Kent Steps

Kent Steps are the summative partner to the Kent Tracking Statements used for formative assessment (see here). Kent Steps are numbers that describe children’s attainment in and progress through the age-related expectations of the New National Curriculum. Each number equates to a certain depth of learning within an age-related expectation, allowing schools to make fine-tuned attainment judgements. By measuring the number of Steps pupils make over a term, year or key stage, it is also possible to track progress. 

Kent Steps integrates with the EYFS, meaning that a pupil’s Emerging, Expecting or Exceeding judgment at the end of Reception can be used as a September baseline in Year 1. Within Pupil Asset, it is also possible to incorporate P Scales into the Kent Steps, ensuring that your approach to tracking is moulded around the individual needs of your school. 

Making a summative judgement

When Kent Steps are used alongside the NC Kent Reading, Writing and Maths frameworks, the Results > DNA Ticks page is the best place to make and input your summative judgments. Use the Filter to find the learners you wish to assess and the Display Options to select the Age-Level(s) they are working on. 

Remember that each age-related expectation is comprised of three different Age Levels; for example, Year 2 is comprised of the Year 2 Emerging, Year 2 Expected and Year 2 Exceeding assessment statements. 

To translate this overview of formative assessment into a Kent Step, the following principles are used: 

  • Each age-related expectation is sub-divided into 6 Kent Steps. Two Kent Steps relate to Emerging, another two relate to Expected and a further two steps represent Exceeding. 
  • There is one exception to this principle. In Year 1, the age-related expectation is sub-divided into 7, with three Kent Steps representing Year 1 Emerging. The additional Step has the effect of giving pupils more ‘progress’ for attaining the Year 1 Emerging skills. This additional progress ‘step’ is intended to recognise that pupils are making progress as they transition from the EYFS to Year 1. 
  • The Kent Step given will depend on how much of the Age-Level has been achieved. For Year 1 Emerging, achieving one-third of the statements equates to Kent Step 3.5, achieving two-thirds equates to Kent Step 4 and achieving the majority or all of the Year 1 Emerging statements equates to Kent Step 5. 
  • From Year 1 Expected onwards, achieving approximately half of the statements in an Age Level equates to the lower Kent Step and achieving more than half equates to the higher Kent Step.

To award the correct Kent Step based on your formative assessment, use the following chart:

Where learners are attaining out of the year, teachers can use the Kent Steps from previous year groups or the P Scales. These Age Levels can also be displayed on the DNA Ticks page using the Display Options box. 

As it is envisaged that most learners will end each age-related expectation within the Expected Age Level. It is advised that schools use the two Kent Steps associated with Exceeding to show the transition from one year group to the next. It can be tempting to re-baseline learners at the Emerging Kent Step for the following year, but this overlooks the importance of prior attainment and may impact negatively on progress scores. Where pupils have attained within the Exceeding criteria, they should progress seamlessly into the next year group.

Measuring attainment

To review the attainment of a class, set or group of pupils, navigate to the Results > Results page and select the learners and the NC Kent subject you wish to analyse from the Filter

Pupil Asset uses a range of colours to compare learners’ attainment against school expectations. For example, light green indicates that a learner’s attainment is expected for that time of year and that they are on track to reach the end of year expectations, assuming they make expected progress between now and the Summer Term.

Attainment colours are determined by each school’s Colour Map which breaks down expected attainment into half-termly points. The default Colour Map for the Kent Steps is shown below:

Measuring progress

Progress can be calculated using 1 of 3 Assessment Measures within Pupil Asset. In reality, only two of these are relevant to the Kent Steps tracking solution. 

It is not advisable to use the third Assessment Measure in Pupil Asset (Points) when tracking in Kent Steps. 

In the Display Options on the Results > Results or Reports > Progress pages, under Progress Assessment Measure, select Unit of Assessment. You will also need to choose to measure Progress Against School Model

It is important to specify the time frame you wish to measure progress over. In the Range to Use display, select one of the pre-set ranges such as ‘Since the start of year’ or ‘Over the previous term’. Where an appropriate pre-set range cannot be found, choose a ‘Fixed Range’. This will allow you to choose the columns of data that you wish to measure progress between. Click Refresh when you have set your Range to Use

a – Kent Steps in the black box show that these learners have made expected progress over an academic year.

– Learners progressed through 6 Kent Steps as was expected. 

c – Value Added: The number of Kent Steps over or under what was expected. A VA of 0 Kent Steps represents expected progress. 

d – This pupil has made less than expected progress, having progressed through 3 Kent Steps over an academic year, when 6 was expected. The learner has a Kents Steps VA of -3. 

e – This pupil has made better than expected progress, having progressed through 9 Kent Steps over an academic year, when 6 was expected. The learner has a Kent Steps VA of +3.  

– This is the Attainment Colour Bands progress measure. Where pupils make expected progress, they maintain their attainment colour over time. This is indicated as a green bullseye. Where pupils move down the colour bands less than expected progress has been made. This is illustrated by a downwards arrow and the -3 colour bands notation (in this example). Where pupils move up through the colour bands better than expected progress has been made.

The colours in the Value Added Kent Steps Difference column are explained below: