I researched a lot of different assessment systems being produced commercially and by individual schools when the Assessment without Levels directive was given.
I met with lots of assessment leaders who were using a combinations of systems for the different areas and felt that none of these were going to meet our needs. We wanted an assessment system that would allow us to track progress for the wide range of need in the school.
Onwards and Upwards has allowed us to track breadth and depth of learning, which allows us to recognise realistic progress. Progress is measured in all curriculum areas as well as areas of the EHCPs. The stages of attainment are hierarchical and can be personalised to the school’s holistic curriculum. Within each statement of attainment are levels of involvement and learning, so that the depth of an individual pupil’s learning can be measured. We have also developed a new section to meet the recommendations of the Rochford Review. We can identify the Seven Aspects of Engagement through appropriate statements and track a pupil’s progress through their school career.
The system allows us to take “snapshots” of a pupil’s progress to their target as often as we feel necessary, this is then demonstrated in a series of reports and graphs/charts that are simple to read and interpret, enabling the school to provide interventions where appropriate immediately. For teachers the system is simple to use and accessible from anywhere with internet access; speed and ease are very important to us to ensure that a teacher’s workload is not extensive. The support team at Escendency are very supportive and always respond quickly and professionally - guiding through changes and giving confidence.
We are at the beginning of our journey with Onwards and Upwards, and will be looking in the future to being able to use many of the useful features such as uploading evidence of attainment. I liaise with many schools and still think it is the best system out there when I look around.
The opportunity to create our own bespoke assessment tool has been invaluable and allows us to put our children’s needs at the centre of our assessment. Our staff comment on the ease of the system and the graphs that we can generate give us instant visual information of every child’s assessment record.
The team at Escendency are quick to respond to our queries and listen to our vision of the future of assessment and how we can develop together to create a one-stop shop assessment tool.
From the outset it has been about what we want and need as a school. It has never been an off-the-shelf system and although our development journey hasn't always been easy (is assessment ever easy?!), the company has been with us every step of the way.
They have refined what they do to better support us rather than us having to fit with them. The support we receive has always been professional, friendly and individualised.
With the recent developments in assessment, we are really excited to be working with Onwards and Upwards to develop our system. From September we will be incorporating engagement scales and specific cognitive measures (some P level-type statements, some 'bridging the gap' statements and some age related expectations) all in one place - because we can!
As the data is easy to input and bespoke, analysis is easy to access. It will be our 'one-stop co-ordinated shop' for holistic assessment - cognition and learning and beyond. The potential is great and the time saved is invaluable.
Head of School
The coloured gauges can be modified to show exactly what the school wants and the text and colour can be altered. It offers a visual representation of progress for individuals or cohorts.
The cohort reports allow staff to drill down quickly to an individual pupil level and assess the need for potential interventions.
We have been working closely with Onwards and Upwards to import moderated attainment at the end of each Key Stage and to set end of Key Stage targets.
Old Park is part of a network of local schools using Onwards and Upwards. Our network already meets for Regional Moderation.
The system allows us to store photo and video evidence of assessment alongside pupil data.
We have subscribed for a number of years now and been thoroughly pleased with the product’s features and have taken the opportunity to liaise with the team in developing programing features.
Using the package has enabled us to be able to track progress with a more in-depth view through being able to select whether pupils have achieved individual statements with verbal prompt, physical prompt or independently. For some pupils this can be a big step moving from achieving a skill with support to on their own and we were looking for a system that enabled us to show this.
Using the targets system we have been able to set individual targets in subjects, and for given starting points making this assessment system more personalised to pupils.
The technical support team have been excellent in providing us with swift responses and advice with patience and clarity at each step of our implementation plan.
We are excited about what Onwards and Upwards will continue to do for us in supporting the effective tracking and assessment of our pupils.
Want to know more?
Contact Mark Robinson.
Or call 07932 070 691
Escendency Ltd., 21 Castle Hill, Lancaster, LA1 1YN
VAT Registration number: 837 2395 08
Company Registration number: 05053362