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Progression Pathways to Levels (1-9)

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by cupofteacher, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    I'm hoping someone can help! I'm a new HoD and am implementing the progression pathways from September. The school is also reporting progress as levels 1-9 across the whole school so I was wondering if anyone had already translated the pathways into the 1-9 at all if their schools are doing similar?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    "Progression Pathways" - Is this that CAS thing ?
    I would have thought that there was something on their site.
    If not, tell them to put one on
  3. zackeckey

    zackeckey New commenter

    I think that it is a CAS thing you will need to check with them.
  4. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    No it's replacing levels so pupils will come out with a GCSE level 1-9 this can then be tracked back into previous years. Depends if your school are looking to do it from Year 7 in which case you will need a baseline that pupils come in with - will then then sub level this in some way (this is often the common way to do this if working 1-9 whole school)?
    zackeckey and cupofteacher like this.
  5. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    Ignoring the question of "why are they using levels?" (because I fear the answer will be scarily ignorant for a member of SLT in charge of data), the CAS one is here:


    I don't really like it but I know quite a few schools use it. It looks pretty and you can wave it under an assistant head's nose.
  6. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I was interested to see that the recent DfE report on workload said that "formative assessment data should not routinely be collected at school level, because of the additional burden it creates."

    Do they mean that schools are to stop using baseline tests?
  7. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Thanks for your replies-I have the progression pathways as per the link above however when we report our data (5 or 6 times a year) we will need to input a grade from 1-9 as to how students are progressing. This tracks down from GCSE to Year 7 so that we can measure progress. I want to use the Progression Pathways descriptors but with the 1-9 gradings to determine which band they are in.

    Unfortunately the department I am in have just been teaching ICT at KS3 and we are moving towards a Computing curriculum-it's a complete overhaul of the department and I have no Computing teachers at all. This means our assessment needs to be rigorous as well as fit in with the whole school approach of reporting progress against the 1-9 grades.
  8. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Thanks, I think baselines will definitely need to happen-another thing to add to my to do list!
  9. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    ...and once again I would have to say that the publicly (and privately ) funded CAS should be front and centre here.

    Providing all schools with free self marking and analysing base line and topic tests for each Key Stage.

    It isn't that difficult,, I made my own based on the old key skills ICT tests using proprietary test creation software. and used these for many years. Saving me and the dept. hours of time .With Jquery etc the task is even easier

    As I can't image that CAS would step up any time soon, perhaps the OP would like to look at at Google forms and some aptitude test Qs like this for his baseline work


    Yes I know some are a bit too difficult for KS3/4 but it could gives you some ideas
  10. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    Progress pathway, that is what we are using and it in not very good. Unless you give sub levels, you are going to be showing no progress.

    Imagine your basic GCSE B/C grade pupil.
    You know this pupil is an 4( C in old money),Year 7, they baseline at a 1,
    Year 7 Base line: 1
    End of Year 7: 2:
    Start of Year 8: 2:
    End of Year 8: 3:
    Start of Year 9:3:
    Start of Year 9: 4:
    Two levels in KS4, this will give them a 6(B).
    You will find this system needs sub levels( welcome back levels) and you will need something for the bottom sets(Miles Berry on CAS has some good steps). With your system of reporting 5 times a year, how are you going to show progress? The system does not work very well and is very biased towards top sets, Kids who struggle will make little progress and could be stuck on Progress 1 for two years!

    Where the descriptors are concerned, tjra has given you a link. CAS has loads, put a number by it and pretend you follow it (that is what we are doing). I don't think I have looked at it this year, but it is on the wall in full colour.

    This progress system is so flawed, the Maths department in my school is having trouble showing any progress for 'most' pupils. The head is having a fit and parents are phoning up constantly asking why their kids are not making progress.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Levels were removed, but everyone seems intent on reinventing them. I worry sometimes.
    DEmsley likes this.
  12. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Typically Kafka-ish - you need to demonstrate progress, so we'll use levels to show progress, only we've abolished levels, so we'll retro-work an unofficial levelling system from the GCSE 9-1 levels, that due to the fact its aimed at KS4, not KS3 means that low ability pupils (the ones we want to see make rapid progress) will be stuck on the same level for a long time, so not showing the progress we wanted them to show in the first place - why do I feel like an Infra-Red troubleshooter in a Paranoia game?
  13. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

    Yes, the CAS chart of 'not-levels' is the prettiest thing I have seen in a while. As a chart of what are the most politically correct topics in the subject it does a good job. So we have a whole box devoted to:
    'I know that computers collect data from various input devices, including sensors and application software (sic).' (er, whenever was software an input device?) while the whole of the old ICT curriculum has been squashed into the last strand as 'IT'.

    There is even a nice bit of curriculum archaeology there with 'I know the audience when I am designing and creating digital content' taking a whole box. I remember pointing out to one of the NS strategists back in the olden days, circa 2001, that what this was really trying to say was, 'do your system analysis first'.

    So, are spreadsheets out of the curriculum? Have they gone somewhere else? Or are we to take it that being able to create formulae or charts are lesser achievements than knowing that you can collaborate over a network?

    Or are those first 2 IT strand statements, 'I can collect, organise and present data and information (sic - why would you present data that was not information!?!) in digital content.' and 'I can create digital content etc. ', where we are to place spreadsheets, word processing, DTP, image, audio and video editing etc? With the implication that to be able to master these is to achieve very little compared with being able to know who you were making it for?

    Is it thought that all of these media related skills are being taught and assessed/reported elsewhere? I suppose it does really - they are what Media Studies GCSE covers so what are we doing with them in Computer Science? But is Media Studies happening at Ks3 or are we to continue to teach it as well as teaching them 'the difference between physical, wireless and mobile networks'. (Something that apparently deserves a whole not-a-level progression box that will take all of 30 minutes to teach.)

    I used to teach Biology and remember when the NC was first published that the grid was made to look pretty by having a single box saying, 'How animals and plants work'. This was equivalent to say, waves in physics or bonding in chemistry. Here we have the same again. A massive load of work being plonked into one low level box not because it makes pedagogical sense but because it is pretty/neat fits into a framework that fools the politicians into thinking that someone knows what they are talking about.

    Yes, it is good to have a return to coding - I started teaching this back in 1989 and then watched it drop out. However, if we are to have a curriculum based on Computer Science then we need to decide whether or not there is any value in teaching the media and modelling skills that formed the bulk of the ICT curriculum. And, if there is any value in them, who exactly is going to teach them? - as they are not apparently anything of value in the CS curriculum as presented by CAS.

    Are these media skills so trivial/pointless? Can kids just do these things anyway? Is a spreadsheet model just something that comes naturally? Is progression from being able to use simple formulae through to applying macros of so much less value than the progression from 'knowing the difference between hardware and software' to 'knowing why and when computers are used'? Sorry, but the difference between hardware and software does not deserve a 'not-a-level progression box' compared with throwing a graph from a table of data deserves a progression box. This just smacks of 'let us bury ICT and all of its evil ways and let us move forward to erect a monument, nay a lasting legacy, to CS'.

    And I was there, in the 1990s, when the new government fools-on-the-block threw away all rationality in the IT curriculum and called it, 'ICT'. References to spreadsheet skills went out at that point as the curriculum became de-objectified. That is when the 'present information' came in and any reference to what that meant when out. I remember Neil Macfarlane saying, 'we cannot be objective as the technology in this subject will change too much to specify objectives'. So we then saw millions wasted on the National Strategy and RMs testing system - which was never going to work without those objectives. Thousands of advisors were employed, at great cost, simply because no one was prepared to list what exactly was required to be taught. So it isn't so much that I think that there was much sense in this curriculum area before!

    Do the same to Maths as was done to IT and is now being done to ICT - put into the lowest level progression box, 'I can calculate' and then follow it with a progression box to, 'I know who I am calculating for'.

    It is not good enough to simply brush the whole of ICT under the corner of the carpet, almost literally, by putting in a single box at the lowest level of a framework - up there in the top right, to be specific. Something practical needs to be worked out so that a framework of realistic, teachable objectives can be given to teachers who know how to teach them. The CAS progression framework is not that. It appears to be an aspirational work written by someone who sadly doesn't know the difference between data and information or between input devices and software.

    Let us say that mastery has not been achieved yet but that they are showing some evidence of starting to work towards a basic competence in the matter of designing a curriculum that can be delivered in schools, as they are now, and which will make a contribution towards the productivity of the nation.
    wanet likes this.

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