Ask any teaching professional about their pupils and, odds on, they’ll be able to tell you whether they are on-track to achieve expected standards. So, using that as a basis of an assessment system seems like a good idea, and that’s the concept underlying Point in Time Assessment (PITA).

The basis of PITA is judging how pupils are performing based on what they have been taught so far, the emphasis being on whether they are at the standard expected for this point in the year, i.e. are they at age related expectations (ARE)? Descriptors vary, but are generally along the form of:

  • Below
  • Just below
  • At
  • Just above at
  • Above

Of course, this also fits in nicely with the statutory assessment frameworks:

  • Early Learning Goals: Emerging, Expected, Exceeding
  • Teacher Assessment Framework: Pre-Key Stage, Working Below, Working Towards, Working At, Greater Depth

There are a number of other advantages as well, including:

  • Easy to understand
  • Allowing practitioners to make a judgement based on multiple data sources (workbooks, verbal responses, tests, professional knowledge etc.)
  • Predictions (‘at’ equates to ‘on-track to achieve expected standard’)

However, there are also issues; how to demonstrate progress and how to track pupils who are ‘above’ or ‘below’.

This next series of blog posts will explore these issues and how they can be overcome.

Stephan Nicholls

Stephan Nicholls

Stephan Nicholls has worked in education for over 30 years including in leadership positions and as a Headteacher. He is now an Education Adviser, mainly for Target Tracker, but also as computing subject lead and a key stage moderator.