Westwood-with-Iford is a friendly village primary school with a strong community spirit. Located outside of Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire; the school implemented Classroom Monitor in 2014 to track progress effectively after the removal of levels and to also monitor attainment across the whole school.
Before joining the school, Headteacher Ian Rockey had been using Classroom Monitor since its earliest inception and was keen see how the system could benefit the staff and pupils of Westwood-with-Iford.
“When I joined the school, our goal was to effectively implement the new curriculum and to raise standards. To support this, the school needed a reliable assessment tool that would contribute towards reducing the workload on data entry. We also needed a system that was cloud-based to provide maximum flexibility to my staff when planning, assessing and entering data. From my previous experience, I knew looking at Classroom Monitor would be a good starting point – I wasn’t disappointed, the way in which the system has developed since it began in 2004 is incredible!”
Curriculum coverage and raising standards
“Our teachers use Classroom Monitor daily to both plan their lessons and to assess the learning of their children; identifying misconceptions and focusing on the learning objectives that need further attention. The Rising Stars Progression Framework that is included in Classroom Monitor had the curriculum coverage we needed and in 2014 it really supported my teachers to quickly develop their understanding of the new National Curriculum. Since then, we have added the Oxford Reading and Writing Scales which is helping to raise attainment in speaking, listening and writing. More recently we have included the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) units of work to help assess our foundation subjects.”
“All this has enabled us to raise standards in reading, writing and maths through close monitoring and tracking of individual pupils. Teachers now have strong ownership of their class data, being able to analyse it thoroughly to ensure that all children are reaching their potential. “
“With increasing focus on the monitoring of foundation subjects, this year we are continuing our programme of development in subject leadership. Classroom Monitor allows my subject leaders to analyse these foundation subjects, to understand coverage and identify areas for improvement.”
Organised and run by the children, Westwood Radio reports on school news, sports, local and national interest and even interviews. Broadcasting weekly, the unique project builds confidence, presentation skills and supports the school’s core subjects. By using Classroom Monitor, Ian can review the progress of the children involved, being able to see improvements with their reading, writing and listening skills – providing evidence of the project’s positive impact on the children.
Continuing to deliver the impact we need
“If I’m implementing something as a whole school, and it’s a major initiative like assessment, I want it to embed –so, as a staff, we initially reviewed the system in detail. Every year since then, I consult my team on how they feel it is working. The consistent response is they are really happy with it and want to keep using it because it’s so beneficial.”
“As the Headteacher leading assessment, I can instantly see which children need extra focus, which supports my conversations with the relevant class teachers. It helps ‘join the dots’ in terms of making sure every pupil makes at least expected progress and is attaining as high as they possibly can. The teachers have better control and a far better overview and understanding of individual children and their needs. Also, we teach mixed age groups and have set up Classroom Monitor so that all the teaching staff can see all the children, enabling every teacher to have a whole school overview, which is important. Using the Classroom Monitor School Usage Tracker, I can see that my teachers don’t just log in when there is a data drop, they log in many times in a month, using it for day-to-day planning and teaching.”
“I also regularly share data and reports with our school governors, which I support with an annual data training session, so they can fully understand how we assess the children and how we then use the insights to inform teaching.”
“Classroom Monitor continues to support our successful program of teaching and learning. We have an assessment system behind high quality teaching that works, is easy to use, has a great interface and doesn’t take up too much staff time. Also, staff well-being and work-life balance are critical for me and Classroom Monitor really does help with this – it’s not an onerous task.”