Data in a Specialist Educational Setting: The Art of Storytelling

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A session, delivered over two hours, to talk through issues around progress and data in SEN settings. To maintain a bare minimum level of copyright, the presentation is provided as a read only powerpoint. For more: www.HumansNotRobots.co.uk

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The Art of Storytelling:

Data in specialist educational settings: The Art of Storytelling

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“ Behind every graph there is a story waiting to be told… ” (Willows, 2012)

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The Data Story of 21 st Century Greece

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http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZMAYh4tIo The Human Story of 21 st Century Greece

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In our role as story tellers – and story makers - data helps us… i . Set a context for the events taking place … ii. Substantiate voices that might otherwise sound anecdotal… iii. H elp verify the main plot and from there, identify subplots… iv. Plan for what might happen next…

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OK, so what about data in an SEN setting?

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corporate values community values person-led systems-led Specialist educational settings exist in a constant state of tension…

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5 Key Principles…

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1. Data collection should be triggered by simple questions. 2. Data should shape and strengthen our conversations. i.e. What do we know about Katie’s strengths & weaknesses on entry? How is Joe doing six weeks in? How is Sara doing six months in? What evidence do we have that Megan is ready for reintegration? What impact is this intervention having? How well is this subject area doing? Where are we now as an organisation compared to last year? How well equipped are each of us to answer these questions?

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A starting point has to be National Curriculum data, the ‘universal currency’… What level was the student when they started the placement / intervention? What teaching and learning needs to take place for the student to get to the next level?

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Specialist standardised assessment data is typically the next step… What do we know about how this student learns? – and why this student doesn’t learn?

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Observation also plays a key part… What are teachers saying about this student?

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“ One of the anomalies of the computer age is that there is sometimes too much information to make effective decisions. Information is everywhere. What data is useful? What data is noise?” (Pugh, 2012) …but we have to be careful not to make our data too much and too clever …

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Name English NC Level Reading Comp. SS Reading Decoding AE Spelling AE Ability-based SS 1. Kevin Banner Secure 5 94 10:05 11:10 93 2. Billy Carr Secure 4 89 10:06> 08:09 91 3. Kieran Darlington Low 5 95 10:06> 06:10 99 4. Jaime Qualu Low 5 84 10:06> 13:10 102 5. Taylor Mount High 4 90 09:11 10:09 89 6. Ola McNally High 4 96 10:06> 11:00 105 7. David Norris Low 3 <70 7:04 <5:00 79 8. Quentin Nwotru Secure 3 81 09:05 07:07 93 9. Edward Morley Secure 4 93 10:02 09:10 90 10. Thomas Percy Low 6 118 10:06> 13:10 113 11. Maddy Prestwich Low 4 90 09:06 09:00 94 12. Nicholas Peters Secure 5 105 10:06> 10:02 101 i.e. Non-Reading Intelligence Tests One way we can maintain simplicity is by using filters such as the discrepancy model…

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Another way of filtering - less theoretical but nonetheless valuable - is to traffic light students…

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We can also focus on tracking key aspects of learning at group level… …and, where necessary, enhanced tracking of individuals…

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“ Schools must bear in mind that standardized tests tend to separate learners into shallow categories as opposed to assessing deep thinking and problem solving.” (Bieber, 2012) …but we have to be careful not to reduce students to numbers…

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3. Measuring learning in specialist provisions has to be flexible. 4. Soft data can be just as hard-hitting. Students enter at different points, at different stages of ‘readiness for learning’ – do our shared practices reflect and respond to this? Alternative programmes of study still require measurement of impact – how do we do this? For some students, very small but very real steps of progress may not show up on the usual measurement ladders – how do we counter this? How can we compliment numerical data with observational and survey data? How well do we present this data within our organisation? How well do we present it to the outside?

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Academic Skills vs. Personal Growth L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 Resilience Self-Awareness Self-Control Empathy

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“ Beyond the high stakes external tests that so many parents and students see as the golden key to university acceptance, there lies essential deeper learning which we desire for our students: knowing themselves as learners; taking action to better their world; and building deep understanding that transfers to so many aspects of their lives. In what ways and to what extent do our learning scorecards reflect what we truly value in learning? Is the learning we are measuring aligned with what is stated in the school vision, mission and definition of learning? If we are bothering to measure how far students have come, then let’s make sure we are measuring what we value.” (Belisle and Straub, 2012) Again, there is a constant tension between corporate values and community values…

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“ So much of what we understand about our community is anecdotal, based on feedback of those members of the community who make the most noise. Surveys helps us to expand our understanding to a broader base so that we listen in on more conversations, in a more systematic way.” (Collins and Shepherd, 2012) The ‘survey’ can provide invaluable information….

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Relationship …be it through a specialised, published Likert scale focusing on a key area….

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Self-Esteem

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Practical Skills for School

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Communication

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Student Voice Parent Voice Colleague Voice How are we doing? ….or a simple self-created one page questionnaire…

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5. Data is about the future as well as the past. How do we communicate, and celebrate, ‘good data’? With each other, with our students, with parents, with Ofsted… How open are we when we encounter ‘bad data’? How easy is it to reach decisions about what’s going well and what needs improving? In terms of individual students, cohorts, subject areas…

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Typical / Projected Progress Take any scheme of learning… take any climbing expedition… Assessment Points Data identifies student/s as ‘Cause for Concern’ – further differentiation planned Data identifies student/s as ‘Significantly Underachieving’ – intervention planned Additional assessment shows intervention is working – extra resourcing continues Gap is narrowed sufficiently to end intervention Time Levels / Scores

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Achievement Group Meeting - Whole-School → Termly / Half-Termly - Vulnerable Cohorts → Weekly / Fortnightly …this requires a whole-school approach… Learner Profiling NC attainment CATS scores Reading score Spelling score Sanctions / Rewards Tally Attendance % Beh / Eff / Att grades Provision Map - Additional Needs Register - Intervention Log Intervention   Internal Action/s → ► Subject Teachers - FQT ► Curriculum HLTAs - interventions External Action/ → ► Learning Support & SEN Team – interventions, further assessment, in-class support ► Pastoral Team – day-to-day management, interventions Assessment & Evaluation Week   “No child left behind…”

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“ Mission and vision without data can be empty words; data without purpose can be a dreadful waste of time and effort. Working together, they can drive us towards goals and prove we’re getting closer.” (Bartlett, 2012) And so, finally… data in a nutshell…

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Copyright , Matt Grant, 2013 All rights reserved. Permission to present this material and distribute freely for non-commercial purposes is granted, provided this copyright notice and those in the slides remain intact and is included in the distribution. If you modify this work, please note where you have modified it, as I want neither credit nor responsibility for your work. Modification for the purpose of taking credit for my work or otherwise circumventing the spirit of this license is not allowed, and will be considered a copyright violation. Any suggestions and corrections are appreciated and may be incorporated into future versions of this work, and credited as appropriate. If you believe I have infringed copyright, please contact me via the above website and I will promptly credit , amend or remove the material in question. For further resources or to contact the author, please visit: www.HumansNotRobots.co.uk

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