When I’m in primary schools I spend a long time discussing ways of setting targets for Key Stage 1 (KS1). Why? Because there’s no national guidance available for schools to suggest how they should move from a foundation stage score (0 to 9) to a national curriculum sublevel target. Indeed, the advice from any good early years professional will (very correctly) be that there is no correlation between what a pupil attained in the foundation stage and what the same pupil attains at KS1.

However, schools are still under pressure to demonstrate progress, and are often asked to provide evidence of progress fron the early years foundations stage to KS1. A common question is:

How many of your pupils with a score of 6 in the foundation stage go on to acheive a level 2b at KS1?

Here’s another common question:

How many of the pupils who score 9 then go on to attain a level 3 at KS1?

Luckily, SIMS Assessment Manager can help. Over the past few months I’ve been able to show schools how to answer this question by generating ‘expected progress’ targets and comparing actual progress to them. Traffic lights colours can then be applied to the actual progress to highlight underachievement. Here’s some technical tips for advanced users:

1) Create a gradeset that maps an EYFS score to an expected KS1 grade. For example:

EYFSP Score Expected KS1 Grade
9 3c
8 2a
7 2b
6 2b
5 2c
4 1a
3 1b
2 1c
1 p8

(notice that in this example we’ve filled in the gaps to give targets for all the other possible scores)

2) Next, create an aspect that uses this gradeset. Call it, for example, ‘KS1 Target’.

3) Now, create a template. The first column should be (for example) the EYFS Calculating score

4) Add a ‘formula for data entry’ column that uses the ‘marks to grade’ function to translate the score into the grade

5) The marks to grade formula will ask you for the column containing the ‘marks’ (the EYFS Calculating score) and will return the corresponding grade from the table above (i.e. the KS1 Target).

…and that’s it. You can expand this technique to set termly targets for the six terms in year 1 and year 2 (just create a different gradeset and aspect combination for each term).

Don’t worry if you struggle to implement this solution. Give your local SIMS support team a ring. Failing that, email me at david@davidpott.com or phone 07528 358827.