Michelle Bishton at Newdale Primary School kindly took the time to give us some feedback on the service we provide. The school has used OTrack for assessment tracking for two years now and this is their story:
We are delighted that this year we have one of the best data sets we have ever had across school. I’m in no doubt the fact that we use OTrack had a huge impact in this.Michelle Bishton, Deputy Headteacher – Newdale Primary School, Telford
What are the main differences between OTrack and your previous tracking provider?
OTrack has completely transformed how we approach data and the ways in which we can share it with our stakeholders. It’s precision and speed has enabled us to concentrate our efforts on the groups who need it most. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff at OTrack at all levels in the company. Every member of staff has shown a true understanding of what we needed.
How does OTrack help you as a senior leader?
As Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for assessment and data, I would be lost without OTrack. Our data tracking is regarded as one of the best examples seen. OTrack has enabled me to ensure that data is streamlined and reaches the target audience in a format that is easy to understand.
I also hold responsibility for disadvantaged pupils and this is the area that OTrack has personally had the most impact on my role.
OTrack fully understands what we need and the relationship that we’ve developed between school and company has been second to none. We have robust and rigorous tracking systems in place for all pupils, but disadvantaged pupils in particular. This has allowed us to target interventions to the needs of the pupils. We are delighted that this year we have one of the best data sets we have ever had across the school and I’m in no doubt the fact that we use OTrack had a huge impact on this.
In addition, we use OTrack to assist in teacher appraisal. Whole cohort information is used for headline statistics, but staff are able to drill down and provide data specific to their own class. This has led to increased accountability, as I’m now able to see clearly which classes and groups need closer monitoring. The precision provided by OTrack has streamlined the appraisal level and made this a real strength in our school.
How does OTrack help the rest of your senior leadership team?
Our school’s senior leadership team use OTrack on an almost daily basis. They are becoming more confident users of the system. Each new report created for us allows them to be more confident at data analysis. This in turn has aided succession planning, with each phase leader having a good understanding of the data trends in their phase. They are less dependent on myself and our data administrator to provide data for them – it is at their fingertips.
OTrack has empowered the Senior Leadership Team to embrace data and apply it in a diverse range of situations. We have been really impressed with the ‘can-do’ attitude of all the staff that we have encountered both in person and via email and phone.
Each phase leader has a core responsibility, with additional TLR holders supplementing key areas in school. OTrack is an invaluable tool for these staff to ensure that their subject and ultimately the children make rapid and sustained progress as they move through the school.
How does OTrack help your teachers?
Teachers use OTrack frequently to insert and analyse data. Initial whole staff training was impressive and allowed our staff to confidently use the system. We also knew that, if anything wasn’t clear, there would be a full support network to help.
Our school now has a culture where data isn’t something to fear. Pupil progress has been enhanced by the in-depth and detailed knowledge that the teachers have of their pupils. Staff can verbalise the trends in data on a half-termly and termly basis. Teachers and support staff are clearer in where their children are and what help they need to make more progress. I am confident that is down to their in-depth knowledge of the progress and attainment provided by OTrack.
Teachers use the easy to interpret reports to plan targeted and focused interventions. These are based on the progress or attainment needs of the individual or groups of pupils. This ensures that no pupils fall through the net and the needs of all individuals are met. This has been especially apparent in the tracking of coupled vulnerability pupils e.g. those pupils who are both disadvantaged and SEND. Teachers are able to identify these pupils and use the filters on the reports to accurately track both progress and attainment. This has ensured that pupils achieve to the best of their ability and barriers to learning are broken down.
How does OTrack help your governors?
The reports from OTrack are used to ensure that Governors are well informed and confident in talking about data. We have a highly skilled and dedicated Governing body and data is a vital part of their understanding. They need to know how successful our school is and what we need to do to drive improvement. One of our aims is to support other schools in data analysis, OTrack is enabling us to do this.
Our Raising Attainment plan is heavily reliant on data analysis from OTrack. Governors use the data provided to check that the school is moving in the right direction.
The disadvantaged action group, consisting of 3 Governors, has been highly impressed with the support that we have received from OTrack. Challenges that they have set have led to the use of OTrack’s newer reports, which have been instrumental in the successful tracking of our most vulnerable pupils.
How does OTrack help pupils and their parents?
One of the areas which we have been targeting as a school is how to communicate exactly where their child is in relation to age related expectations. OTrack listened to what we wanted and suggested the use of a report to parents which clearly demonstrates where their child is.
The open discussion between parents and school has enabled teachers to create bespoke interventions which will engage children, whilst at the same time meeting the curriculum needs.