Tables: working with progress columns

Other help guides focussing on the Tables report provide an overview of the new format and show how to use Assessment Comparison columns to build you own Key Group Summary Report.

In this guide we are going to deal with Progress Columns. These show the difference between two sets of data and are, therefore, very useful for monitoring the change in assessment over time.

This help guide will show you how to:

  • Insert a Progress Column into a Table Report
  • Use a Progress Column to calculate the difference between two sets of data
  • Apply them to different types of data both numerical and non-numerical data
  • Aggregate data to group and cohort level to provide summaries
Progress columns can work with non-numerical data. For example, they can show the change in teacher assessment in terms of how many bands or steps a pupil has moved up or down. A pupil moving from EXS to GDS is assigned a value of +1; the reverse equates to -1. A pupil that has maintained standards will receive a 0 value.

This help guide assumes that you are familiar with the basics of a Tables. If you are new to this type of report, it's worth reading our introduction help guide first.

1) Adding a progress column

The following example table contains two columns of teacher judgements in reading for year 5, one made at the beginning of the year (entry) and another in the autumn term. These columns were inserted by clicking the Add Columns button and then selecting Assessment Column.

We can now add a progress column to calculate the difference, in this case the change between the two assessment points. Click the Add Columns button and select Progress Column.

Now simply select the two sets of data that you want to calculate the difference between. As above, these will be entry and autumn teacher judgements in reading.

You can click the 'To most recent assessment' button if you want your progress column to always relate to the latest data.

You are also prompted to enter a number for Expected Progress. If you are using a similar assessment model to that shown below then this should be left as 0. This will flag up those pupils that have moved up or down a band as positive and negative numbers. If you use a steps-based model, enter your school's expected rate of progress, for example 3 steps.

Expected progress can also be a range. This is more relevant when analysing the change in test scores, which we'll deal with below.

Once you have selected the criteria for your progress column, click the Add Column button. You will now have a new column that shows the differences between the two sets of data. Here, these are presented as positive and negative numbers where there is change, and 0 where no change has occurred.

Note the summary column, which provides an average of the values in the progress column.

Usually we will be calculating the change in assessment data between two points in time but that is not always the case. You might want to calculate difference between the latest assessments in different subjects as a measure of consistency.

2) Using a progress column with test scores

We can use progress columns for many different types of data and they perhaps lend themselves best to test scores where they can quickly calculate the differences between two sets of results. Our example table now has two columns of standardised scores from a maths test taken in the spring term last year and at the end of the autumn term in the current year. We can use a progress column to calculate the change in score between these two points.

The set up is the essentially same as above but there are two key differences: the assessment has changed and expected progress is now a range of values. We have changed assessment category to switch the focus from teacher judgement to test scores, and expected progress is within a range because test scores are fine graded assessments and we therefore have a wider tolerance of change.

In this example, expected progress is set to -5-5 (i.e. between -5 and +5). Any change within that range will be colour coded green; and change outside of that range will be blue (if positive) and red (if negative).

Again, we have a summary row that shows the average change in test score.

3) Using a progress column with age assessments

Many schools make use of assessments that provide reading, spelling and even maths ages for pupils in a years/months format. This data is useful as it is easily understood by key audiences such as parents, and is particularly useful for SENDCOs who want to use data to show small amounts of progress in order to monitor the effectiveness of interventions. Insight allows schools to store and analyse this data, and we can use a progress column in a Tables report to calculate the change in age assessment.

When entering age data into Insight (via Enter Data) make sue you also enter the Assessment Date. This allows Insight to compare a pupil's assessed age with their chronological age, calculate the difference (in month), and colour code accordingly.

Our example table now has two columns of reading ages for the spring term of the previous term and the autumn term of the current year. A progress column has been added to show the change in reading age between these two points. Again, this column is inserted by clicking the Add Column button and selecting Progress Column from the drop down menu.

As these two assessments were made 8 months apart, expected progress has been set to 8 months. Pupils whose reading ages have improved by 8 months will be colour coded green. Otherwise pupils will be flagged red or blue according to whether the change in reading age is less than or greater than 8 months.

4) Summarising the table for Governors

You may want to share this table with governors and you'll therefore want to remove pupil names and perhaps group the data instead. To do this, click on the Settings button, give your table a name, and click the Show summary rows, but hide pupil rows option.

This will remove pupil names and reduce the table to a single summary row. Now select a grouping option. Here, we have selected the Key Groups option.

This will now provide a summary for each Key Group.

You can edit your list of key groups so it includes all those relevant to your school. This could include bespoke intervention groups. Refer to this help guide for more information.

If you want to apply this table to another year group, simply change the year group selected at the top. Alternatively, select more than one year group by clicking on the Year Group menu and choosing Multiple Selections. Our example now includes year 1 to 6 and is grouped first by year group and then by pupil premium.

To return the table to pupil level simply click on the settings button and choose the Show Pupils and Summary Rows option.

And finally...

You can download your table to Excel if you want to add it to a report.

And please remember to always remember to save your table. You can find them again by clicking on Tables in the cohort menu and clicking the Open button. This will bring up a list of your saved tables.

We hope this help guide has been useful. Please check out our other help guides on Tables and all other aspects of the system, and please get in touch if you need any help or advice.


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