School will share secret of success

Hiltingbury Junior School  headteacher Sam Hunter with Year 4 pupils Nathan and Charlotte

Hiltingbury Junior School headteacher Sam Hunter with Year 4 pupils Nathan and Charlotte

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter

A HAMPSHIRE school has been chosen to help develop new ways of charting children’s progress nationally.

Hiltingbury Junior school in Chandler’s Ford was one of only nine schools across the country to be chosen to help develop a national system of assessment.

The school is now in line for a £10,000 grant to help develop their model into a package for other schools to use.

The Hiltingbury Road school’s model was chosen by an independent panel after the Department for Education launched a competition in December encouraging schools to develop and share innovative assessment methods for other schools to use.

The new methods have been designed to replace the current ‘levels’ system – described by the government as over-complicated, vague and un-ambitious – which will be scrapped in September.

Hiltingbury’s model is based around a ‘learning ladder’ which monitors and tracks each child’s progress in a way the youngster and parents can also understand.

It was introduced following the arrival of headteacher Sam Hunter who joined the school in September.

She said she was delighted the project had been chosen for development.

“We will use the grant specifically to develop our assessment system to ensure it is of the highest standard before we share it with schools nationally. “It is wonderful to know that initiatives that we are working on have been given the seal of approval by the government and we are also proud to think that our project will benefit schools nationally, should they choose to use it.”

The school is hoping to extend their own assessment system beyond the subjects of reading, writing and maths to other areas of the curriculum as well as to develop an electronic version which will enable parents ‘live’ access to their child’s assessments.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our reforms are giving teachers the freedom to do what they know is best for their pupils – not Whitehall bureaucrats.

“That’s why we want schools taking control and creating models of assessment which they know will work and which will suit them.”

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