Archive for the Category ◊ Assessment ◊

ICT Curriculum and Assessment
Monday, November 19th, 2012 | Author:

As you may know, I have spent many months writing, changing and adapting lessons for our ICT scheme of work. It’s gone from a stand-alone lesson towards a more cross-curricular approach and it hasn’t been plain sailing. I have created a website, www.ictplanning.co.uk, and this has been the home of the ideas for around a year. It started as a Google site, became a WordPress blog and has now changed the look and feel again. It originally had 11 areas to look at, each with a few more inside. I have now changed it to have 4 key areas, each with 6-7 sub-areas.

The sub-areas are set out in a similar way to Simon Haughton’s curriculum in that it looks at the end goal of creating an e-book, using spreadsheets or designing a website. My theory is that if the children can achieve these goals by the end of Year 6, we will have done a great job. Even if they haven’t achieved everything, they will have been exposed to a range of ideas, tools and software along the way and this will still be a wider variety than they will receive in many other schools.

Previously I had decided the areas and then put assessment on the back-burner until later. Although when I re-arranged it, I tried to put assessment at the forefront so that it went hand-in-hand with the plans. Before I was trying to level blogging and animation and it became too cumbersome and complicated. Now I have simplified the process to make it more accessible for teachers and children. Again, as I have stressed before, this is a system for my school, based on our situation and our needs. If others use the website, find it useful and adapt it for their own school, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too.

So for the assessment I have got rid of the levels and replaced them three medals. These are bronze, silver and gold. There has been discussion at school, with children too, about what they mean. Does bronze mean KS1? Does gold mean Y6? Not really. In some areas gold is easier to reach than in others, but generally:

  • Bronze – Gettings to grips with the idea, trying a few things out
  • Silver – Becoming more confident, making more decisions
  • Gold – Applying what I know into new situations, thinking about my audience, producing consistently good quality work
It might be that children achieve bronze and silver in year 2, it might be that they don’t get any medals in one area, such as spreadsheets, until y5. It is flexible. As it needs to be.

How will this look on the reports? Who knows. Previously we gave statements based on levels in the mid-year report and ten a level at the end of the year. These levels were difficult to separate as all of KS2 were either level 3, 4 or 5. This new system might make it easier to differentiate what a child is good at or what they need to work on. They might be a silver at website design but they might not have achieved a bronze in databases.

So I have split the website into the four areas (Computing and Programming, Using Text and Graphics, Researching and Communicating and Creating Multimedia). Within these areas are the sub-areas and on each sub-area page I have listed the steps for success. On the pages of the site, along with the steps, there are suggestions of software to use with examples, how-to guides and help sheets where possible. More of these will be added soon.

When it comes to the assessment, each sub-area, such as animation, has a simple poster with the steps for success listed for the teachers to share with the children.

An example poster based on Editing Audio.

Each child then has an assessment card with the medals listed and a paper insert with the statements so that they can see the next steps. The Digital Leaders suggested that having the paper middle was a good idea as they want to see how they can improve. This also means if they are learning about e-books, but also cover blogging, they can see both areas at once. The children can then also tick off the statements when they feel they have achieved them and then the teacher can sign the card too. After discussion it was decided that KS1 wouldn’t have the paper insert.

A snippet of the sheets that the children have.

So these have all been given out at school and now I await the verdict of the rest of the children. We will see how effective this is across the school but already it has brought up discussions about the different tasks that could be completed in order to meet the objectives.

I’d be interested to hear what you think.

To download the documents for yourself, visit the ICT Planning website.

Assessing ICT
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 | Author:

I’ve tried and tried but I simply can’t put it off any longer. From September we will need to have a system in place for assessing ICT. I need to know which children are doing well in ICT and I need them (and their teachers) to know what the next steps are.

You may be thinking that I am bonkers, after all, many schools will not be assessing or reporting on ICT after the disapplication of it earlier this year. But I still need to plan progressive lessons with opportunities to be challenged and to improve. So I’m doing it anyway.

We were planning on doing something on our own but many other primary and secondaries are looking into it, so we might end up with something collaborative. We have a meeting with other local schools and our local secondary tomorrow to discuss this idea further. But I have a problem. I’ve seen two secondary schools provide assessment grids for me to look at and they are miles away from what we are doing. For example, one said Level 3 is logging on to the network yet as primary teachers would know, this can be done in Reception. The other said that Level 3 involved being able to define an algorithm when programming. I don’t think I could do that easily. Now this isn’t a stab at secondaries, more of a question about where do the levels cross over? I teach children Level 1-5, they generally start at Level 3. Seeing how these will combine together will be interesting and I am very glad we have a great secondary school to work with on this.

Also this week we received the data from Hampshire LA that stated although we were ahead of the majority of schools in Level 3 and Level 4 children, we were behind in Level 5 for ICT. We send levels each year and get them back as graphs and analysis. My head-teacher (rightly) questioned the results. Why are we behind in Level 5s? The answer in my opinion? We’re not. It is just very hard to pick out what makes a Level 5 child. How are they being assessed? On what criteria? If all schools are doing this differently then we will all come out with different results, but that’s fine. When we were at ReThinkingICT we were discussing Level 5 children and secondary schools said that they found it difficult too. I know our children have more, and better, ICT opportunities than a lot of other schools, so I’m happy.

So..my plans? Coming up with a badge system that  will give children an idea of what they will need to do to improve. It will start by looking at what I would expect/hope a Year 2 child would be able to do, then a Year 4 child and finally a Year 6 child. For this, Bronze would be Year 2, Silver Year 4 and Gold Year 6. For more advanced children, they could try for the Platinum award. This could take in their learning in class and at home. But how do I find this out and assess it? Hhhmmm..need to think about that. These badges will not necessarily be focused on levels, but may use them as a guideline.

When I discussed this with the children, they loved the idea but their biggest question was “Is it a physical badge? or if it’s online, where does it go?” and I’m not sure yet. Maybe on a portfolio somewhere. I know Edmodo has badges, but my children didn’t like that very much.

For the Summer holidays I have set myself two badges to write out. One for Animation and the other for Programming/Game Design. So what are the expectations for a Year 2 child when it comes to animation? Or a year 6 child? When we have done stop-motion animation this year, a lot of the Y3/4 videos looked similar to the 5/6 ones. Is this able Year 3/4 or less-able 5/6?

There are lots of things to think about and I am very much looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting when we can bounce ideas around as a group.

What do you think? Would you like to help out with some ideas? Let me know!