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Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP). Objectives. To have an overview of the APP approach. Consider the model and become familiar with process of arriving at and agreeing judgements. To outline expectations with regards to moderation of judgements.

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Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP)

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  • To have an overview of the APP approach.
  • Consider the model and become familiar with process of arriving at and agreeing judgements.
  • To outline expectations with regards to moderation of judgements.
  • To consider the benefits of this approach and how this could be used in individual school settings.
a consistent approach
A Consistent Approach

There are many sets of criteria (… and products) that claim to assist teachers in making judgements related to national standards. Some are commercial, some have been developed by local authorities and others are ‘home grown’ within schools or groups of schools.

Stephen Anwyll, Curriculum Division, QCA 2008

what is app
What is APP?
  • APP is a tool to assess pupils’ progress periodically against National Curriculum levels.
  • The APP approach places a much greater emphasis on teachers’ ongoing knowledge of pupils’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
app background
APP Background
  • QCA has been working with the National Strategies for several years to develop materials to strengthen teachers’ ongoing and periodic judgements.
  • APP materials already used in KS3.
  • APP has been piloted in Lancashire schools and other authorities.
features of current system
Features of Current System

National standards communicated through test scores.

Teachers reliant on short tests for evidence of achievement.

Dominant assessment techniques are specific events rather than part of daily teaching and learning.


Progress is articulated through numbers

(2, a/b/c, 3).

High value assessments at theend of stages, not useful for individual progress.

Assessments seenas reliable because external to the school.

Separation of day-to-day assessment from national standards.

  • Is based on the successful introduction of using teacher assessment rather than just test results at the end of KS1.
  • Builds on the effective assessment practices that are well established in EYFS.
  • Provides a process that is consistent across both literacy and mathematics.
  • Means strengthening teachers understanding and awareness of levels as well as national expectations.

Assessment: Ways of Looking



Standing back

Public view


What’s Missing?

For teachers

For pupils

  • How well are my pupils achieving overall?
  • Can I see the wood as well as the trees?
  • Where are the gaps in learning?
  • How do national standards inform my teaching?
  • How am I doing in this subject/aspect as a whole?
  • What are the main areas where I need to improve?
  • Where do I show what I know and can do?

How Does APP Close the Gap

  • Helps make connections between techniques promoted through ‘Assessment for Learning’ and judgements relating to national standards.
  • By setting out criteria in each assessment focus the full range of the subject is covered and a broad curriculum is promoted.
  • By describing characteristic features of children’s performance at each level, APP allows a full picture of children’s strengths and weaknesses to be seen.
  • By relating to national standards, it offers a secure basis for pupil tracking.

How Does APP Close the Gap

  • Gives insights which directly inform future planning, teaching and learning in the course of a year.
  • Engages teachers and learners in all year groups in periodic assessment to raise attainment.
  • The materials are not a checklist for ‘spotting and ticking’ in the course of day-to-day teaching and learning, but broader criteria which teachers can use periodically to identify progress.
app materials
APP Materials

The materials are made up of two elements:

  • assessment guidelines – sheets for assessing pupils’ work in relation to National Curriculum levels
  • standards files and training files – exemplars of pupils’ performance at National Curriculum levels of attainment
  • materials are available on the National Strategies website
app materials14
APP Materials

Using APP materials teachers can make level judgements for each of the following National Curriculum attainment targets (ATs):

  • reading
  • writing
  • using and applying mathematics
  • number
  • shape, space and measures
  • handling data.
the app cycle
The APP Cycle

Day-to-day teaching and learning

Planning from learning objectives (PNS)

Evidence for AFs

Informing planning and teaching and learning

Periodic assessment using AFs

how does it work
How Does it Work?
  • In the initial stages, teachers gather evidence for a sample group of approximately 6 pupils in order to get an overview of progress and attainment.
  • Periodically the teacher reviews a range of evidence (written, spoken, observed) for each assessment focus.
  • Assessments are taken from a wide range of evidence based on normal teaching approaches (no extra testing!).
app in mathematics
APP in Mathematics

Teachers will need:

  • Evidence of the pupil’s mathematics that shows most independence.
  • Other evidence about the pupil as a mathematician
  • A copy of the relevant assessment guideline.
have a go
Have a go!
  • Using evidence from the Standards Training Files, look at Peter’s evidence for MA2.
  • Complete the grid and give Peter a level (high, secure or low).
  • Feedback.



Securing Evidence

Shade of the grid.


80  7

- 30  1

80  1

- 30  7

50  6

50  6

Securing Evidence (2)

87 - 31

81 - 37

key points for mathematics
Key Points for Mathematics
  • Not every child who is a secure level 3 has the same profile, it is the different aspects of level 3 that children have attained that show their overall level, these may be in different areas – teachers need to take account of these gaps when planning.
  • To make a secure judgement, a range of open ended tasks needs to be planned.
  • Probing questions require subject knowledge.
app in writing
APP in Writing

Teachers will need:

  • A range of evidence of independent work (from literacy lessons and cross curricular opportunities as they arise).
  • A copy of the assessment guidelines for the level borderline that is the starting point.
  • Making a level judgement handout.
have a go31
Have a Go
  • Using evidence from the Standards Training Files, look at Kylie’s evidence for writing.
  • Complete the grid and give Kylie a level (high, secure or low).
  • Feedback.

Securing Evidence

A range of evidence of independent work

app in reading
APP in Reading
  • A range of evidence
  • Oral, observed, written evidence
  • Quality first teaching of reading
child a year 5 st anne and st joseph s

Child A Year 5St Anne and St Joseph’s

Reading Evidence Examples

From “The Midnight Fox” unit

key points
Teachers initially struggle to identify evidence for reading (in contrast to writing).

Teachers need to ensure that they are offering significant opportunities for independent work.

Improved questioning and dialogue lead to a wider range of better quality evidence.

Key Points
feedback from the pilots
Feedback from the Pilots
  • School leaders need to be fully supportive and engaged with APP.
  • Teachers had more confidence when planned time was arranged to discuss with colleagues. The evidence collected and judgements made were more consistent.
  • The use of the APP materials was more effective where teachers had good subject knowledge.
feedback from the pilots42
Feedback from the Pilots
  • Teachers found that completing the APP grids was a simple process and enabled them to reflect on:
        • classroom practice
        • areas not covered / gaps in learning
        • knowledge of children’s attainment
        • moderating their end of year assessment
  • Inclusion of more open ended and independent tasks provided children with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.
app long term aims
APP – Long Term Aims


Standardisation and moderation to secure standards and improve understanding of progression, use of APP resources in classrooms, collecting & acting upon evidence.


APP informing learning and teaching as part of school improvement cycle.


Teachers working collaboratively to develop their understanding of pedagogy and their subject knowledge.

implementing app
Implementing APP

SMT planning/implementation

In-school standardisation


Teachers collecting evidence & making judgements

In-school moderation

Cluster moderation


Implementing APP

Trial with 6 children in one subject in two classes (e.g. subject leader and other).

An example:

Whole school trials with 6 children in one subject.

Scale up for use with all children in class for one subject.

Whole school trials with 6 children in second subject whilst maintaining first subject.

Scale up for use with all children in class for two subjects.

Whole school trials with 6 children in third subject whilst maintaining first two.

Scale up for use with all children in class in all subjects.

Regular moderation and collaboration throughout the implementation and beyond.

staffing and responsibilities
Staffing and Responsibilities

School Senior Leader Responsibilities

  • Provide practical support to lead subject teachers.
  • Chair in-school moderation meetings and have the final say in resolving any differences in judgements that arise.

APP Lead Teacher for the Subject Responsibilities

  • Attend external APP training and standardisation sessions.
  • Organise and deliver in-school APP training and conduct in-school standardisation and moderation meetings.

APP is an opportunity to:

  • Improve understanding of the characteristics of performance over the range of NC levels.
  • Gain greater confidence and accuracy of assessments being made on the basis of an improving range of evidence.
  • Develop more ownership of responsibility for standards and children’s progress among teachers.
  • Integrate assessment with planning for teaching and learning.