Since 2006 IOM schools have had no SATS, in either KS1 or KS2, as well as no OFSTED. This may lead to some questioning if education in IOM is ‘up to scratch’ compared to England. However, it is shown in academic results at the end of Primary and Secondary that children are achieving the same levels and grades.
For both Literacy and Mathematics to assess and track children’s learnign teachers use statements which are allocated into levels and are called ‘I can statements’. For example in mathematics an ‘I can’ statement in Level 2A is ‘I can describe and sort 2d shapes’. Schools in the IOM have the freedom to create their own documents and tracking grids to best suit their school and to follow these ‘I can’ statements.
Instead on OFSTED, schools are still inspected by the department for education but they are not graded and teachers are assessed alongside a personal reflection for the teachers themselves. I believe this is an interesting way of assessing schools and teachers because teachers will have to constantly reflect and set targets for their professional development.
When schools are proving children’s learning and grades in both Literacy and Mathematics, teachers have to have a minimum of 4 pieces of evidence in that area, all with different dates as well as other evidence which is in other curriculum areas. For example, if a teacher is proving a child is a 2A for measure, the teacher will need 4 pieces of evidence from mathematics sessions over the year as well as other evidence in subjects such as Science to show the child can master that skill.
The evidence that is used to prove the child’s abilties does not have to be worksheets done by the children, it can be:
- teachers notes
- work books
- summative tests/quiz’s
- pupil comments
- photographs (whiteboards)
- in house moderation
This the builds a bank of support to prove that the child is able in that area.
I believe that this is an ideal way to assess and justify children’s learning, however, teachers need to know their children in more depth and teachers need to constantly be assessing and tracking progress.
As well as this, the Isle of Man have a curriculum which is embedded in many schools that readies children for life. They are called the 6R’s.
It is intended that as a result of experiencing the curriculum and the way it is delivered, young people will develop as individuals with:
- Relationships which are positive
- Remembering Skills
In the school I am in, they do not follow this exact curriculum due to the freedom schools have on the island. Therefore, my school have ‘Secrets to Success’ which are as follows:
- Understand others
- Don’t give up
- Push Yourself
- Try new things
- Work Hard
During my first two weeks in an IOM school, I have learn a great deal about the way they assess and track progress of their children. Through first hand experience I have found these tactics easier in some aspects. For example, when tracking progress and identifying next steps for children it is much easier to identify what that is using the tracking/levelling format. On the other hand, I believe it could be seen as more work for teachers however, once this is learnt I believe it is equally as beneficial than England’s assessment and criteria.
I would like to continue to use the IOM tracking and assessment documents and reflect upon this at the end of the placement.