The DfE recently announced the winners of its Assessment Innovation Fund: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-win-funds-to-develop-and-share-new-ways-of-assessing-pupils
The purpose of the fund was as follows:
By collecting and promoting examples of innovative approaches to assessment, we want to give schools ideas and options as they upgrade their systems in response to the removal of levels.
We are therefore asking schools and organisations to present their approaches to the Department: where needed, we can allocate funding (of up to £10,000 per unique application) to help create a simple, easy-to-use package for others schools to transfer and use in their own setting.
Each package will then be made freely available for other schools to access, download and use.
Over the next week or so I will report on the winners and the descriptions of their approach. These descriptions are more like thumbnail sketches at the moment. I have used them to suggest ways in which they might be adapted for use in assessing ICT and Computing. I hope you find these suggestions useful, or at least a good starting point for your own further work.
In each case I have kept the text of the DfE’s announcement, and then added my thoughts under the heading “Applying this to Computing and ICT”.
#1 Hillyfield Primary Academy, Walthamstow, East London (primary)
The ‘skills passport’ is used to determine pupils’ progress in key skills in all foundation subjects. It is used to ensure coverage and development of skills and as a record of achievement for pupils. On demonstrating mastery of a skill, children stamp the skill in the passport. The passport is maintained throughout key stage 1 and key stage 2, and builds a clear picture of the pupils’ achievement across all foundation subjects. The system means that pupils are able to develop a clear understanding of their own abilities and what they need to do to progress. In the long term, the school will develop a free app that can be used in class by teachers.
Applying this to Computing and ICT
This is a nice idea that could easily be applied to ICT and Computing. The ICT Advisory Service in Lewisham, many years ago, devised a set of Record of Achievement books for ICT, which pupils had to complete and, if my memory serves me well, get signed off by a teacher.
There are many examples of skills checklists emerging in the Computing at Schools resources area, and CAS has devised a resource called Progression Pathways Assessment Framework with suggestions for where digital badges could be used.
So it would not be too much of an extension to take the idea of the skills passport and adapt it for use with ICT and Computing. To do so you would need to take the assessment framework you are probably in the process of creating, adapting or adopting, and break it down into booklet-sized chunks that make sense. For example, there might be one for Basic Programming, or there might be one called Basic Computing, in which all the elements of the Computing Programme of Study, rather than only programming, was included. The best approach obviously depends on your approach to the new curriculum in general.
You could adapt the Hillyfield scheme by incorporating open badges. You could further adapt it by linking the scheme to a Digital Champions initiative. You could do this in two ways. First, you might suggest that pupils reaching a particular level of proficiency over several modules become Digital Champions who could help other pupils (perhaps younger ones). Second, you might use Digital Champions in the administration of the scheme in some way.
The in-class app sounds very interesting. If you teach primary age children you might want to explore 2Simple’s 2 Build a Profile, which enables you to capture what pupils are doing in a Computing lesson and then tag the screen capture and then transfer it to an online portfolio – all while the lesson is going on.
Look out for #2 tomorrow!
Information from the DfE has been used in accordance with the terms of the Open Government Licence http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/2/
Your newsletter editor is hard at work sifting through the submissions for Digital Education, the free newsletter for education professionals. Have you subscribed yet?
Read more about it, and subscribe, on the Newsletter page of the ICT in Education website.
We use a double opt-in system, and you won’t get spammed.
If you can’t wait for the full series, subscribe to Digital Education and download the whole lot in a single document!