The Downs Church of England Primary School’s Integration of Sonar Tracker


Sonar Tracker is an online primary pupil progress tracker combined with an effective curriculum framework. Now part of our primary Progress & Outcomes solution. 

The Downs Church Of England Primary School

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The Downs Church of England Primary School's Integration of Sonar Tracker

The Downs Church of England Primary School in Kent leveraged Sonar Tracker, an EdTech tool, to address the challenges posed by a period of educational disruption and improve the robustness of its curriculum assessment. Despite varied demographics and historical underperformance in key stage 2 outcomes, the school has made notable progress, as recognised in its recent 'Good' Ofsted inspection report. This case study outlines the objectives, processes, outcomes, and experiences related to the implementation of Sonar Tracker, providing insights and lessons for similar educational institutions.

Clear Objectives

Problem or Challenge Addressed

  • Addressing weaker key stage 2 outcomes.

  • Improving curriculum sequencing and robustness post-pandemic.

  • Enhancing teacher confidence in formative and summative assessments.

Goals Set for the Project

  • Develop a coherent, ambitious curriculum that covers all national curriculum objectives.

  • Implement a reliable assessment system to support teacher judgements.

  • Increase student performance to meet or surpass national levels.

Background Information

The Educational Institution

  • The Downs Church of England Primary School, a large institution in a small coastal town in Deal, Kent.

  • The student body consists of children from varied demographics.

  • Focus on providing rich local history and tangible experiences to enhance learning


Educational Trends or Challenges

  • Post-pandemic recovery, with a need to catch up on foundation subjects.

  • Shift from an overly focused curriculum on core subjects to a well-rounded one.

Technology Solution

Description of EdTech Solution

  • Sonar Tracker is an assessment management tool used for core and foundation subjects.

  • Provides a platform for teachers to conduct formative assessments in real time.

  • Facilitates summative assessments for tracking student progress.

Hardware and Software Used

  • Tablets for real-time assessment input.

  • Sonar Tracker software for managing and analysing student data.

Implementation Process

Planning and Training

  • Development of a new curriculum plan and objectives mapping.

  • Training for staff on Sonar Tracker’s functionalities.


  • Building teacher confidence in assessment post-pandemic.

  • Transitioning from paper-based to digital assessment records.

Data and Results

 Improvements Noted

  • First rise in results post-pandemic, indicating a positive trend.

  • Strong key stage 1 outcomes in phonics and other assessments.

User Experiences


  • Deputy Headteacher Kelly: "Our teachers really thrived by having that system... they could do it in the moment."

  • Ofsted Report: Acknowledged the school’s "ambitious curriculum that is coherently sequenced."

Lessons Learned

Effective Strategies

  • Engaging the whole staff in curriculum redevelopment.

  • Incremental implementation, starting with core subjects before expanding to foundation


Areas for Improvement

  • Ongoing development of assessment strategies for music, French, and RE.

  • Continuation of professional development for staff on data utilisation.

Future Plans

Expansion and Development

  • Full integration of Sonar Tracker across all subjects.

  • Monitoring longitudinal data to continue improving student outcomes.

References and Citations Ofsted

“The school has introduced an ambitious curriculum that is coherently sequenced. This was in response to weaker key stage 2 outcomes in 2022. Teachers follow these plans closely and usually check pupils’ understanding carefully. This enables Inspection report: The Downs Church of England Primary School 12 and 13 September 2023 3 pupils to connect concepts and knowledge. For example, in design and technology, pupils develop their sewing skills by gradually learning more challenging types of stitches. As a result, pupils can recall the most important content over time. Pupils with SEND are supported effectively. Staff swiftly identify pupils’ needs and skilfully adapt their teaching to enable them to learn the same curriculum as their peers. Consequently, pupils with SEND achieve well. In a few subjects, staff are at an earlier stage of implementing the new curriculum.”

- ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection report of The Downs Church of England Primary School, September 2023

Deputy Headteacher, Kelly
Curriculum Development Post - Pandemic:


"I have been the curriculum lead since September 2021 and we were feeling the effects of the pandemic and working hard to ensure children caught up with missed learning due to school closures. As a staff, we developed the curriculum so that it met the requirements for all National Curriculum subjects as well as being engaging for the children. Our curriculum has been recognised as being well sequenced with each stage of learning leading to the next and our subject leads are able to ensure that the knowledge and skills are sufficiently embedded."

Implementation of Sonar Tracker:

"All teaching staff have tablets to implement the formative assessments for the majority of subjects. Being able to do it at the moment really helped, and then their confidence with that grew, then they do their summative assessment termly as well so that we could track where children are."

Accessibility and Inclusivity

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The Downs Church of England Primary School's experience illustrates the transformative potential of targeted EdTech solutions in response to specific educational challenges. By incorporating Sonar

Tracker, the school has laid the groundwork for sustained improvement in both teacher practice and student outcomes.

Watch: How has Sonar Tracker supported The Downs C of E Primary School?