“B Squared’s Connecting Steps is a really useful tool for tracking progress. It has given us a framework for assessment that is standardised for pupils with SEN. This has been invaluable for our school as it has enabled us to measure progress, moderate our assessments and share best practice with other schools.”
Rebecca Shaw, Deputy Principal, Nethergate Academy
Nethergate Academy is using
B Squared’s Connecting Steps assessment software with a range of our assessment frameworks for students of differing abilities.
Engagement Steps for assessing pupils working below the Pre-Key Stage Standards, who aren’t yet engaged in subject specific learning. Progression Steps for an ability range from Pre-Key Stage Standards up to pupils working towards the lower GCSE grades. Steps 4 Life for students with SEND working towards independent living including academic, life and employability skills.
Evisense, our evidence of learning tool, is used to capture evidence to support assessment and encourage parental engagement.
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Moderating SEND progress measures and sharing best practice
Nethergate Academy is a co-educational academy in Nottingham that provides high-quality education for children and young people from 5 – 19 with special educational needs. A highly experienced and dedicated teaching and support staff deliver an exciting and varied curriculum to ensure learners have every opportunity to reach their full potential and learn key skills to succeed in life.
Before working with B Squared, the school used PIVATS. According to Deputy Principal Rebecca Shaw, “We were looking for a new system that we could use with all the different groups of pupils at our school with a diverse range of needs and ages. The assessment frameworks available within Connecting Steps enable us to do that.”
Benchmarking students’ achievements
“As a Special School we don’t have national tests to show how well our pupils are doing, so we have to find other ways to demonstrate progress. Making sure we are ‘getting it right’ for all of our children based on their starting points is crucial. We use Connecting Steps for benchmarking and moderation across three very different schools in our Trust. This helps us to share best practice and it means we can see how all of our students are doing! Because B Squared’s system is universally understood, it gives us additional verification of where our children are working and helps with planning and next steps.”
Tracking progress throughout the school
“We use Engagement Steps and Progression Steps for assessment in our lower school. Then students transition to Steps 4 Life in KS4 and 6th Form for academic skills, as well as personal and social development. This works really well for us, as it’s geared towards the accreditation pathways and the strands match the Preparation for Adulthood outcomes.”
Progress and next steps information at your fingertips
“I love how the software shows a percentage of where a student is working at within a level. It’s really important to know that a student has achieved, say 80% of a step – with an accurate breakdown of their accomplishments. This is particularly helpful for pupils on Engagement Steps where progress is slow. It’s so valuable to be able to show families when a child is making progress (however small) within the steps. All this information is quickly and easily available at your fingertips – without having to do the maths yourself!”
Teachers save time with quick and easy access to data
“Working with B Squared is very cost effective for us. Being able to rapidly record our assessments makes tracking pupil progress easier and saves a huge amount of our teachers’ time each term. This also helps reduce workload and has a positive impact on teacher welfare.” Rebecca Shaw, Deputy Principal, Nethergate Academy.
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