Today I was very lucky to hear Peter Boddy (Head of Red Hall Primary School, Darlington) speak about the impact his school has seen using Assertive Mentoring. I’ll leave you to research Assertive Mentoring yourself if it sounds of interest to you. However, it was in the first session this morning that he addressed ‘typical’ patterns of uneven progress throughout KS2 in Reading, Writing and Maths. I have no data to back his claims up but he presented ‘typical’ progress as something that might look like this:
Year 3 – 1 point progress (0.5 sub level)
Year 4 – 2 points progress (1 sub level)
Year 5 – 3 points progress (1.5 sub level)
Year 6 – 6 points progress( 3 sub levels)
**Not the Heathfield picture by the way! But a ‘typical’ picture presented by Peter**
He questioned why this was. He questioned why a Year 6 teacher can do this and whether it was because the Year 6 teacher knew how much hinged on the results. He challenged us to think about how much emphasis is placed on the end of Key Stage 2 SATs. The fact that the Head, Senior Leadership Team, Governors, SIP, OFSTED, local community and parents all scrutinise these results with a fine tooth comb, make judgements, decisions on action and place you in a league table make Year 6 a stressful place to be. What Peter asked us was if the Year 3,4 and 5 teachers knew that their results would be scrutinised in the same way, would progress be different? Would teachers in these year groups who were having limited impact reflect more about strategies in their classroom? Now I have no idea if this ‘typical’ picture is a ‘typical’ picture like Peter claimed, however, I am interested in your thoughts/views on this.