Linear Assessment Models

Pupil Asset can work with your school to build a flight path model that suits you. To arrange a full consultation, contact our Sales Team on (01603) 631436.

These notes outline our most popular linear model ‘Optional, in year Greater Depth (6/9) – Working Towards, Working At, Greater Depth’

Designed as the summative partner to the NC Frameworks, this latest set of grades uses the DfE terminology of Working Towards (WT)Working At (WA) and Greater Depth (GD), as outlined in the Teacher Assessment Frameworks, to describe children’s attainment against the end of year/age-related expectations. This allows schools to carefully monitor the attainment of each learner and to measure progress throughout the year from any start point, including for learners attaining ‘out-of-year’. 

The NC Bands have been designed as an inclusive, whole-school tracking solution. As such, the Development Matters ages bands and Early Learning Goals for EYFS are also built into the model. P Scales are also available as is an additional P9 level to help SENCos and Special Schools record progress from P8 to the raised expectations within the Year 1 program of study.

The principle that Greater Depth represents optional, in-year broadening and deepening of age-related expectations is central to this approach. Learners who achieve Greater Depth in the year are recognised as having attained at a higher level, beyond the expected standard. However, it is not essential for all pupils to reach this level before moving on. At the start of a new academic year, it is generally expected that pupils who finished the previous year to the Working At (WA) standard will begin to emerge/embark on the current year’s program of study. This is made possible by ‘overlapping’ grades:

Having achieved 1 WA at the end of Year 1, the learner progresses into Year 2. Grades 2 Emerging (2 EMG), 2 Embarking (2 EMBK) and 2 Embarking+ (2 EMBK+) acknowledge the progress that learner’s make before they can be said to be Working Towards (WT) the Year 2, end of the year, age-related expectations. 

Learners who did not reach the expected standard for Year 1 (1 WA), can continue to focus on those expectations, securing the foundations before moving on to the Year 2 programme of study. This ensures that learners do not miss out on crucial steps in learning and also allows schools to show better than expected progress by ‘closing the gap’ for low attaining learners.

Where pupils achieve above Working At at the end of a year, it is advised that they start the next year at the equivalent higher grade, as shown in the table above. Whilst achieving Greater Depth may not mean that a pupil has prior knowledge of the next set of expectations, starting from a higher baseline highlights to teachers that more able pupils should achieve beyond the expected standard by the end of each year. From the point of view of progress, a pupil who attained 1 GD at the end of Year 1 would not have made expected progress if they only achieved 2 WA by the end of Year 2. A higher baseline necessitates that higher attaining pupils continue to broaden and deepen their learning year on year in order to make sufficient progress.

Making a Summative Judgement

Grades such as 2 WT, 3 WA and 4 GD describe which level a learner is working within and the depth of learning they have achieved. Generally, the Working At (WA) indicates that a learner has reached the expected level for their year group, whilst Greater Depth (GD) suggests that a learner is broadening and deepening their understanding, beyond the expected standard. 

Where learners are performing out-of-year, teachers can use grades from previous year groups or from the P Scales to capture this. These grades also act as a baseline from which to measure progress and calculate Value-Added scores. 

The following table shows how a typical Year 2 learner might progress through the NC Bands:

For schools seeking more specific guidance on which grade to give learners, summative judgements can also be generated using the Weighted Percentage column. On the NC 2017 Frameworks, each skill at Working Towards is awarded 1 point, each skill at Working At is awarded 2 points and each skill at Greater Depth is awarded 3 points. By expressing the sum of each learner’s points as a percentage of the total points available, a Weighted percentage can indicate how deeply a learner has achieved the curriculum objectives. 

Measuring Attainment

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 if they continue to make expected progress.

Attainment colours are determined by each school’s Colour Map which breaks down expected attainment into half-termly points. Colour Maps work on the principle of a ‘flightpath’. Each school can determine their own Colour Map if they wish to.

To see your school’s own Colour Map, navigate to Help > Colour Progression and choose the relevant subject and year groups from the drop-down list. 

A typical colour map for Optional, in year Greater Depth is shown below:

Measuring Progress

Progress can be calculated using 1 of 3 Assessment Measures. The approach you will take may depend on whether you use the in-between grades (WT+, WA+, GD+) and the degree of accuracy that you require. 

This can be broken down as follows: 

For more information on how to measure progress, see How to measure progress in Pupil Asset – basic notes.