages of where we’ve gone, step one was the set up. Now, it was referenced earlier already by Matt, but it’s a bespoke curriculum content. And for us, that was one of the biggest selling points. It meant that we’re British International School. We follow the national curriculum objectives, and we want to make sure that we’re preparing our children for progression both across the year groups, but also around the world. But at the same time, we need to make sure it was purposeful for us and it allowed us to follow the interests of how our pedagogy was, we do something called Discovery Learning, which looks a different way of delivering some areas of the curriculum. And also, we wanted to make sure that in a school, like many of yours, will be with a diverse range of nationalities, that we were able to tailor what we did to still meet those national curriculum objectives, but in a way that helped us progress with the children. So, the first thing we did, and it has taken years, I’m not going to lie. We started with their set of objectives that they pre put in so that you can use those. And over the course of many years, our subject coordinators and our Year group teams have met. They’ve looked at it that refined, and they’ve adapted. But at the moment we’ve got a curriculum that is based very heavily on the things that we cover and the areas that we need to make sure we’ve hit for the children. Once we have that in place. We then created what we’d like to call the internal consistency’s document, and I’m more than happy to share that with anybody who would like to see it. It basically boiled down to almost a one-page policy. Now, within our assessment policy and our teaching and learning policy and each individual subject area, Learning Ladders is referenced, but it did deserve its own little standards like standalone section that meant that teachers could go to it when they just had a few questions. So, within the internal consistencies, we basically focus on the frequency and a few explanations. So, the frequency of expectation, how regularly should our staff be looking at updating the objectives, the regular things that they’re doing on a day-by-day basis? But also, what is the time frame for completing the teacher judgements, for looking at that attainment holistically, for looking at the progress of the children? So those things are within the document. In addition to which the text. 

Now, I can’t see anybody’s faces, but if you do use Learning Ladders, one of the things that we found the most interesting was the use of the four-tick system, because with the best will in the world, everybody still was looking at those ticks and thinking of them in a very different way. So, we held a number of staff meetings. We talked together about what one tick should mean, what two ticks would mean three and then four. And so, by moderating together, by sharing our practice and we do have moderation meetings as well. Looking at the latest objectives that allowed us to create a document which, you know, while never perfect, is certainly more robust than it was at the start of this journey and training. You know, at the end, I’m going to talk about time and giving time to things. And it’s the most valuable resource we have, and especially at the moment in a world of covid, where many of us can’t get together in large groups and everything seems to be done in Zoom or Google meets. But those were the first two stages of our step of setting up system. And then we talked about that idea of adaptive planning, that idea of being a responsive teacher of looking at what’s being covered, of looking at what needs to be covered and making sure that we are undertaking all the objectives. And so, for us, we found it quite helpful in our medium-term planning. In addition to the work that we do on HPL, we also wanted to make sure that we listed those Learning Ladders targets so that we made sure we covered them all. So, we built into our planning as well. 

Now, this is where we come, I suppose, to the main part of this presentation about identifying the gaps, I love the Gap Analysis part of Learning Ladders, partly because it’s very colourful. Learning Ladders is very intuitive. It’s very easy to follow and it’s very easy to see things. And for visual learners, it’s perfect. And here we’ve been able to use the Gap Analysis within teams for individual and Cohort Gap Analysis. So, I’ve taken anonymised part from a media section of one year group. And you can see here that at the bottom there’s a whole block of red. And that was absolutely fine because at that particular point in the year, these children had not had those lessons and that exposure to those objectives. So as a teacher, when I’m planning and looking forward and making sure that my longer-term plans are in place, I will be looking at the Gap Analysis and going, right, what is missing, what have I not yet covered. And that allows us to make sure that we’ve got that that fuller picture. But at the same time, that individual analysis, that first look is very useful. If you look at the first column, you’ll see there’s a child whose twos pretty much all the way down, but then they have one or you’ll look at children who have a number of different ones, red, one being the exposure to it, some understanding, but no confidence in that area. And so, when you’re targeting children, when you’re looking at what you’re going to identify and when you’re talking to parents, you’re able to really drill down into those very key objectives that are very specific for each child. So, within a planned timetable, staff meeting sessions and so on, the plan is always having time built in to allow teams to get together and do that. And then we also plan those times for teams to work across groups. So, again, they can look at each other’s and see where they’re going. 

Now, pre covid, we also would have planning days for teams where the next year group team member or leader would come down and meet with them and again, they’d be able to talk about those things. Obviously, we’re a little bit in a different world at the moment, but that’s the further intention moving forward. And as a school, it’s you know, we’re a HPL school. It’s all about that high level of challenge and that high level of support. So, you’ll see here as well that there are some children who are green, who have mastered certain skills. And you want to look at those children as well, because it’s not just about finding those gaps for the children who struggle. It’s about making sure that those children are able to keep pushing so there’s no ceiling on what they can do. And so, we have what we call pupil progress meetings, and those are held firmly, and they held between the class teacher and the year leader during the first instance. And then the inclusion team, SEN and our language for learning department also join it. And we have two parts to this document. The first part is a tracking of the teacher judgements by Learning Ladders. 

And what you’ll see here is the colour coded because, you know, I love a colour. In the first term, you’ll see it’s black, for example and within there you take from your Learning Ladders the children who are working below age related towards, at or beyond Age-Related and you put them into the grid. And there’s not a great deal at that point you can do with that data beyond part of the conversation that happens. Now, Matt referenced this idea of it being a conversation, and I think he would agree with me that it isn’t the be all and end all and only thing you should be using, but it’s a great jumping off point, it’s a great first step that allows those dialogues. 

We also use G.L., we also use the Pass. And so, we take all of that information and we use the Learning Ladders to help build it. Now, over the course of the year, you’ll also see that the colours change and we look to see whether children have moved from one area to another. So, you’ll see that the children in red and the children who move over and the number of children, for example, here in red has increased, which must mean that some of the children who were working before having moved. OK, and that’s kind of the idea behind it. We’re continuously tracking. But we also asked teachers to highlight if anybody hasn’t made progress, but more importantly, has actually gone backwards in their teacher judgement because, again, that needs to start to dialogue. 

Now, this particular child, bless him, through no fault of his own, was incredibly ill and took two months off school. Now, of course, he wasn’t able to make progress in line with his peers. And so that was a dialogue. There was no judgement. There was no penalising anybody because your children aren’t working. But it allowed that conversation. 

And we then take that to make individualised responses so within our pupil progress data, every child is discussed, every child is talked about within a class because the danger I remember when I was first starting teaching and you had to write reports and you always found it easier to write the reports for the children who were struggling or for the children who were higher achievers. But for those children who just knuckled down and got on with it and were polite and everything else, sometimes you might have missed things. So, we look at it holistically and we make sure that each child is discussed. And then we write into the comment boxes, the actions that we’re taking, the interventions that we’re going to put into place, and the support that we’re offering. And there in response to the identified gaps that we’ve looked at or for the children who are working below or towards. And as you can see here, the demonstration is as well as using the suite of information as well. And then you want to look at it even more holistically, but for each individual. And so, what we do here is we take one child, and we look at them in terms of are they going to be reaching age related expectations by the end of the academic year? Are we expecting to see these children at the level that we hope they need to be in order to progress confidently to the next group and thrive? And if they are not expected to do that, then we need to have further conversations. We need to think about what it is that we as a school need to do to make sure those children are supported and able to continue to progress. And so, you’ll see here again that that happens. We have children who are currently maybe not age related, but they’re green here because we know they’re going to be age related at the level of progress which they’re currently making. So, it’s a number of different ways of taking that data and having conversations about it. On a on a side note also as well, one of the things and it’s just worth mentioning here is the subject leaders at the school. We do have subject leaders and part of their responsibility, again, is to look at the whole school attainment and the curriculum coverage. So, as well as identifying those gaps for your own children in your own class and also for identifying gaps for specific individuals as a school, we’re able to identify those gaps. 

We’re able to see if traditionally time, which in the in the past used to always be one of the last curriculum parts of a year group’s timetable was always left to the end and then with everything that happened, got scrunched down and it wasn’t necessarily taught. And do we need to reshuffle the units and how we teach? And so, each subject leader is able to look at it in terms of where the gaps are for their area. And it’s great we get all of that and then what do we do with the data? And so, we do a number of things and I’ve mentioned a few. We worked with the teachers and the TA’s and we work with the inclusion team to look at what we can do. But we also talk to the students and the parents because with the best well in the world you can do everything you want, and if the students and the parents aren’t engaged and on board, you are not going to get any further. And so pre-covid, there was a lot of student’s dialogue. 

And it looked a little bit like this. So, the children have maths targets, for example, in year three, which are linked to our Learning Ladders objectives. And so, what would happen is each child would have their own placemat, their own card, which had those objectives on it. And throughout the year, they would have conversations with their teachers about where they were at, about what they were doing. Depending on the age of the children, they’d be asked to self-assess themselves. Where do they think they are? What do they think they need to work on next? And they were able to start articulating, using the Ladders at Home objective language. And I think that’s very important as well, because if you’re looking at this holistic view and it’s not an add on, everybody needs to be using the same language. Everybody needs to know what we’re doing. So, the children had these cards that they were using. At the moment, obviously, we are back on a blended model, but we have restrictions on what can be on tables and everything else. So, the children have conversations about their objectives with the teachers, but they don’t yet have these. 

And that leads me to the parental engagement. I talked about those cards pre covid. We had open afternoons every time the parents would come into school and they would sit with their child. They wouldn’t sit with the teacher; they’d sit with their child and the and the child would go through all the different things that they were doing in class that share their books and walk around the classroom. They point to the things they done, but they also had these target cards and they’d be able to tell their mums and dads what they were currently working on, what they were going to work on next, what they were very proud of. And we balanced the use of the Learning Ladders words with the work that we do on High-Performance, learning on our values and attitudes. We also have parent focused meetings, there are little different, and we’ve developed them over the last few years and every week for parents from a class have 15-minute appointments now during Google meets. So, we’re allowed to have that a little bit longer conversation with the parents and we share those targets with them. We share the target paths with them in the past. Now we just share the targets and we let them know where their children are in terms of the objectives that we are currently covering and what it is they need to do for their next steps. 

And again, within the reports, our teacher judgements are echoed in the reports. We were looking with Matt and his team at moving to using the Learning Ladders reports. And then unfortunately, we did go into full lockdown. So, I know that is something we’re still interested in and learning more about, but at this point, we were not quite ready for it. And then the final thing with parents is the Ladders at Home. So, we tell our parents what it is that our children may be struggling with or their children. And we may say to them that they’re really having a hard time with fronted that verbals. And if your schools are like ours, we have a lot of parents who may not have gone through the national curriculum, the British or English curriculum. They may not understand the way that we do addition or subtraction. They may not have had the words to convey because there are so many different changes working internationally. So, for me and I know that this is a completely separate webinar topic, but Ladders at Home has been fabulous, particularly during this period of covid because the parents are able to go on to Ladders at Home. We’re going to say to them whatever area is and if a parent feels that they would like to support at home, then they at least know where to look. We do make it very clear that we are still the teachers, and it is still what we do to teach the children. And there isn’t a level of expectation. 

One of the things we found during covid is parents’ shame, I think would be the nicest way to say that guilt. The parents feel they’re working. They have 100 other jobs to do, and they want nothing more than to help their children. And sometimes they may not have the time to do that. And so, it’s part of our job to work with those parents and let them know that that’s OK, too. And we do not make any judgements about what you can and can’t do at home. But if you do want to, here’s one way that you can do it as well. And then I guess this links, therefore, to the lock down changes, you know, the fact that on March the 12th we went into lockdown and everybody was then online learning. And when we first started, we were using Google suites. We were doing preprepared videos. We were talking about things. We were sharing resources. We’ve since moved towards like lessons. But in the early days, the parents would have a video. It would have an explanation of what they were doing. The teachers would be showing them and talking. But at the same time, there was still that level of confusion in some ways because they’re not teachers and they’re suddenly in the home in a classroom at home. So, we did a couple more seminars or webinars for the parents where we shared how they could use Learning Ladders. We showed them the different tools that they had, the way that it would give them advice on what they could do. And again, with our school, we also spoke a lot about the fact that it could translate into multiple languages, because, again, we have we have parents from many, many different nationalities. And I think that gave some parents a great deal more confidence to talk to us about what their children were doing to make sure that they were able to say, well, I’m not sure about this or what do we do? And it was that individualised, personalised conversation that led to us helping the children to sort of like fill those gaps and to make that progress. 

And I think if we talk about moving forward, it’s different now. We’ve got some children in school and some not in school. And we need to think about what we could do with the students to make sure that they were engaged in their learning and still having conversations about what they needed to do. So, although we were talking about it in class, we’ve now started to think about how they can reflect when they’re working online. We use Jamboard and Google Docs. It allows them to think about what they’ve done and what they’ve learnt and what they need to do next. So that level of ownership, we are now looking in the coming months to see if we can run some virtual site, open afternoons for the for the children to share what they’re doing. And then for the staff, it’s the idea of having time and being able to review because a lot has changed, and we are still using ladders and we are still using it very effectively and we are still making sure that we cover the objectives. 

But we do need to give people time because obviously at the moment we’re all going through it in a very different way. When covid started and the lockdown happened, the biggest concern from the parents on, the biggest concern from the staff was how on earth were we going to track what the children were doing? How on earth were we going to make sure as teachers that our duty of care for the children was to make sure that we educated them, but that we cared about them for their pastoral needs, and we made sure that they were able to be looked after, spoken to and make that progress. And so, as a team, we took the KPI’s from the Learning Ladders and we took those and made those are like our core objectives and said, OK, we are not necessarily going to guarantee that we can hit every single objective, but what we can do is make sure that we cover all of the KPIs so that we’re not disadvantaging the children when they move to the next year. And we created a series of rubrics, so teachers were updating them. So, the next year group would know what had been covered and what they needed to go back and fill, as well as using the Gap Analysis on Learning Ladders. And I think I’ve kind of raced through that. But I will stop. At that point and see if Matt needs to step in. 

Matt: Thank you, Jenny. That was really, really useful. Let me share, you touched on a few points there. If anyone has any questions to do to put them in the queue and I’ve got a couple already but let me just share my screen and actually show people a couple of things that you were talking about. 

So, you mentioned. The parents also quite a few times, just in terms of what that looks like for people, so this this is the parent portal that you’ll see if you’re a student or a parent accessing it remotely. And what it will do is pulling all of the objectives for every individual child that they’re working on at any moment in time. So, it’s totally individualised to them. You can go through. You can have a look at portfolios of their work. There’s obviously remote learning tasks and all sorts in here. But what Jenny was talking about, as well as these supporting articles that we’ve already created, so these are in the system. You don’t have to do anything. They exist already there for the whole reading, writing, maths, curriculum. And it goes through and it explains to parents exactly how to support. So, once you have identified those needs and you share that with parents and then this is the best that you can identify and you can share in multiple languages, so you can change this, we have over 100 different languages in here that you can just change at the click of a button just to pick up on that and actually show people that is what that looks like. 

The other thing that you touched upon let me go into the system, I think is a really interesting moment. We’ve seen this time and time again is identifying parts of the curriculum as KPIs. So, this idea that in an ideal world, teachers would obviously go through the whole curriculum, as they would do normally. But there are some bits which are the really sort of critical areas. So, again, if you’re a member already, then the way you would do that is go into the creation zone, find the subject you’re interested in. So, let’s say we’re interested in this area here, go into the edit function. And then when you scroll down to any of the particular objectives, you can add in useful resources, teaching those descriptions, bringing together policies and stuff. But you can also identify them as KPIs in here. And that will then filter through the system and identify them for staff. So, I won’t do that on this particular example, but that’s what that’s all about. 

And you mentioned pupil reports and all the pupil reports that like this is a PDF version. But there’s a there’s a digital version as well. You can choose whichever one you want. So, this is an automated thing that the system will do and share with parents remotely, at the end of term, at the end of the year, exactly what is going on in a more formal sense. So, you have the ongoing dialogue in the parent platform and then you have the opportunity for this sort of formal sense. 

So, I just picked up on a couple of areas there that I thought I’d have given. I’ve got the demo versions to hand out I’ll share there. So that was really interesting, really useful.  One thing that’s come through on the on the already as a question is, you mentioned obviously set up with this and bespoke and lots of different options and stuff. How the question that’s come in is given there are so many options, and it is possible to do bespoke, what’s the support like giddyap to get to do this on your own or how does that work? 

Jenni: I am I’m not saying that just because Matt is listening. But, you know, I have to say that I one of the reasons that we particularly like Learning Ladders is the level of support that you get. So far, that has not been a time that we haven’t written to them with some drastic major help email or please fix this or we would like this or whatever. And they and they haven’t responded. And most of the time, you know, they are very much a listening team. So, we do get a lot of support in terms of the practicalities of you within a staff and the admin. I think if you were looking at this as a brand-new set up, I do recommend taking one of the set sections, either the national curriculum model, the Hilting bury one, and using that, even if the way we did it was we started with the Hilton bury and we ran it only for English and maths for the first year and we didn’t share it with the parents. Now, it may be that you want to go full steam ahead and you have the capacity within your teams. But what we then did in the following year was we shared with our staff the national curriculum documents and the Hiltingbury documents and together they built and adapted. And it is a very quick once you’ve got it on a document, a Google doc or whatever else. It is a very quick copy it into the box, copy it into the box, press, save press, publish. It’s not massively onerous, but there is an element of admin to it which will take you a little bit of time in the very first set up. And what I do like about it is then you can still edit, and you can still add to it and you can still change and move as you need. And so, every year, not going to lie. Matt will agree with this. Every year we refine and adapt. We do it at the end of an academic year to ensure that all our ticks and all are so Gap Analysis is consistent across all of them. 

Matt: Yeah, and that’s a comprehensive answer. Thank you. I won’t tell the team that you think they’re great because they’ll probably just ask for more money. But yes, I think in terms of how it works, all the curriculum frameworks within the system already, so you can take it off the shelf and a lot of schools will do that, or you can customise it in any way you like. And that process is very easy. But the critical thing about it, again, is what Jenny’s touched on here is this. This should be a living document. There should be something the staff are using day in, day out, getting the information out of it, as well as making the assessments and sharing it and using feature analysis for your actual curriculum is going to change and improve and evolve as you go through it as well. So, you can change and adapt that either to individual circumstances, but don’t a long-term school improvement plan as well. 

OK, and one thing that we get asked about quite a lot, so I was just going to touch on very, very briefly is obviously when people talk about gaps in learning, they look about data stuff and we do separate webinars on data. So, I won’t go into too much detail. But the key thing to get accurate data to do any of this kind of stuff is, is three kind of areas. You need obviously the curriculum digitally to reflect what you’re actually teaching in class. We talked about it time and time again to make sure your system is flexible enough. To do that, you need your assessment policy to be reflected in your system. So, again, make sure your system is done and that set up. But you also need to make all the calculations behind the scenes are set up to the reality of how you teach. So, if you’re teaching a mastery approach, if you’re teaching a thematic approach, if because of local circumstances you have factors which mean one particular term, you can’t get quite so much taught as you might do in different ways. If you’re adapting your pacing because of coronavirus, all of that kind of stuff needs to feed into the system. So, you get the accurate data. And again, if that’s an area of interest, we have separate webinars on that. But do make sure you do that, because if you’re not getting into that level, then you won’t get the sort of specific information any sort of stole my thunder here. 

We talk about Gap Analysis as being a really popular. That’s obviously great. And then the cohort comparison is a relatively new one but is something that a lot of schools are looking at the moment. And if you’re worried about not having a lot of recent data that you can make inferences on or use for your planning for the current cohort, looking at multiple cohorts going through a curriculum is a really good way of identifying patterns in learning. So, some time as an example, actually, do we see in terms of our data that we have a consistent challenge with the peer group in a particular part of the curriculum? And what can we do to address that? Which is because you’ve got last year’s data missing. If you’ve got the prior two or three years of data, as long as you can analyse it in a sensible way, it’s a really good way of red flagging, like the issues that you would have had anyway. You’re almost certainly going to have now. So that whole data, if you’re interested in that, we do. We do other webinars on this. And you mentioned GL data. I don’t think you may be missing this, Jenny, but this is new. This is going to go live in the next few days so we can sort this out for you. This is a whole sort of new dashboard approach to all the GL data. So, if you use that in your schools, then then obviously we can enable that from your system from the end of next week. 

And then there’s the contact details. What I think I’ll do now is just sort of leave a bit of space because we aim for half an hour. We’re already ten minutes over the beginning. I’ve ever met or spoken with a webinar where we stick to the time. So, I apologise for that. Thank you for sticking with us. Everybody knows that nobody’s left that to gain a few people at the end. So, if you have any questions, then follow then fire them through and we’ll answer them. Now, if you think of them afterwards, then get in touch with the team and we’ll do it. If you’re on Twitter, then feel free to tweet us and I’m sure we can have a discussion on Twitter. Jenni, I love that you put your hand up. 

Jenni: I’m used to primary school. The other thing I was going to say is in the past, when I first started Learning Ladders, Matt put me in touch with a school in Dubai and I spent a lot of time talking to that person about how they’ve set it up. So, in public and witnessed, I’m more than happy outside of this webinar if there is anybody who is thinking of setting it up or has anything or even just building a network of people in a similar situation, I’m more than happy to start dialogues outside of here as well. And I’m sure Matt is happy to pass on information. 

Matt: Yeah, thank you, that’s really kind, Jenni. And we definitely will. Yeah, I mean, one of the great things is we do have some fantastic schools who are brilliant at sharing and sharing best practice and CPD stuff like this. So, all right. I think that was the main question. The other ones I know that we answered as we went through, I picked up in a couple of people, asked to just show some of the things that we were talking about. So, I’ve done that. So let me bring this to a close. Jenny, thank you for taking the time out of what I know is very, very busy time for you and everybody else and enjoy the rest of the evening. Everyone else, if there’s anything else that that can be useful then do get in touch. But we’ll send a copy of the presentation and everything to you afterwards, so thanks Jenni and thank you very much, everybody. 

Quick Wins and School Improvement in Challenging Times

School Improvement is always on the agenda, even in challenging times. Great schools never stand still.

Our latest webinar focusses on the actions shown to have the greatest impact upon student’s achievement.

Lots of quick wins that are easy to implement. And that will have an immediate and long-lasting impact.

Why not upskill parents, at scale, so they know exactly HOW to help at home?

It’s been shown time and again this has the biggest impact on school improvement. And it’s even more important than ever in lockdown. We show how to do this without overloading teachers. It’s not enough to send work home for parents to supervise. If remote learning is to be effective then parents need to be shown how to help. And we can automate that so it’s no work for teachers. And our pre-written explanations cover Reading, Writing and Maths, and are in 100 languages – perfect for EAL families.

Imagine if every teacher could access just the right part of your internal guidance, at the moment they need it, without wading through the whole policy? Imagine if your subject leads could mentor every member of staff remotely, one-demand? It’s easy with our Curriculum Tools.

Surely you should be able to search every online education resource on the internet in seconds? Find exactly what each child needs. Even from site’s like BBC Bitesize that don’t have their own search function. Then share and evaluate in a click? With our new curated search engine – The Curriculum Lab – you can do exactly that from within Learning Ladders. Find any resource, matched to your existing plans, then share it via the remote learning portal and even track understanding with self-marking quizzes.

Why wait for issues to arise? Interrogate historical data trends and pinpoint likely issues before they happen.

The video is 30 minutes long so grab a coffee.

Webinar Transcription:

Matt: Hello everybody, welcome to the webinar. Just in terms of housekeeping, as I always say, I think everybody is familiar with Zoom nowadays. If you have any questions or any comments as we go through, then do just type them into the Q&A on the chat and I’ll keep an eye on that as we go through. I’m going to stick to about half an hour and there’s an awful lot to talk about. So, I’m going to go through relatively quickly. There will be notes on our website, learningladders.info at the end of the session. 

My name is Matt. I’m the founder here at Learning Ladders. You can get me on social media. That’s my Twitter handle. And for the session today, we have a hashtag beyond tracking, which is our usual hashtag for the CPD events. I also chair EdTech at Besa, the trade association here in the U.K. I’m a founding member of a group called EdTech Evidence as well. I can give you perspectives from a range of angles. But mainly ones I wanted to share is some lessons that we’ve been learning from some of our member schools around the world that we think will be useful. And some insights into how you can get ahead of what’s going on at the moment. So a quick 30 minute session on quick wins and school improvement planning in challenging times with a particular focus on maths. 

A lot of what I’m going to talk about applies to any subject. But just as an example, we’re going to focus on maths today. So going through and having a look at some of these things. I’m going to cover the big picture. I’m going to talk about what research tells us about improving progress generally, not just at the moment, but generally how this looks, particularly in the context of mathematics and how to make it real, how to actually bring it to life without overloading staff. Obviously, the system that I have access to is Learning Ladders. That’s our system. I appreciate that. It’s a sophisticated system and not everybody has access to it on the webinar. Apologies if that’s the case, but this is probably the easiest way for me to show you the quickest and most accurate way to do these things. 

So a few housekeeping things in terms of context. Obviously, the majority of people on the webinar are probably working in a scenario where some parts of the school community is not attending school in the traditional way. There is some element of local lockdown. If you’re in the UK, that’s still a national lockdown. In other territories, you have more blended learning. And in some territories it’s beginning to get back to normal. But whatever the scenario is, it’s not quite what we would call normal learning. And there’s been a huge amount of disruption. So, before we rush into thinking about details of how we’re going to plan for school improvement and where we might get the quick wins, we really need to not overlook the really obvious fundamental factors. Thinking about pupil’s well-being here. If we miss that step, then anything that we do later on is going to have far less impact. 

So, we know obviously securely attached children learn better. We know the anxiety is a block to learning. We know that we have to create time and space for relationships and rebuild routines, particularly within young children. We know that we need to explicitly scaffold ways to learn, not just bombard children with content and stuff that they have to remember. We know that we need to be transparent with children and we know that children will learn much, much better if we construct how to address the gaps in learning with them. And by that, I mean involve them in their learning, give them a role, give them some responsibility for discussing and understanding where their gaps in learning may be. And with very young children, that probably falls partially or wholly with the parents as well. But to have that dialogue that needs to be a two-way dialogue, particularly at the moment. Parents are obviously playing a critical role and we really, really need to focus on how we up-skilling parents, how we interact with parents when we’re planning our school improvement and our quick win. So that’s a bit of context. I think everybody will hopefully agree with that. 

The one thing I would say from the research and things that we’re finding from schools that are successfully adapting to blended learning around the world, there is one influential factor that is significantly more important than anything else you will do. So if you remember nothing else from this webinar and you only take one action, this will be the one to take away that anything you do in school to try and improve children’s education, anything that you do around school improvement planning, around interventions, around assessment about anything else will be trumped by how effectively you can get adults at home, by which I mean parents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, tutors, chauffeurs (If you’re in that part of the world). Anything you can do to get adults more involved in the day-to- day learning of children and up skill them so they know how to help. That will have a greater impact on children’s learning than anything else that you can do, even under normal circumstances, so particularly under the current circumstances where we’re relying on the adults at home to scaffold learning, to address misconceptions, to manage motivation, to get children to do the things that we want them to do with our remote learning plans. 

We know that in young children, in very young children particularly, it is not enough to simply send work home and have an adult at home supervise that that work is is happening, that that work has been given to the child. Those children need an adult with them who can scaffold their learning, who can take the place of the teacher in some respects by providing that motivation, providing those nudges, addressing misconceptions, modelling great ways of doing this. And that’s an incredibly hard thing to do. We know that. But if you can do it, then it will have more of an impact than anything else. 

If you look at the studies, it shows that time and time again getting adults at home effectively involved in children’s learning, and what I mean by that is that they are actually specifically supporting individual tasks as part of a learning sequence. This is not simply about parents being involved, taking a picture and sharing it back with you, celebrating a reward sticker, celebrating something like that, answering homework. It is much deeper than that. Its parents who are up skilled at scale so they can all help their children remotely understand what they need to do and support them. And if you can crack that the maths for any other subject across the whole school, then time and time again the research has shown that is the single biggest thing that you can do. So, when you’re planning quick wins and school improvement in these challenging times, this is the most important thing you can do. And it’s not about simply sharing information with children or sharing information with parents. It’s making sure they know how to help at home. It’s making sure they understand the terminology. 

Now, clearly, that can be quite intimidating, but the very, very good news is that although there are a lot of challenges out there- we know that a lot of families here in the UK and international schools, English might not be their first language. They might not be familiar with the terminology, with the teaching strategies that we know. We know there are a lot of challenges and we know the parents really, really want to help, but we know that it can be potentially overwhelming. So, you need a way to upscale parents at scale at home. Now, we have a method for doing this (little plug for Learning Ladders). Obviously here you can do this very, very easily. The way that we do it, and you may have a different way, the way that we do it is every single task that is set by the school or every single assessment that is made for every child is communicated through the remote learning platform and mapped to a whole load of prewritten resources. And this is a really quick, easy way that you can upskill parents at scale. So, for every individual child, they have a summary of all of their current objectives, exactly what they’re working on. You can set homework, you can share portfolios, you can do pupil reports. You can do flip learning, remote learning tasks, self- marking homework. But critically, each one of these, the parents and the children’s themselves, can then click through to a pre-written article. This is an explanation that Learning Ladders has created, and it goes through and explains to parents, this is exactly what you do for this particular skill at a very specific level. And all of these resources are available in over 100 languages. So, if you have communities at home that are not used to supporting home learning because either they simply don’t have the time normally or they don’t have the capacity or the expertise if they need to access this information in their home language so they can support their children, that’s absolutely fine. It’s clearly much better when adults at home have some understanding of how to help their children. And if we need to serve that up in their home language, absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. So, this can be a real game changer for those families who are not used to accessing the curriculum or supporting their children. So that’s the first part. And if you’re interested in parental engagement and that sort of stuff, we can talk about that a lot more. 

So, you need to show parents exactly how to help. You need to, in school, create the conditions for success. Now, some of this will have happened already. Hopefully, if it hasn’t happened already, it is never too late. The relationship between home and school has to be to say there has to be a conversation going on. Share with parents and with the children. If they’re slightly older, explicitly share what you believe they can already do and therefore where your focus of teaching is going to be and they can respond to that and confirm it or challenge it or say, actually, maybe I don’t understand this, or I do understand this a little bit more. But that dialogue is going to be the best way that you can make an accurate assessment of children’s current learning situation. And until you’ve assessed that foundation stage, until you know exactly where they are at the moment, you can’t build on that. There are no quick wins. 

There is no school improvement unless you have a very clear idea of your starting point. So, lots of low stake quizzes, lots of open-ended tasks, lots of conversations. This is not the time for formal intimidating tests. This is not the time for, you know, your exam type features. You cannot replicate that remotely. You cannot validate the conditions on which children are taking. Those tests are universal and fair for every child. So don’t bother would be my suggestion. But what you can do is use your existing data to identify known gaps and predict where there may be issues. You can use software like Learning Ladders to set self-marking quizzes to do low stakes online assessment to set open-ended tasks which will give you really rich information. 

So, it’s a different way of doing your formative assessment, but it’s equally valid because your teachers will have that information. And if it’s low stakes and if it’s very small, there’s very little incentive for anyone to cheat the system. So, you do tend to find that actually the information that you get through this is very accurate. The other thing, obviously, while we’re talking about this, is this is a change. If this is a time of huge change for the majority of teachers in the majority of schools and families. So, we need to be flexible. We need to be flexible and compassionate, and we need to have flexible systems. And we need to just remember the scenario that everybody is operating in. 

OK, so for school leaders, what can we do on the school improvement area? First and foremost, create the conditions to support the teachers. We need a high-quality bespoke curriculum that doesn’t change whether you’re doing remote learning or whether you’re doing teaching and learning in the normal way. High quality bespoke curriculum for maths. You need a calculation policy that teachers can access at the point of need. So you will have, if you’re a subject lead, created a policy which sequences learning in your subject beautifully throughout the whole school. And it’s probably a work of art and something that you’re very proud of, certainly mine was when I was maths leader in my school. This is something that you’ve worked on. But unless the teachers are accessing the relevant part of it at the relevant point of need, it’s totally pointless because it’s not being pursued. So, you need to make that easy for them to access so that you’re supporting them, so you’re giving them every chance of success. 

If you’re using Learning Ladders and you’re a subject leader, you would do it like this. You would go into the curriculum section you would go into the creation zone. Let’s say I’m looking at maths, I would go into the part of the curriculum that I’m interested in. So, if I’m interested in addition, I can go into the edit function here and I can very easily go into a bit of the curriculum here. And I can add in useful resources. I can add in teaching notes and descriptions. This is where, as a subject leader, bringing your curriculum to life, bringing your calculation policy to life, giving that mentoring can be hugely valuable, particularly for the less experienced teachers and by upskilling your teaching staff so they have the confidence and the resources to hand so they know exactly how to help. That is another really quick way to school improvement in any time, regardless of remote learning or normal learning. So, add in teaching notes here, you know, and this can be simple extracts from your calculation policy if you’re using external resources, if you purchased a scheme linked to it from here, if you have an Internet, if you have moderated work, if you have lesson plans, link to it here so that the teachers can understand that in our particular system. 

We now have something called the Curriculum Lab. So, a lot of the time teachers will then, once they know where the gaps in learning are, search through the Internet for supporting resources to understand what might be the best way to bring this to life for children. Well, again, can we short circuit that for them? Can we help them with that? So as more experienced teachers, you could use the curriculum lab here or teachers can use it as well. And literally what it will do is it searches the page that you’re on. So, it knows that you’re on addition and Mass, that’s maybe, say, filter by year two and it searches the Internet for the best available resources in this particular area. So, for example, these are all of the resources on BBC Bite Size relating to maths addition for year two children. And there’s a lot of them. And you can go through and you can have a look at them. We also have something called Oak National Academy, which is a government funded website where there are prewritten, pre-recorded lessons and resources and quizzes and all sorts of stuff. And again, the system will search all of those for you so you can go through. You can have a look at the particular resource and then you can add it into your teaching planning and use it either in school or remotely publish it through the remote learning platform. Set a quiz alongside it so that you can get immediate feedback and you can get an idea of who’s doing it. So, this is another new feature. If you’re using Learning Ladders to have a look at the curriculum, that which means that you can surface those resources, the point of need or other things to think about. 

You’ve got resources, you’ve got your calculation policy that’s come to life. What is your assessment policy? What is your assessment structure? Is that reflecting your current teaching needs? So how are you going to do that? And again, you can go through and you can flex this in different ways in the system. So, for example, you may decide to flag to your teachers that some parts of the curriculum are non-negotiable. They are particularly important parts of the curriculum that although we appreciate that it’s a challenging time and teachers may not be able to get every part of the curriculum. This is the really critical area. So flag them, highlight them. We call them key performance indicators, whatever you call them, flag them on their make it clear to teachers that those are the non-negotiable tasks. And again, it’s these simple little things. If you’re a sports fan, it’s the aggregation of marginal gains, lots and lots of simple little wins to make teachers lives easier, pupils’ lives easier, parents lives easier will yield these results. There’s very rarely a magic bullet. The parent portal is probably as far as we can come to that. So, it’s lots and lots of these quick wins that will make the difference. 

Alright, think about your assessment structure, think about your assessment policy. Is your data giving you the information that you need? If in remote learning you’re going to have to have a term or two of discovery, of understanding what children have done when they’ve been out of school, your assessment policy and your assessment data needs to reflect that and we can show you how to do that if you’re a Learning Ladders customer. All right. We want flexible, independent, resilient learners. So, it means empowering them. If you want children to be flexible enough to cope with remote learning, they need to have had responsibility for their own learning if the process that they’re used to is teacher, just as with a very small information, very small amount of information, just enough to get them through one lesson, and then the teacher evaluates them on that lesson and then they leave the lessons finished. If they’re used to that stop start teaching style, it’s going to be impossible for them to adapt to remote learning where they need to take more ownership. They need to be more self- starting. They need to be more resilient, more flexible. So, we have to train children by sharing with them explicitly. This is your learning journey. These are the objectives that we’re going to be working on. They are a sequence of lessons that will build up to these objectives and we want you to take ownership of them. So having those conversations with children, that’s the first step to effective remote learning. If children are not used to having the conversations about learning and taking ownership of learning with their teachers, they’re not going to magically suddenly be able to take ownership of their learning and lead the conversation with their parents when they’re at home. So, we need to build that gap and we need to give the children responsibility for this area. 

Final area, I told you I was going quickly, and I apologise for that, there’s a lot to cover. Data is your friend, so set yourself up for success. A big part of what Learning Ladders will do is obviously your data. Whatever data system you’re using, you need to tailor your algorithms. So, school data historically has been quite inaccurate for three main reasons. The systems that you’ve used haven’t been able to reflect exactly the curriculum that you’re teaching in school. The assessment policy that the system has used hasn’t exactly been able to reflect your assessment policy and the calculation. The algorithm that the system has used doesn’t reflect the real world of teaching and learning. Now, most of the time, you should be able to customise your curriculum. You should be able to customise your assessment policy, but make sure you also customise your algorithm. If your data system is giving you judgements on children based on linear progress, a third, a third, a third progress each term. If it assumes that every subject is assessed in the same way, the data you get from it will be wrong because that’s not how schools work. If your system can’t cope, as we know that a lot of systems can’t with progress outside of the registration year group. If the system won’t recognise a year for child working on year three objectives as making progress, then your data is always going to be wrong. So find a system that will do that for you. Share excellence and support needs based on the data, then, yes, so you can use data patterns, even though you’ve probably had 12 months, nine months possibly of missing data. You can look at historical patterns and understand very, very easily where gaps in learning may be. 

And you can do that in a number of ways. You can very easily do it using systems. If I was to go into ours, for example, again, this is how we do it, you might be able to do it differently, very, very simply. I am choosing a target group. I am choosing year five. I’m looking at their reading. I’m looking at what have they done in year five. So far, these colours and numbers are based on this school’s particular example. These this is what’s going on. But what I’m seeing here is the current year. Well, that may not be of particular interest to me. What did Year five AB do when they were in year four? You should be able to just go back in time for your existing class and identify gaps in learning really, really easily. What did the current Year five do when they were in year three? This information needs to be accessible to your class teachers at the click of a button. Otherwise, they are going to waste a lot of time on diagnostic work, on assessments, on pitching work at the wrong level, on trying to cover topics and subjects where the foundation skills haven’t been mastered by the children. If you don’t have this kind of data, this accessible, you’re always going to struggle. 

The other thing to think about is then patterns in learning across multiple years. So again, this is something that we’ve been doing with our schools quite a lot. Having a look at what we’re showing here as a part of the Learning Ladders systems, which has cohort comparisons year on year. So, you can look at your curriculum and see how it’s performing year on year. And what this will do is this will show you. OK, so the current let’s have a look at year four maths. How have we been doing in the year for maths curriculum over the last three academic years? Well, the current year four, we don’t have much data for. We know that, but we can have a look at patterns in previous years and that may give us some trends in our own curriculum, which means we can get ahead of something. And from a school improvement planning perspective means we can make some reasonable assumptions. So, for example, a number of our schools have looked at their curriculum and discovered, for example, that in year two, every year there are 15 or 20 percent of children who don’t master times tables to the required level by the end of the academic year. Well, if that’s happened previously, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s going to happen again this year because this year is likely to be more challenging and not less challenging. So, if in the last few years there’s always been 15 or 20 percent of children who haven’t accessed or mastered time’s tables in maths in year four, it’s reasonable to assume that’s the case. So why wait, put an intervention in place now tell your teaching staff in year four. I am the head of maths. I’ve looked at the data. I anticipate that we may well have a number of children have this issue with times tables in year four. I have looked at the gap analysis of your class or asked you to do it. We’ve identified the specific children and we’ve proactively put an intervention in place that’s highly targeted based on historical data and a reasonable assumption of what’s likely to happen. That is quite simple to do if you can. Access the data in the right way. That’s something that you can really do to get ahead of school improvement planning. Not just look at the children that you’ve got at the moment but have a look at the performance of your curriculum over multiple years and that will give you some really good insights. 

Use historical data. This is one of our dashboards looking at GL data. If you’re a school that uses GL data, particularly in the Middle East, have a look at your historical trends. Have a look at that on a global basis, on an individual basis, and you can get some really good insights as to where likely challenge areas and likely opportunities may be. You need a system that does all of this together, so obviously a little plug for Learning Ladders here, but this is what we do. Everything that I’ve talked about is within one system. So your curriculum design, your assessment, your remote learning, your parent tools, your split learning, your self-marking homework, your pupil reports, your data, your independent learning. Everything I’ve talked about is within one system and you need that. Otherwise, multiple logins, multiple systems, just a waste of time. It’s going to distract your staff. OK. Does it work? Well, yes. In our particular case, we know that it does. 

If you’re interested in EdTech and you’re looking at different solutions, go to comparison sites like EdTech Impact. Have a look at what they say about the various different systems, and that’s a really good way of doing it. So, in summary, if you have any questions do put them in the chat I’m conscious of times. 

I’m going to try and finish promptly because I know everyone’s busy. In summary, involve parents at a granular level and by that, I mean a specific objective level as they go. It’s no good waiting until the end of term, until you do parent consultations or you do a formal people report to share with parents what’s going on. We know that if you’re doing blended learning at the moment with a lot of children at home, it’s no good just sending worksheets home or sending tasks home or giving them a log in to a remote learning platform. The adults at home need to be able to support the children’s learning, address misconceptions, give them the motivation, model enthusiasm. And in order to do that as a school, you need to upscale parents at Scale On-Demand remotely. And that’s what we do at Learning Ladders. No compromise, OK, this is too important and your school is working too hard to compromise. 

There are lots of systems out there, but there are very few that will do all of this for you. Don’t compromise. Make sure you get involved with the systems. If you think systems like ours are beyond you, get in touch with the office, we’re here to help. Even if you’re not using Learning Ladders get in touch. If you have any questions, we are here to help. I’m a former teacher. I know what it’s like. We genuinely want to try and support schools through this programme and we have been doing this for years. I set this up five years ago. We’ve spent five years researching this, developing it, working with schools around the world. We understand this space extremely well. This is not new for us. So have a think about how you can do that. I hope that was that was useful. I have gone through a lot of information very, very quickly. 

These are free CPD sessions that we run at Learning Ladders to support primarily our existing members, but also the wider school community. So, if you’re a member, then I hope that was useful and you’ve picked up some tips. If you are a member and you want to discover more about this than when you’ve logged into your system, click on The Help Guide. And this, as always, is where you’ll find all of the articles. This is where you’ll find access to future webinars. This is where you’ll find access to historical webinars. Our chat forums are community forums. All sorts of stuff is here in the help center. If you’re a member, that’s where you’ll find the recording of this later on. If you’re not, then contact the office and I’m sure they’ll be able to give you a copy. This is how you can get hold of us. Like I said, if you’re on social media, if you’re on Twitter, the hash tag is #beyondtracking. I hope that was useful. I’m going to stop talking now and just have a quick look at the Q&A. If you haven’t asked a question, and you need to get on with your day then thank you very much for taking the time. I hope this was useful so let me know what you think. And like I said, we’re here to support. So very best of luck. Thank you. 

Using Digital Technology Effectively for Assessment and Planning for Progression

What is good assessment practice?  How do you set up conditions for success?  Where can tech help?

This collaborative webinar hosted by BSME, in discussion with Matthew Koster Marcon (Learning Ladders CEO and Founder) and Natalie Kaye-Aspinall (Assistant Principal at GEMS Wellington Primary School, Dubai) seeks to shed light on these questions.

Matt explains the Learning Ladders formula for improving student outcomes; bespoke curriculum design policies, tailored assessment policy, communication, sharing and reporting on student’s learning to create the continuous feedback loop necessary to have impact.

Natalie reflects on her school’s experience as a Learning Ladders user over the past two years and the shift from traditional assessment practices towards far more effective methods including involving the children in conversation and feedback as part of a wider process.

Tracking formative assessment data goes beyond providing an audit tool.

Listen to the webinar recording to find out how data can really be your friend as a classroom teacher and senior leader:

 

Webinar Transcription:

Michael: So this is a recorded webinar for using digital technology effectively for assessment and planning for full progression structure. So we’re really lucky today. We have got to two lovely speakers. Matt Koster Marcon, a former teacher and founding CEO of Learning Ladders and Natalie K. Aspinall, a teacher and leader and leader at Gem’s Wellington Primary School, to share their experiences and knowledge with us. 

Matt I want to thank you for watching the recording, slightly unusual on this one, so this presentation that I’m about to give was designed to kick off a sort of question and answer session rather than necessarily just CPD. So if you have any questions or you want to get in touch about any of it afterwards, then those are those are my contact details. What I’m going to cover in terms of the session today, I suppose, is probably the big picture. And then Natalie is going to go through some specific insights and tips from a school perspective. So I’ll try not to overlap too much. 

So just in terms of obviously using digital technology for planning, for assessment and progression really has to be based on good assessment practise, whether you’re doing it on digital technology or not. 

So what is good assessment practise? Where does formative in summative fit into it? How to set up the sort of conditions for success. Where tech can help and sometimes where it doesn’t? If you’re doing something badly, then EdTech will just accelerate it and do it faster and at scale. So there are sometimes some sort of pitfalls to tech and then some questions to ask when you’re thinking about tech and things that you might want to you might want to implement in your school. 

So from our point of view, I suppose just as an overarching theme, everything that we talk about at Learning Ladders, we always talk about great learning conversations. So everything we do is designed to try and start great conversations between teachers and children, between students themselves, between teachers in the staff room and between home and school. So that, in our view, is the good stuff and everything is designed to start those. So curriculum design assessment policies, communicating that, sharing that, reporting on evaluating it is all designed to be a sort of continuous feedback loop. And essentially, what we’re what we’re aiming for simplistically, are the key stakeholders in a school having these kind of emotions so that the child, the student at the top, simply knowing exactly what they’re working on, what they need to do and what comes next. They’re in control. They feel like they’re succeeding. They’re independent learners, they’re resilient learners, and they know what they’re doing. 

Teachers know exactly what every child needs for every lesson and have the tools in place they need they can focus on. Teaching is no more complicated than that. Really demystifying education for parents that they understand what children are learning. They’re showing exactly how to help at home and kind of take the stress out of home, learning by being really, really specific about exactly where a child is at any point in time. And then obviously from a senior leadership point of view, just quickly and easily understanding what’s happening, how to share best practise, how to manage interventions and that sort of stuff. So that’s our starting point. You hopefully will agree with with most of that. I don’t think that’s particularly controversial, worth probably clarifying principles of good formative assessment. 

So most of you are probably familiar with the work of people like Dylan William, and he talks a lot around these sort of guiding principles, which again, is very much what the system is is designed to do. So you can’t if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there. You have to know the starting point. So this great teaching always starts with knowing exactly where every child is and therefore what you can build on and move forward. So everything, again, is designed to engineer those effective discussions, to understand where children are and what’s the best way to move them forward. 

Now, you can do that with digital technology. You can do it normally, but ideally you would do it as a blended approach. So everything’s working together so that you’ve got the systems in place so that before a lesson, a teacher can understand exactly where the gaps in learning are, exactly where the starting points are for for the children, that in the lesson there are structures in place to help the children, help the teachers make those conversations happen, recall those conversations and build on them. But fundamentally, you’re also activating the students themselves as owners of their own assessment. Traditionally assessment has been something that’s been done to children quite often associated with we would assess children’s work after they’ve left the classroom and look for learning in exercise books and test results and stuff, far more effective to involve the children in their own assessment and get them involved in those conversations, get them talking to each other as well as part of a wider process. 

So we talk about those kind of things, some basic basic stuff to create conditions for success. And it’s worth just going back to these fundamentals. You have to have a bespoke curriculum and you have to bring it to life. So bespoke curriculum is not simply a long list of objectives, but it’s your policies relating to those objectives. It’s your teaching resources relating to those objectives. It’s previous work. It’s moderated work is team teaching is internal expertise. It’s external resources all captured within one system, a really, really clear assessment policy. So your curriculum is telling you what you want your children to know. Your assessment policy is telling you how you’re going to know when they’ve got there. So making sure that it’s really clear so the teachers can use it accurately at scale. And you need a simple system. Again, from my time working in schools, sometimes the theory is there. But if the system requires walking into the admin office, going through five different logins and then waiting for something to enter data into it, it’s simply not going to be used and it’s not going to be helping you. So particularly when you’re thinking about digitising some of this and using systems to help you, I would say one thing that we find time and time again, implementation is key. A fantastic resource, whether it’s digital print or anything else, is absolutely no good unless it’s used. So you have to have a resource that teachers are going to want to use, that they’re going to see value from. It is going to help them in their day to day learning and an assessment who often systems have looked like a scenario where they’re only used by class teachers because an email goes out from SLT at the end of term, I need to get your data into a system and teachers then sit there, they plug data into the system, but they know what the thresholds are. So that data then gets manipulated to hit the thresholds. All that data is a bit vague. It gets aggregated into a load of graphs and it sits on a a senior leaders shelf waiting for inspection. That process is just not helping, teaching and learning, so it needs to be fundamentally simple to use and it needs to be meaningful to staff and help them do other stuff. So use the systems in that way. 

Then get specific, how can you use technology around specific tasks that finding out about children’s learning, how can you use technology to help with that? So, for example, things like low stakes quizzes are really, really popular. Interactive homework, open-ended tasks that you can set through technology or work extremely well linked into one system will save you a huge amount of work as well. So those are the sort of fundamentals setting yourself up for success, if you like. And the other side of things that we find that I would say possibly a slightly less popular view is data is your friend. So in education, data is quite often seen as an audit tool. It’s seen as something to measure to better people over the head with and causes stress. And it’s really only done for those purposes. It really shouldn’t be like that. If you set your systems up properly, then data really is your friend as a classroom teacher. Yes, of course. There’s always a work load conversation when it comes to using an assessment system. But if you use the right assessment system, the limited time you take to enter information onto the platform, particularly if you’re doing it live, should repay itself in spades. So, again, Learning Ladders our bargain with teachers, as always. Yes, of course. You have to enter assessment data into the system for it to be able to do the analytics and stuff. But if you do that, then it will automate your parental engagement. It will automate your end of term reports. It will automate your data reporting. It will do homework for you. It will do self marking for you, will do all sorts of other stuff. So actually in the round, it’s saving you a huge amount of time. So think about data in that way. Be realistic about workload, but don’t think teachers are ever afraid of hard work. What they don’t like is wasted time that needs to be considered as a whole, a whole area tailor your systems so that it’s giving you meaningful information. 

Another big problem that schools traditionally have with data is it may be possible to tailor your curriculum. It may be possible to tailor your assessment policy. But if the fundamental algorithms in your system are not working and tailored for your school, you’re going to get erroneous information. You’re going to get edge cases. So in the context of this presentation, a lot of you’ll probably be in the Middle East and clearly the Middle East in terms of your different terms, structure doesn’t normally sit a third, a third of third across the year. The summer term is very disrupted by heat, religious festivals and all sorts of other stuff. So your reality may well be if you don’t get 50 percent of your work done by the winter break, in your reality, you’re behind. Well, if you bought a system from the UK, which is kind of slightly out of date and assumes learning happens, a third, a third, a third across three terms at the end of the first term, it’s going to tell you all of your children are significantly above expectation because it’s only expecting you to have done a third of your curriculum. But actually, in your reality, you need to have done 50 percent of your curriculum. And all that data is wrong. And that will not correct itself until the final day of term that all those children have been showing a significantly above all through the year suddenly kick in and potentially become below you really need to be specific around the data. When you’re using digital tools, they can be very, very powerful. But unless you understand the intricacies of the calculations behind them and unless your system is open enough to share those with you, you’re always going to be relying on a sort of black box technology that you may or may not understand and may or may not be giving you the information which is tailored to your school. 

So ask to see the algorithm, make sure you can customise it and make sure you can customise it on a subject level as well, because the way you teach and assess science may well be completely different to the way you teach and assess writing. So again, it’s about that level of detail. Once you’ve done that and you’ve set yourself up for success, then your system should really simply be able to let you share excellent support need based on data rather than guesswork. You can look at long term patterns and you can be really proactive and specific around interventions, particularly at the moment. A lot of schools are missing a lot of data for the last academic year. You can use your assessment data to plug that and predict likely challenges of school to, for example, just to show you some of the ways that we do it. This would be where the classroom teachers live most of the time. This is your simple Gap Analysis. It has the children along the top, the objectives. It has the resources embedded in there. And it shows you very, very simply where the gaps in learning. That’s your starting point as a class teacher. But if I wanted to start doing some more specific planning analysis, I can do things like looking at cohort performance across multiple years. So what I’m doing here in the system is I’m looking at my maths strands in here and I’m looking at how did the current Year six do when they were in year four? How did the current year five do when they were in year four and how have the current year for been doing? Well, the current year for we don’t have much data for. 

But when we’ve been looking at this information for our existing schools, you find some really interesting patterns. So for example, you may find that consistently year on year. If timetables is in your year three curriculum, that actually may be twenty to twenty five percent of children don’t reach the required level of timetable’s knowledge by the end of year three in your curriculum. It’s happened for the last two cohorts. So there is every chance it’s going to happen for this cohort. So get ahead of it, use that data, use that information to be proactive with interventions and say we’re pretty confident this is likely to be an issue. It’s been a more disruptive year than normal. We can put an intervention in there and get ahead of it and take the pressure off class teachers by identifying some of the things that are likely to crop up. So data really can be your friend in the area by getting ahead of stuff and you can use multiple types of data as well. 

So this, again, is some of the dashboard that we do around GL data. So you’re looking at your CAT4, your Progress tests, your internal data and your Pass data if you use it, looking at attitudes and learning, looking at trends, looking at how children are performing on a formative and summative basis, looking at really simple comparison. So this is a simple comparison looking at progress test data. And this is particularly useful when you’re looking at children who are stuck significantly below or significantly above on age related expectations. You can use the Progress data the summative data to kind of identify and pinpoint those children who may still be making progress. So the green dots here in the bottom left hand quadrant, these children here, they are all below one hundred on their on their SAS score. So they’re not quite where you’d hoped they’d be just yet, but they’re making progress since the last test. So that’s positive. That’s good news. They’re still not quite there, but they’re heading in the right direction. Fantastic. Conversely, the children who are in the top right hand quadrant here, they are way above one hundred on the SAT score. So they are high achieving children, but they’re going backwards. Now, that may not get picked up in your formative data. So by using the two together, by using systems like ours that married the two together and allow you to compare them really easily, this is the kind of information that you can pull out really quickly. So this then enables you to plan for that success and plan for that direction going forward. So these are the kind of things that we talk about. 

The other final thing that when we did the run through, the guys asked me to talk about a little bit slightly left field from from what we’re really talking about in terms of planning for progression and assessment, but really, really important if you’re serious about getting children to achieve more at school. The one thing you have to do above everything else in primary and early years is get the adults involved in their learning. Effective remote learning, as everybody is now discovered, is a lot more than simply plonking children in front of a worksheet or a computer system at primary level. They’re just not able to normally do that on their own. You need an adult there who can support that learning, but you need to create the conditions for successful remote learning in the classroom. So the stuff that we’ve talked about before, you need independent learners. You need them used to talking about their learning. You need them to have co-ownership of their assessments. So when they’re asked to be flexible and do remote learning, they know exactly what to do and how to do it, because remote learning is really, really important. The data tells us time and time again, if you can get Ladders at Home involved in children’s learning, it will have a far more significant effect on their success at school than anything you can do at school. And that’s quite a depressing statistic for it, for a teacher or former teacher. And parents want to help that. They want to help and they want to get involved, but they don’t normally have the support. So make it simple again, the way that we do in Learning Ladders. The parent portal does all the stuff you’d expect from a parent portal in terms of two way communication portfolios, paperless homework, we do pupil reports as well, but it also has specific resources to upskill parents remotely on demand at scale, and these are in over 100 languages. So for every single part of the curriculum, reading, writing, maths and science, from early years to year six, we’ve broken down the curriculum objectives and each one has supporting resources designed for remote learning to upskill the adults and upskill the children, each in over 100 languages that are available within the system on demand as well. 

So that’s another way that we particularly do it, and that just fits within the whole system. So everything needs to be in one coordinated system. Bespoke curriculum assessment, independent learners, teacher schools, parent portal then, all the analytics in a complete virtuous circle. Does it work? Yes, we are working with UCLA London, doing a research project at the moment, and we’re seeing some really significant results from schools that switch from a sort of traditional tracker, if you like, to this approach, saying typically around 11 percent increase in their SATs results within a couple of years and on a softer side sort of testimonials and case studies and stuff backing that up. So it’s worth the effort. It really will make a big difference for you.  So I hope that was useful. Like I said, we were not able to do the live Q&A now, so I’ll leave those details up. Do feel free to get in touch via that. And I’m going to hand over to to Natalie now. So there’ll be a seamless technical transition, I’m sure, as we do this. She’s going to talk you through a school perspective, I hope that was useful. Natalie all yours. Let’s do our seamless transition. 

Natalie OK, so thanks for that. My name is Natalie. As I said, I’m assistant principal at Gems Wellington Primary School in Dubai and we’ve been on our Learning Ladders journey now for just over two years and it did start when I met at one of the leadership conferences over here in Dubai. And you started to tell me about the programme and how it worked. And I think coming from a background in education at the starting point meant that the Learning Ladders system actually worked really well with the needs of the school. We had been using a system previously that was as Matt referred to very data led, not for the children. It was more just used for summative assessment, whereas we found the Learning Ladders system does really support the learning, particularly across the school, and supports the children. 

So in terms of my presentation, I basically just going to give you the insight of what it’s like from from my position, having used it in the school over the last two years. So things to note and does it work as a school based system and yes, first and foremost it does, I’ll talk through the functionality of that. Does it meet the needs of the children in the classroom? How does it work in terms of the analysis of data? And then finally, as Matt finished saying, how do I engage the parents? Because we all know that that’s a massive part of elementary and primary education. So the main thing that I say is that is really user friendly in comparison to other platforms that they have used in the past. It’s timely so it updates quickly. It’s not three days later you’re going to get the assessment you put in on Monday so you’ve got to do it a week in advance. 

It’s obviously web based, so in terms of access and updates, Matt and his team do and have been updating the system regularly in line with requests from schools and trying to really make it user friendly and the best experience possible. And one of the main things that we found beneficial is that we can add all of our teachers into the system, whether they’re a class teacher or a specialist teacher, and they can all contribute to a child’s profile, as it were. So if you’ve got a child who has special needs with the support or an EAL child, those teachers who take them for the extra sessions can still plot towards their attainment and progress in English or whatever subject area they’re getting help with. So as a new school taking this on board, the main thing that your your teachers will be using is the assessment system here, whereby they just select the class to select the term that they want and the the timesaver, as it were. 

Again, that Matt referred to in terms of you can actually do a bulk assessment. So you know that the majority of your class have achieved the objective after you have taught it and reviewed it and you’re confident with that. And in our personal school assessment system, we have got four assessment points. So the second assessment point being that the children have achieved the objective so you can go through and you can assess the objective as achieved. But all of your class and then, as we all know, will be those children who think didn’t quite get it. So you can just turn them down to the tick of beginning beginning to understand the learning. And similarly, if you’ve got any children who are working above expectations, they can have the third assessment point. Take the fourth assessment point, take something that was on there from Learning Ladders. And we actually use that for our children who are working significantly beyond Age-Related expectations, your gifted and talented children or in the maths context, we use it for the children who are able to solve the problems with greater depth. This is the bread and butter in terms of what you would ask your teachers to do. 

And the main point as well, one of the things that we talked about before we move to Learning Ladders platform is that it is completely customisable. And being in the school in the Middle East, you do have the UAE social studies curriculum. We have here. We have Arabic and we have Islamic, which all the state not on the standard national curriculum for the U.K. So it gives you the flexibility to add those bones in, as well as using some preset rungs that Learning Ladders has built in already. I would say that if you are going to move across to the programme, you do need to give yourself some time to make sure that you set these rungs up exactly how you want them to be before you start. It’s easy to create an excel and then to a CSV file which can be uploaded. And just spending a little bit longer on that before you start to use the system is definitely worthwhile. And something that I would recommend doing if you’re going to go with this with the programme. 

And another thing which I’ll come on to is you can add success criteria to the letters and you can add guidance for your teachers. So like the schools over here, by the way, you might be multiple form entry and you want to make sure that all of the teachers are using the same criteria because assessment is very subjective. And just to try and eliminate that as much as possible and the criteria that we’ve added to Learning Ladders actually helps us to do that. 

There is an option to add additional rungs for SEN children, so they will call the old p scales back when I was in the U.K., but they’re now referred to as psk scales. And we found those particularly useful for children’s progress, and particularly if you are in a year one classroom, because the Learning Ladders system does have FS rungs and does a brilliant job of looking at the new FS curriculum. But the FS curriculum doesn’t seamless go into the rungs for year one. So what we did was we added in the PSK scale for reading, writing, maths and science so that the teachers can plot things to help towards the children’s progress, which I’ll talk about in a little bit more detail the moment. And similarly, if you have got any children who are attaining above where they need to be, you can plot rungs in the next group. So that really helps again with their progress. 

OK, so what does that look like? Well, this to the left hand side, here is an example of what we’ve done for our reading scheme. Now we use a scheme which is called PM Benchmarking by Engaged, and we have married up that scheme with the national curriculum for England’s reading rungs. So here this is an example of what you can see. And we have got our school language of learning, which we call beginning achieved and mastered. And alongside that, we’ve said if you’re reading a book below level 10, then you should only be plotted as beginning for the objectives. If you’re on a book 11, you’ve achieved the objectives. And if you’re reading anything more than that, up to mastered will be up to level 14. So it gives teachers some guidance of should I give them a one tick, give them a two and again just in terms of consistency across the year groups. But that would look like you might have your own schemes that you use for maths or science. And again, you could put notes in so, so much of what you’re doing at your school, which has been really useful. And then to the right of the screen here was just an example of the Pass scores. But you cannot and if you add them to the start of your ladder, that will help to plot towards children’s progress. So, as I say, those children get one in particular. They’re not quite achieving the objectives yet. You still can plot things like, for example, on here I can listen to a familiar story for five minutes and it’s really useful for SEND and low ability children, enabling them to make progress throughout the year and not just reflecting on their attainment. 

So moving on to what the analysis of data would look like, we said at the beginning, we have got all of our stakeholders involved here. So we have teachers, specialist teachers and the heads of department are all involved in every single stage, whether it be the formative assessment or the summative assessment side. And the Gap Analysis has been one of the life changing parts of this. And it was surprising how many teachers and people weren’t aware of how this could be used to actually lead the learning in your classroom or within your group. And we do this every half term. So at the end of this half term, now teachers are plotting the marks. This helped him in the book. And then what we will do the first week back is we will print off the Gap Analysis to say what? OK, what is it that I need to look at and what do I need to plan ahead for in the next half term? And that goes again, goes alongside what the first slide showed us, which is the four assessment points. And teachers actually link their planning directly to the objectives that we have in Learning Ladders. Some people even have it in their WhatsApp group or just take a screenshot or a or a snippet of the objective that they’re covering. Then all this week, we are looking for this particular objective on Learning Ladders. And it’s really easy to then in, as I say, bulk assessment plot where the children are and then and then tweak from that to what is very much a full learning tool. 

Then we’ve got, obviously, the summative side of it and the assessment summary in this instance is one of the main things that the teachers use, again, every half term. But there’s no reason that as you as a class teacher want to go in and have a look at where they where your class are. You can go into it at any time. Referring back to what Matt said at the beginning, we have got a percentage of objectives that need to be covered every half term. And so the assessment summary, to be most accurate, you’re better off doing it at the end of the term, because by then the children have covered all of the objectives and we have it split as 40 percent for our autumn term. Thirty five the spring and twenty five for summer for the exact reason that Matt said earlier, being that the summertime in the Middle East, obviously we have our working hours and then the schools do tend to finish a couple of weeks earlier than the UK. So we don’t want to put the exact split and end up with 40 percent needing to be covered by the summertime because then you don’t have the end result that you need for the children in terms of attainment and progress. 

The Insight section is more used by heads of department, heads of year, myself and other members of SLT where you can get a more overarching picture of what the group or the subject looks like, whereas the teacher and the teachers at their level tend to just look more at the assessment summary because they’re interested in the children in their class. And obviously that’s their their objective, as it were, to get the children to where they need to be, whereas we’re probably looking at it as an overall picture of the school or stay within the group or the subject. And then what we haven’t started yet. 

But what I’m really looking forward to getting going with is the external summative data. And again, speaking to you, teachers in the Middle East with the external data of the GL, PTs are very high on the agenda in terms of the KHDA or wherever your body is. And they will want to know the external results and they use them as a measured benchmark for schools. So we need to do some triangulation between what our teachers are saying for that teacher assessment on Learning Ladders. And then also they have the results from the external judgements and triangulate together is now able and now able to do that on Learning Ladders. And that’s something that we’re going to focus on more next academic year due to the pandemic. Not only that, but I’m looking forward to getting started with that part. 

So that did show you a slide of the Gap Analysis now under the collar, so the traffic light colours, you can actually change the Gap Analysis to. And just visually, it’s clear to see which children haven’t started an objective or those who have achieved it and those who have mastered it seems pretty clear from the screenshot a three would be those children who have mastered the objective and zero, they haven’t started at all. And one, they have had some understanding of it, but haven’t done it either independently or they haven’t been able to and to complete it to a satisfaction of the teacher that they’re confident that achieved it and they remembered it and they’re going to retain the information. 

And the other useful part of Gap Analysis is if you go down to the bottom of the screen, you can actually put the total number of pupils as a percentage. And here it will tell you the percentage of children in your class or in the group that you’ve selected for Arabic and Islamic teams do this. And obviously we have Arabic, A and B and then Islamic and B, so the teachers can go in and select their group of children and see what percentage of children have started the objective and what percentage achieved it and what percentage of mastered. So we just look at that very first column here. That’s the reason there are two red because you’ve got not started and then you’ve got the ones who are working on it, achieved, mastered and say the blue that we use is for greater depth and understanding, which is something that they obviously looking particularly in maths and for those gifted and talented children. 

So the assessment summary, again, is more the your class teacher level, and they can go in and they can select the number of terms at the moment we are putting in spring 2 to just finish putting in spring term this week. And I can see here just by looking at the bands of colours the progress that’s been made now on Learning Ladders, the attainment is automatically built into the system. So a term on term, it will calculate how well the children are doing until it comes to summer, too. So you can see from this picture here that in autumn one, no children have mastered the objective, whereas in this particular class I can see by spring 2 forty six percent of the children have mastered the objectives in maths. And obviously that will continue to grow, I think going to summer one and then into summer 2. 

Now, this is a new addition as well, and something that we worked alongside Tom and the team at Learning Ladders to actually put in that. When we were plotting data, we were able to see the progress of the child has made in each half term, but we weren’t able to see the overall progress and that was something as a school that we wanted to be able to see. And I’m sure you’ll find it an advantage for your schools. So they actually listened to and built on the advice that the things that we ask asking for from a school point of view. And now we have the progress so far as aggregated progress, which you can see in the far right column. So if I look at any of the children here, you can see the progress they made in autumn one would be below. And then depending on how many objectives they hit, they’ve got mastery. They’ve got better with the expected progress and spring one. Then they’ve got their expected in spring two. So it actually gives you an aggregated amount. And again, that will change. 

Now, occasionally you do have those children who don’t fit nicely into the norm and you don’t get the profile picture that you necessarily want. For them, it tends to be from experience, maybe two or three children in each class maximum, and also tends to be those children who are working towards objectives or they might have special educational needs. And so we have been able to take off as many objectives in each term as we want to. So in that instance, we ask teachers to go to the teacher judgement page is just at the bottom left here. Again, this is just a screen snip. It will become clearer when you actually look through the platform. But for example, here, this particular child’s attainment has come up as achieved orange. But if I didn’t agree with that as a teacher, actually, I really think that they should be at mastery. My first thing from their point of view would be to get the teacher to go back and look at the ladders and look at the objectives that they plotted. And if for whatever reason, they’re happy, they think it’s exactly correct, they can make a manual teacher judgement. But what we have been very clear about is if you do do a teacher judgement, you must add a note to say why it’s not just I haven’t used the system properly. I’m going to move everybody up to mastered. We’re going to have outstanding data and it’s got to work in conjunction with the daily day, day to day and formative assessment. So if you do get those children, it’s not so much the attainment. It’s possibly more to do with the progress. If they’re getting less than expected progress in their assessment for example an SEN child, you might think they have made less than expected progress in terms of the curriculum that they’re supposed to be in. But actually, for that child, they have made strides with their progress. And that’s how we can use the psk scales on there and and the other rooms in the groups below. So I might say I’m going to move that teacher judgement to above expectation in terms of the progress. So there are some places in the programme where you can use your teacher judgement and make those tweaks if necessary. And the technology is amazing, but it’s not going to work 100 percent for every single child all of the time. And this is just a way of having an option that if you need it. But as I say, it should be used as a last resort and teachers should go back to the ladders and the rungs to see if they missed something off for the children before they go to that. 

Our teachers are really on it, and as I say, it’s two or three children, not even that. OK, so moving on to the next part, which is more of a middle and senior leadership level is the part which is called Insights.  So we’re in spring to so we’ve actually completed a full half terms and you can see the green section, which is really music to my ears from an SLT point of view. But the green section is actually getting bigger and the red section is getting smaller. So the children are actually making progress within the objective. So that’s what the attainment would look like. And then the progress, again, is built in behind the system and aggregated. But in this example, it shows you the progress for each term in year four. And you can see for spring two, which is the far right, that children are making better than expected progress and well above expected progress. And the red bit is going down. I would say you do tend to have a little bit of a fluctuation in the first half of the term. So the first two columns you’re looking at all autumn and then the second two columns you’re looking at are spring. You get a much better picture at the end of a full term than a half term. So be mindful of that when your teachers are going away and looking at it. And from our point of view, heads of year, head the department only. Look at this at the end of every half term. But it’s there for you to view at any point in the cycle that you wish just to keep an eye on it so you can see what’s coming up. 

OK, so that was a bit of a whistle stop tour of the assessment platform and other schools might find the other sections of the platform differently or work better for them. And that’s why it’s totally customisable. There was a report that you can pull off and insights and which you can obviously explore once you start your Learning Ladders journey. But most importantly, again, one of the reasons that we did move across the Learning Ladders was to have that parental engagement with the child system with a child’s attainment. And one of the quotes that I actually have kept and pinched from one of Matt’s really early presentations when when we first met at the conference, is that parent engagement actually improves results by 30 percent. So that is something that’s in the back of our minds all the time. And many other people have done research around that. And then particularly the younger the children of the bigger the impact the parents have to the more information we share with them, the more you have them on board. So what we do from our point of view at the moment as well, is every half term we share the objectives with the parents that the children are working on. Now, in this instance, you can have it. So every time a teacher clicks an objective, the parents are informed or you can have it set. So every half term, you send an email out to say, please check your child’s Ladders at Home. These are the objectives of this term. And we find that that works better because not every teacher updates it at the same time. So if you’ve got a four form entry class, you might have one teacher that prefers to update little by little with one week and you might have another class teacher that prefers to update at the end of the half term. And so some I found out that my child has already covered these. And the other parent, well, my child has covered that yet, whereas in reality they’ve all covered it just means that the system hasn’t been updated. So for us, it works better that we we send an update every half term with objectives. 

The other bit, again, Matt touched on, especially being in we are a British curriculum school, but we do have children from all nationalities here and obviously, particularly Arabic is widely spoken. We have some Russian parents. We have Japanese parents with us. And you can actually translate the site into their home language, which makes it really user-friendly as a way for the parents at home, rather than just receiving information in English all of the time. And because you can put it into your home language, you can also read the articles are much the objectives. And again, this is something you can kind of turn on or turn off within the tool for your particular school and something that as a school we want to do more of is have some articles actually put into Learning Ladders themselves, which we much what we do here is a school. 

And then the other thing again, which is something we haven’t used as yet, but it’s something that that we’re looking to embed is the fact that parents can actually access their children’s home learning from that. And again, the reason that we haven’t started to use this is due to the pandemic that we’re actually using Google classroom at the moment and everything is going on there rather than have the whole learning in one place and the assessment information is in another, but once we’re all back in school and we’ve returned to reality, we intend to use the whole learning aspect of the platform as well. 

So just to finish in terms of what it looks like, I’ve created this little character of Mickey Mouse just for fun purposes when I have been doing webinars and this is what the parents would say, it’s really user friendly, very clear, very simple. You can see here at the top of the number of learning goals started. You can also select the subject so the parents can actually click over and have a good reading. Or I want to look at writing or maths and you probably want to use that feature once there are more objectives on there. So it seems like that’s what the parents can see and there is flexibility here. 

So we have chosen to have it, whereas it’s a tick if the child has achieved the objective. But you can have this set so you would get a tick if the child has start at the objective or if the child has mastered the objective. But we felt that the best thing to go for here was the tick when the objectives achieved, and then it’s the teacher and the practitioner’s job to then get the child to mastery. And the time then indicates that the objective has been started, but they haven’t actually achieved yet. So that might be those children that are on beginning. And I think the time is quite friendly. It doesn’t look like they can’t do it or they haven’t been able to do it. And we just know that that’s something that’s in process and for that child to work on. So as I said as well, we were expecting to do this is a live conversation, so I thought at this point you’d be able to ask me any questions about our experiences or from a school point of view, what that would look like. So the first slide I’ve got my my name and Twitter account or get in touch with the team. They asked me if you’ve got any questions and I’ll be happy to to speak to any schools that would like any support or guidance with that. 

So thank you very much for listening. Sorry if I rambled through, which I’m sure it’s a recording, even pause and edit and play as you wish. And thanks to Matt for the invitation to join him on the webinar today. 

 

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