What is Question Level Analysis and why you really need it

Question Level Analysis is a really useful tool for use in schools. It breaks the results of an assessment down into simpler parts - focusing in on successes and highlighting areas to focus on. It can really help prepare for exams - looking at mocks or the results of the real thing but there is so much more to QLA than examination preparation... This year, above all others, there is a greater need to look at where our pupils are and build a learning journey around them. A recent study into writing has found that Year 7s are 22 months behind where we’d expect them to be at this time in the year. This was as a comparison between written work created Year 5 and Year 7. "One of the big insights from this assessment was the substantial amount of regression that has taken place. Pupils are 22 months behind where we would expect them to be at the start of Year...
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Marginal Gains

Back in 2012, at the heart of London Olympics, Sir Dave Brailsford repeatedly told people of his belief in the marginal gains principle. Speaking to the BBC, he said “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.  There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places. They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.” Brailsford believed that if it were possible to make a 1% improvement in a whole host of areas, the cumulative gains would end up being hugely significant. This principle has guided and driven the cycling team to great heights and Brailsford’s...
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Never Stop Learning

This blog is a summary of our three part series entitled “NEVER STOP LEARNING”. Click Here Click Here Click Here Never Stop Learning In these new and uncertain times, pupils will have spent many months away from school due to the closures put in place as a result of Covid-19. Schools in England were closed to all pupils except those of key-workers and vulnerable children on the 20th March. Since this date, with the exception of the school holidays, most learning has taken part remotely. Huge strides in online education have been made in months that perhaps previously would have taken years. Teachers have created learning packs, online lessons and updated communication systems – rising to the challenge of how to educate their pupils without the the essential face-to-face contact and personal interaction. September is now here and the clamour for the reopening of schools has returned. Pressure is on for schools to serve their communities once more. Parents are expecting pupils to return to "normal"...
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A Position of Knowledge

This blog is the third of a three part series entitled "NEVER STOP LEARNING". Part one pleads for education to “put the personal back” arguing that the key for any recovery is relationships. Part two asks for labels not to be used arguing that "Every child deserves a Champion". A Position of Knowledge We recently wrote a blog about Marginal Gains where we looked at the theory created by Sir Dave Brailsford within cycling both at the 2012 Olympics and onwards with the SKY or INEOS racing team. The 1% principal is based on the small changes that TOGETHER make a big change. As Brailsford said, Speaking to the BBC… “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together. There’s fitness and conditioning, of course,...
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Every child deserves a Champion

This blog is the second of a three part series entitled "NEVER STOP LEARNING". Part one pleads for education to “put the personal back” arguing that the key for any recovery is relationships. Every child deserves a CHAMPION When you visit a supermarket, you will often find a seconds aisle or money-off promotion. Buy-one- get-one-free or “money-saving” offers will entice you in and always make you buy that extra chocolate bar or that second beer you don’t need. You don’t look at the individual price anymore, just what you think you can gain. You usually end up spending more but feeling weirdly better off. The individual price has been removed, the label takes over. The power...
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Put the Personal back

This blog is the first of a three part series entitled "NEVER STOP LEARNING". Put the Personal back Lockdown has brought many difficulties and challenges in education. Huge strides in online education have been made in months that perhaps previously would have taken years. Teachers have created learning packs, online lessons and updated communication systems - rising to the challenge of how to educate their pupils without the the essential face-to-face contact and personal interaction. Children have spent weeks and months away from the support bubble of a school, from their friends, from their safe place. Some will have thrived in a new family bubble – building new self-esteem and confidence. Others will...
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Year 7 Transition QLA – A Flying Start

What helps pupils make a successful Transition to Secondary School? We surveyed secondary schools up and down the country asking about Transition. Every school and area has a different way of working. Some involve days in school and others involve immediate testing. Some can involve both. However, if you are looking for a way to make immediate progress with your new Year 7 pupils - nothing beats Question Level Analysis. Your new Year 7 pupils have already taken six standardised tests in May. The KS2 SATs give a validated indication of each of your students strengths and weaknesses and the results are available every year - broken down to performance in each individual question. With appropriate analysis, this can prove to be a fantastic tool to help secondary staff bridge the progress gap that exists across KS3. A recent report into how data was used in schools showed that whilst 62% of teachers said that KS2 results are used to set...
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Has Ofsted really gone off School Data?

The new Ofsted framework states that inspections will not examine any internal school data. But, in practice, what does this mean for schools? Feedback from Staff who have gone through the new framework stated that conversations were not data-centred but did assume you had a good working knowledge of the external data for your school. Data was discussed as an informer to the team’s approach, not as the sword of Damocles it has been. Context was investigated in thorough detail, giving us a chance to tell our story.DAN MORROW - CEO, Woodland Academies Trust However, when you read on, you see that the external data does inform what the deep dives look to see... Instead, the deep dives commenced with immediate observations of staff through learning walks (all accompanied by phase/subject leads) and through hearing children read: the year one children who had not reached GLD, the year twos who had not secured the phonics-screening check, and the year threes not...
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