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WHAT is APP?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mimijj, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Can someone explain APP (Assessing Pupils Progress) in simple terms (not tooooo simple!!!) and the advantages and disadvantages of it?!
  2. APP is an optional way of doing teacher assessments. The descriptors are based on National Curriculum level descriptors, sliced up into chunks called Assessment Focuses. At the moment there are APP assessment guidelines for Literacy and Maths. Science is said to be on the way. Not sure about ICT.
    Advantages: some say they make teacher assessment easier, but the main advantage from the QCA's point-of-view is that it standardizes teacher assessments. It doesn't use those nonsense sub-levels.
    Disadvantages: the descriptors are still a bit vague, so deciding which level a child is at is still up to a teacher's judgement.
    APP is ok - I'm not exactly jumping for joy over it, but it's got some usefulness. How schools and teachers decide to use it that is the real issue. Reading some of the many posts on here about APP is scary: some use APP assessment guidelines to plan lessons! There's also the question of whether APP is a form of summative or formative assessment. I think it's summative and fail to understand why some describe APP as formative assessment. I guess it's down to how you use it.
  3. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Basically, take Numeracy and Literacy as examples, kids are graded "low, secure and confident" (Possibly other words are used, i forget them now) and are given levels for what stage they are on - for KS1 for example, there are two expected levels -level one and level two. So a child would be a low one, a secure one, a confident one and so on through the levels as they progress through schools.
    Teachers monitor their levels to help them to know where chn need to make progress and areas for development.
    What i've been told is once a term I do an assessment - where you're given a grid with the level expectations and you highlight off what each child can do- the sections that aren't highlighted give you a quick way of seeing where gaps are in their understanding, so you can bend your teaching to help them progress.
    However, sometimes a child might not demonstrate they can do something during an assessment, so you have to use your own judgement- for example, if you know they do use capital letters consistently, but for some reason haven't, but you have proof in their ongoing work - you can highlight it off. So it's partly your judgement, and partly assessed work.

    Advantages - you get a very clear, quick visual way of seeing what's missing and know what you need to do to help the individual.
    Disadvantages: It's time consuming.
    I think other people may use tick sheets, but highlighting seems to be the way my school do it. These sheets are also good for parents evening and PPMS.

    That's my understanding so far, and that's what i was taught yesterday, whether there is more or not i don't know, but i love the look of it. It seems like such a good way to visually ascertain what's missing!

  4. You might find the information from the NUT website useful. It contains advice on APP from QCA themselves and comments from the NUT:

    As a result of concerns raised by members about the introduction of Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP), the Union has secured agreement that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) will produce a briefing note for schools on ensuring that APP is manageable for teachers and for schools.


    &bull;The use of APP is voluntary, not statutory.

    &bull; The use of APP should be subject to discussion and consultation with staff before it is introduced in schools.

    &bull; APP can be adapted to meet schools&rsquo; particular circumstances &ndash; not all of the APP materials or approaches have to be used.
    &bull; Implementation of APP should take place over time and with support &ndash; it should not be introduced for all pupils in all year groups at the same time.

    &bull; APP should be used no more than two or three times a year &ndash; it should not be used as a daily or weekly checklist.

    &bull; APP uses evidence from day-to-day teaching and learning &ndash; it does not require any special assessment activities.
    &bull; APP can replace other assessment activities, in particular, within-key stage testing and formal assessments such as end-of-unit tests and the optional National Curriculum tests.


    &bull; The use of APP should be determined by the professional judgement of teachers. It should only be used where teachers believe it would be valuable.

    &bull; The involvement of class teachers should be on a voluntary basis only. The identification of APP lead teachers should include consideration of their existing roles and responsibilities within school. Appropriate recognition of any additional responsibilities arising from APP should be made by schools, such as time during the day to undertake these duties or appropriate TLR.

    &bull; Where APP is used, it should be reflected in schools&rsquo; assessment policies. This should include a review of current formal assessment procedures within Key Stages and the identification of tests or other activities which could be replaced by APP.

  5. Our training highlighted identifying groups and 'assessing' one child in each group against APP.

    Can be used 'formatively' as you know what the next step is for group/individual.

    My feeling is, if we want rid of SATs, we have to make this work!
  6. An excellent website that helps to make the process less time consumiing. It does have a fee but IMO well worth the cost and I don't gain anything financially from recommending this website. Have a look.
  7. Thanks for the website, Preschool. The application looks very friendly and clear and it appears to greatly reduce the APP workload to one of maintenance and report generation.
    My concern is that the company provides no (or at least I couldn't find) information regarding where and how the pupil data is hosted or the terms and conditions of their service (e.g. does the company have any rights to the data we input?). At the very least they should provide this information on their website in order to respond to data protection concerns.

  8. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    I thought APP stands for Another Pile of Paper?
  9. TweedJacket

    TweedJacket New commenter

    In our school, APP stands for A Piggin' Pain!
  10. tiffster

    tiffster New commenter

    The exact inverse of PPA. Neat.
  11. Advantages:
    APP gives a much more realistic picture of what a child can do. My school is only doing it in reading at the moment, but it has made us realise that the QCA reading tests were giving really over inflated (and unrealistic!) levels.
    We do it using six target children so it's more manageable. It was surprisingly easy to level the rest of the class this way too.

    The level descriptors are far too vague for my liking.
    Even more paperwork!
  12. Me too. I feel sorry for the rainforest when I look at our APP files at school.
  13. Hi, I have a mixed year 1/2 class this year. I am wondering how to choose my children for app. As i cant pick the LA year 1 children as they are still working on the profile and not the NC. Or can I choose SEN children? x
  14. NicoleK

    NicoleK New commenter

    It's dead in the water, is what it is.
    The last government were ditching the primary strategies and the new one has it's own agenda. We have halted our implementation. It was half-hearted and reluctant anyway.
    No point in killing yourself with ridiculous amounts of paperwork when you know the test-loving Tories will be making significant eductaion announcements in the cxoming months.
    We're waiting and seeing.
  15. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Absolutely. APP is History, and any school who is carrying on with the pretence this term, well... might as well be knitting mittens for the troops in the Crimea.
  16. APP? What is APP?
    We do the reading and writing still, but we don't keep any evidence. If the mods want to look they can go and sift through the books - they have plenty of time on their hands.
    Maths was shredded [​IMG]

  17. So why do you feel sorry for the rainforests when you look at the APP files in your school?
    There is no requirement to keep any evidence other than the actual APP sheets. The evidence is all in the children's work, annotated planning etc. Anyone who is photocopying the evidence and keeping it centrally is, in my opinion, wasting time and resources.

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