Given the uneven impact of the pandemic on school and college performance data, the government has said you should not make direct comparisons between the performance data for one school or college and another, or to data from previous years.
Early years and key stage 1
We place a high priority on ensuring the best quality provision for our youngest pupils and this is reflected in the positive progress that our children make in all our foundation stage settings, often from starting points well below that typically expected for their age due to the contexts of many of our academies.
The impact of Covid lockdowns is most evident in our early years settings due to the amount of learning missed, particularly in terms of social and emotional development and communication and language. In line with the national picture, this is particularly the case for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We are therefore prioritising intervention in speech and language through the Nuffield programme and other evidence-based initiatives in all of our settings.
Our academies have completed the reception baseline assessments and which will be used as the basis for progress and accountability measures for this cohort of children at the end of year 6. As a result of the impact of Covid, we have adapted our provision into key stage 1 to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of children and addresses the gaps created as a result of lost time in foundation. We continue to assess purposefully and use this to inform teaching and interventions to ensure children make as good progress as possible. All academies have embarked on the early years maths intervention funded by the Department for Education.
We have ensured that the right professional development is in place to support quality teaching to bring about the recovery we need.
The national phonics screening has been moved to November. All pupils have been assessed with interventions in place to accelerate progress and address gaps as a result of Covid. All academies follow the Read, Write, Inc. programme and we have invested in additional development resource to ensure all staff have the skills to accelerate progress as part of recovery.
Key stage 2
Although statutory assessments did not take place, a standardised approach was taken across the Trust in line with our agreed processes and supported by moderation activities. Results were reported to the local authority and analysis shows a continued three year improvement trend in progress in all but Hillocks Primary Academy, which very recently converted into the Trust.
Assessments are used consistently to identify concerns in progress and plan for teacher intervention and additional support. Progress of special educational needs pupils is monitored using ‘BSquared’ to enable us to track and plan small steps where needed.
Secondary and post 16 – key stages 4 and 5
In line with national requirements, teacher assessed grades (TAGs) were awarded for A levels and GCSEs following a rigorous process of evidence gathering and moderation. All of our academies passed the moderation process successfully and without challenge.
As was the case last year, the Department for Education will not be producing performance tables of GCSE and A level results and neither will Ofsted take them in to account during resumed inspections.
TAGs have been used internally to identify the successes and next priorities across our academies alongside the information from academy review processes.