Building a clear picture of every child’s learning journey

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“B Squared’s Connecting Steps allows us to demonstrate student progress in a range of ways which suits our learners better as progress is not always linear.

The small step descriptors ensure we can acknowledge all of our children’s achievements to help us build a clear picture of each child’s individual learning journey.”

Michelle O’Reilly, Head of School, Cedars School

Cedars School, part of Cedars Academy, is using B Squared’s Connecting Steps assessment software with our Early Steps framework for children working on the EYFS curriculum. Our Progression Steps framework is also being used to assess a wide ability range of students, from those working at pre-key stage standards up towards the lower GCSE grades.

In addition, the school uses our autism profiling tool Autism Progress to help profile a student’s autism and how it impacts them and their learning. Support strategies are provided to help with each individual’s development.

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Building a clear picture of each child’s individual learning journey

Cedars School is a specialist provision for young people aged 3 to 19 years with additional needs in Gateshead. It supports over 230 children and young people with a range of needs such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ODD, Attachment Disorder, difficulties with communication and speech, moderate and severe learning disabilities, sensory processing difficulties and difficulties associated with social and emotional regulation.

The School’s curriculum is highly individualised and focuses on the promotion of communication, emotional development, resilience, and the development of personal and social skills. Class teams work closely to support the learning and personal development of the young people in their care. They provide innovative and inclusive programmes where key skills are embedded within a range of practical and sensory approaches in the classroom, the outdoor environment and in their therapeutic spaces.

Before working with B Squared, Cedars School used its own assessment framework. According to Head of School, Michelle O’Reilly, “This was useful, but didn’t give us the common language with other schools to compare and quality assure our judgements.”

Tracking individual, group and whole school progress

“Using Connecting Steps from B Squared is just one tool in our basket of assessments used to look at individual progress. It is helpful as it has allowed us to track the small steps of progress our children make in all curriculum areas. It also provides one central place where teachers can update from wherever they are working. Curriculum leads can access at any time to understand the individual, group and whole school progress in their subject areas.”

Better outcomes from sharing assessment best practice

“Working with other schools also using B Squared assessment has been invaluable as we have been able to share best practice. This has impacted significantly on how our teachers assess students and has led to more accurate knowledge of our students, leading to more precise teaching and better outcomes for children.”

“We now have a common language in which to talk about assessment with other specialist schools. This allows us to confidently quality assure our teacher judgements externally and internally.”

“We see B Squared’s Connecting Steps as a valuable part of our comprehensive assessment programme. We can now demonstrate all student progress, however small. It has also helped us to be secure in our judgements and improve learning outcomes as a result.”  Michelle O’Reilly, Head of School, Cedars School.

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