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Discussion in 'Primary' started by scatdo, May 5, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone

    I'm a first time poster and would really appreciate your honest feedback surrounding the implementation of APP in your schools. I'm a student teacher and am preparing to present a PowerPoint Presentation on APP as part of my degree. I would really appreciate any consturctive feedback. Thank You[​IMG]
  2. If you share what you have done, we may be able to provide constructive feedback.
    If, however, you merely wish us to tell you what to put in your presentation, then beware.
  3. Hi
    I was one of the first people to implement APP in my school due to a course I went on and a project I became involved in.
    I feel reasonably positive about it because I feel it informs my planning and gives me a good feel for the gaps in the children's knowledge. It isn't too time consuming - apart from the evidence gathering bit - as I only complete 3 APPs: one each for HAP, MAP and LAP in my English and Maths groups.
    I know there are many more maths APP sheets than there are reading and writing, but for some reason I prefer completing the maths one. This could be because I prefer teaching maths, but only slightly because I do like teaching English too.
    So, to sum up, I feel pretty okay about APP.
  4. Wolfpaul - how did your school track pupil progress on a termly basis before APP?
  5. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    We haven't switched to APP. We use regular testing and teacher assessment to give each child a level every half term.
  6. They are not 'impossible to use' at all - given that these are the root source of every other NC assessment system I think it makes perfect sense to take a best fit approach & far more sensible than collecting wheelbarrow loads of evidence.
    I think I'm experienced and conscientious and the phrase 'finding APP a bind' just doesn't begin to cover what I think of it!

  7. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    Well, I've been using them for the last 20 years or so! This year I have trialled using APP in maths for a small number of children, and discovered no significant difference between the levels resulting from:
    a) my TA judgments using level descriptors, based on a working knowledge of the children's ability from teaching them day-to-day and marking books.
    b) Test scores.
    c) APP.
    So, all three methods give me the same levels. Guess which one takes the longest, by a huge margin? Answers on a postcard please.
  8. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    Of course you trust your doctor, but events in recent years have shown that it is important that outside scrutiny of the work of doctors and hospitals is vital if standards are to be maintained and improved. Look at the Shipman case, and the problems at Stafford Hospital for a start.
    I think that taxpayers have a right to know the outcome of the billiions of pounds that are spent in education, and that the publication of one set of external exam results for each primary school once per year is not unreasonable.
  9. Well, I'm one of the aforementioned NQTs and my experience of APP (which other teachers in my school agree with) is only positive. We use it against 3-4 pieces of writing each term for a selection of children from across the ability range. My LA has handily linked the APP scales with Ros Wilson's Criterion Scale and it's no more than a 20 minute job for each child each half term. It has clearly highlighted the major problems shared by many of our writers for us and is effective in terms of continuation through the year groups. Personally, I'd rather spend a couple of hours each half term assessing my own children myself than wasting all these weeks on SATs and preparing the children for the tests every year.
  10. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    Ok, so wait until you,,,
    a) have to do it for all the children, then your couple of hours per half term will become five times longer, and
    b) have to do it in reading, maths and science too, especially maths, which is horrendous.
    When you've done all that, please post again and tell me how positive you are about it.
    PS, if it's taken APP to identify a shared problem in writing, then there's an issue with teaching and learning at your school.
  11. What the APP does is really help you focus in on the problems they have which the Nat C statements don't cover because they are too broad. If working to sublevels, you can't just use the Nat C statements because they were only designed to assess whole levels and therefore don't identify progress from a low 3 to a high 3 for example.
    I can't really be bothered to argue any more about this with someone who is apprently a perfect teacher who needs to make no improvements to their practice. Either that or someone so stuck in their ways they're keen to put children and staff through the unnecessary and unfair stress and pressure of 6 weekly testing instead of using that classroom time to teach and doing their PPA time to plan, prepare and ASSESS.
    Issue with teaching and learning in my school? Give me a break and get down off of your high horse.
  12. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    Don't you do that from teaching them day in day out? If not, why not? If a child has a problem with, for example, fractions, then I need to know during the week that I'm teaching fractions - not six weeks later.
    True, which is why the phrase "low 3" or "high 3" is meaningless really.
    That's fairly obvious from the fact that you haven't answered or even adressed any of the points I made. Please read my posts more carefully before launching personal attacks - I have already stated that the APP process works reasonably well in writing, for a few children.
    I'll let you know when I feel in the need of advice about my practice from NQTs.
    Who mentioned anything about tests every six weeks? I certainly didn't.
    There must be some issue if it's taken APP to spot a problem in writing that was common to many children - how come this wasn't noticed as part of the standard process of teaching and learnin?

  13. You said you tested every half term. That's roughly every six weeks
    I didn't give you advice about your practice, I merely said that your response suggested you're not open to any change. As for me being an NQT, it's irrelevant, my practice may be 10times better than yours, it may not be, how good a teacher you are is not directly linked to your length of service. In fact, it's widely recognised that the training today is more rigorous than it's ever been in any case. So don't patronise me and other NQTs out there.
    You may have stated that it works reasonably well in writing, however you dismissed my positive experience of APP out of hand, without any knowledge of the extent to which we have implemented it in school yet. All in my school like it (including a teaching head with 30 years experience) and are agreed that it's an improvement on the **** waste of time that is SATs. That is a valid point shared by many. Your patronising comments won't change that or the fact that I actually don't mind doing something which is part of my job. If it's taking hours and hours, it's not being done right.
    Your suggestion that it is open to abuse is simply absurd. Another poster was absolutely right in asking why any teacher would do that with a system of ongoing assessment. Particularly in a school like mine where I teach a mixed year group class you're only shooting yourself in the foot.
    However, as I said before, you seem to have an encyclopaedical knowledge of every detail which children should be able to do at every level. I don't. And don't expect I ever will so having it on the APP grids/Criterion Scale to refer to is great and is dead easy to cross reference with the children's writing.
    It hasn't taken APP to spot a problem with writing, APP has helped to focus in on the problems which are there and allow you to build an action plan. Of course these things are identified (I may be an NQT but I'm not an idiot) during teaching and inform planning but it's a lot easier to share such information if it's written down in a structured way which is used throughout the child's school career.
  14. well said JP.
    What strikes me as strange is that people who are anti APP cannot have possibly given it enough time to make these judgements. If tehy were 3 / 4 years down the line, I could understand but anything new has to be given time to 'bed-in'. We've been doing it for 18mths and we're finding it better adn easier to use all the time.
    We will never get rid of SATS, which everyone seems to agree are awful, unless we have a robust TA system in place to cover the progress marker firmly.
    This profession must, and should be accountable. Accountability which links with teaching and learning is a fantastic idea!
  15. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    I didn't. At the risk of repeating myself, please read my posts more carefully.
    And what a ridiculous statement, given that this thread is about one aspect of change only: APP.
    You have referred only to writing, so it's a reasonable assumption that your experience of if is limited to this curriculum area.
    Repeating this statemtent doesn't make is true. Billions of pounds of tax payers' money is spent on education every year,much of it on consultants in order to enforce central government inititiatives like APP. There has to be some kind of externally independent monitoring of outcomes in primary education - one set of tests reported in the whole of a child's primary education is quite reasonable, I think.
    Herein lies one of the many problems with APP. One has only to scan the numerous threads on this forum to realise very quickly that there is no "right" way. Teachers have been given lots of conflicting advice on how to do it "right".
    It's naive in the extreme to wonder why teachers would "tweak" their assessments - it's simply because the results reflect upon their competence.
    Take a look back at the level descriptors. There is no such body of detail; it's been invented by the writers of the AFs.
    No it isn't. As a Y6 teacher, I have no need to know the minutiae of what a child could and couldn't do in Y3 - it's their Y3 teacher who needed to know that. In any case, the APP system apparently only tells me in any great detail about 6 children; what of the rest? Why is it important to write it "down in a structured way" for a few children but not the rest?
  16. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    Actually, no, not everyone agrees with that statement at all. APP will never be as robust as external testing. To be robust, it would be unmanageable; to be manageable, it cannot be robust.
  17. Hippity Dog

    Hippity Dog New commenter

    This is taken from the national strategies website

    '<font face="NDJMKJ+MyriadMM, Myriad, sans-serif">Now that we are moving towards full adoption, we encourage schools to apply APP to all their pupils to avoid running two assessment systems. This will ease the workload and avoid confusion.'</font>

    To me this is a disaster waiting to happen. Pointless paper chase. .

  18. Quite, that's why we have OfSted.
    Not unreasonable...if the testing process gives an accurate picture of children's progress (it doesn't - just read the threads on Y6 teachers venting frustration at such a limited reflection on children's writing; and what about children off ill? absent children count as failures in the statistics.)
    Not unreasonable...if the tests do not put small children under undue pressure (they do)
    Not unreasonable ...if the tests were viewed as part of a school's success (they are not - does the national press carry any other measure of school success? no.)
    I think that taxpayers have a right to know the outcome of the billions of pounds invested in education. Not just a set of irrelevant tests (which are not even administered/marked properly). The tests are unreasonable - to teachers and to children - and no help to taxpayers.
    Teacher assessments are more reliable, relevant and accurate, and make schools more accountable, not less.

  19. Must just be me then, wolfpaul. However, I suspect most people would read this to mean half termly testing.

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