Following a series of observation and comments by OFSTED inspectors from 2006 to 2012 regarding the need for a comprehensive monitoring and tracking system to accompany the assessment system, it has been thought necessary to set up one that not only conforms to the requirements of OFSTED but also fulfils the drive towards excellence in teaching and learning to raise students’ achievement.
On his arrival as the new director at The King Fahad Academy – London, Dr. Othman Alzamil set his main priority as the establishment of a comprehensive assessment, tracking and monitoring system to support the teaching and learning at the Academy.
The benefits of an Assessment, tracking and monitoring system are numerous: it enables students, parents, teachers and stake holders to record achievements, link achievement and enable observers to follow students progress from day to day, week by week, monthly and annually across their whole school journey. This also makes it possible for teachers to track students’ progress across the entire grades in the academy, from Grade 1 right through to the Diploma level. One additional advantage of this initiative is the opportunity it provides for teachers and parents to identify under achievement and to work out the necessary intervention strategies to deal with the issues.
The director appointed Dr. Mahesh Selvaraj as the Assessment and Tracking coordinator to oversee the establishment of this project. For a whole-school assessment to be comprehensive there is a need to incorporate and link up with school IT network system. Thus a team consisting of Mr. Yusuf Johnson, Mr. Shajan Ahmed and Dr. Mahesh Selvaraj was setup with a task to first survey the possibility of purchasing an assessment system for this purpose. After extensive research and comparison of the available tools it became obvious that any mainstream product would not be suitable for the Academy’s unique requirements. Hence by consensus the team decided the best way forward is the development of an in-house assessment, tracking and monitoring system that would cater to our specific needs. The assessment team outlined key phases for approaching the project.
Phase 1: Development of a school-wide assessment framework, with input from all programmes and subject groups. This phase took over three months to setup.
Phase 2: Compilation of the required assessment data for final import into a database. Development of the formative assessment module which includes the class mark-book, the core element of the assessment system.
Phase 3: The inclusion of built-in monitoring and data analysis tools that will aid the teachers in tracking their students’ progress and ensuring that every student is at the expected level of achievement.
The above initiative allows room for expansion. The assessment system will also be linked to the KFA Parent Portal, a separate initiative currently under development by the IT Department which will enable the school to move from paper reporting to e-reporting in line with the global drive towards cutting down our carbon footprint.
The entire enterprise has the added advantage of keeping all assessment matters and records in one place, easily accessible not only to OFSTED but to all parties interested in students’ achievement.
Assessment, Tracking & Monitoring Team
The King Fahad Academy – London