Troy Sharpe, Head teacher at St Andrews and St Francis explains how Elastik’s online assessment platform is helping every child to progress.
At St Andrews and St Francis we began our Elastik journey with our Year 5 students.
Across the country this cohort is a priority group, particularly with the Department for Education’s ambitious White Paper targets for literacy and numeracy. These would be challenging to deliver, even without the Covid related impact on learning.
After the disruptions and school closures of 2020-2021, we need to get this group back on track and secondary-school ready by this time next year. Schools need to plug the Covid learning gaps to avoid long term impact on student confidence and well-being, as well as academic performance.
At St Andrews and St Francis we used Elastik to accelerate progress in our Turbo intervention groups and to enable new pedagogical approaches to benefit the entire cohort.
Troy Sharpe, Headteacher
7 things we love about Elastik
(1) Gives teachers insights that would be too labour-intensive to access without technology.
(2) Pinpoints the exact problem areas – for example its not just subtraction but subtracting a two digit number from a three digit number.
(3) Groups children according to their curriculum gaps so teachers can efficiently manage learning gaps without losing sight of the individual needs.
(4) Shows the insights using the ‘Big Bubble Big Trouble’ so that teachers can focus on the children not on the numbers
(5) Provides targeted lesson guides, which are gold dust for the teachers as a planning starting point for the next lesson.
(6) Supports intervention groups – and whole class teaching
(7) Covers maths and science but also English, with the AI enabled RealTime writing tool.
Personalised learning across the whole year
Elastik provides insights that are specific to each child. Not just for intervention classes, but right across the cohort. We’ve never had curriculum so personalised – that is what Elastik enables you to do in your school.
Troy Sharpe, Headteacher
The classroom teachers also used the gap analysis to see where the biggest gaps were for their classes. This helped prioritise their teaching and curriculum content. They were able to focus on larger bubbles, knowing that that those concepts would benefit their students.
Teachers are also incorporating Elastik into more frequent testing for formative learning. We run quizzes at the end of each unit and I think the children have found them an enjoyable way of doing an assessment. They can show what they have learned over the last week or two, and the low stakes approach means that they feel less anxious, so it builds their confidence.
Accelerating progress in intervention groups
Turbo classes are small intervention groups that meet with teaching assistants three times a week. They are made up of 5 or 6 students identified as needing additional support in our weekly progress review meetings.
We focus on those children that have slipped below ARE and with the help of Elastik’s “Big Bubble Big Trouble” we pin-point their specific learning gaps.
Our teaching assistants use Elastik’s lesson guides to target the problem areas and get the children back on track without adding to the workload of the class teachers.
At the end of the half term we used Elastik’s gap analysis tool to measure progress and were able to see rapid progress in this group, bringing them back up to ARE standards.
The Big Bubble Big Trouble analysis showed the learning gap bubbles shrinking and the children were able to perform to the desired level in unit tests.
The bubble display is a great graphic – and the intervention/mini-test element to shrink the bubble is a great tool for targeting learning and improving outcomes for children.
Mr Low, Assistant Head Teacher
How does Elastik compare to traditional assessment approaches?
(1) Less paper-work and marking which massively reduces the workload.
(2) Gap analysis is done instantaneously and presented so that it can be easily understood,
(3) The lesson guides make the planning process easier for teachers and in particular TAs
Miss Kingsly, Year 5 teacher
Troy Sharpe has 23 years in the education sector and holds the National Qualification of Executive Leadership. He has been headteacher at 4 inner London primary schools where he has led improvement whether from special measures to good or from good to outstanding. He has a deep interest in innovation in assessment and has delivered a SATS gap analysis tool which was adopted by North Islington Zone primary schools and a digital learning platform implemented across 11 schools in the London Diocesan Board Academy Trust. His current post is Head Teacher at St Andrew and St Francis in Brent, London.