Getting the best out of PASS at Ysgol Emmanuel

Ysgol Emmanuel is a large primary school with a two form-entry located on the coast of North Wales. Deputy Headteacher, Linda Coleman, discusses how the school effectively utilises our Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) measure to identify pupils requiring support with wellbeing and attendance, and put interventions in place.

We use PASS with our pupils three times a year – in October, February and June. After the school closures in the Spring last year, due to Covid-19, our pupils took PASS in June having returned to the classroom. Following this, we set up our interventions ready for the start of the new academic year in September before retesting these pupils in October.

PASS reports are all RAG-rated. When we analyse the data, we first look for pupils whose scores are rated either red or amber, and we triangulate to see whether they are child protection cases, have an ALP (Additional Learning Provision) or have universal or universal targeted support. If not we can then target these specifically.

This data is then fed directly into our interventions – of which we have several in place, such as self-esteem groups, emotional literacy support assistants (ELSA), block therapy, Forest Schools and Coastal Schools. Pupils are also empowered by being part of their own pupil profile making them fully inclusive and feeling valued. All our interventions are driven by positive reinforcement.

Key outcomes:

  1. 1

    Use the RAG-rated reports provided to identify pupils with scores rated red or amber who might require additional support

  2. 2

    Use to support Year 2 pupils making the transition into Key Stage 2 and feed into your school’s approach to wellbeing

  3. 3

    If a PASS score is low for a pupil, triangulate with other assessment data to build up a whole pupil view

Lateness and attendance

PASS has been particularly effective for our morning check-ins with pupils who arrive late, as it has helped us to identify low self-esteem. In terms of attendance, a problem we are experiencing with some older pupils is that they are playing computer games until very late in the evening and even through to early hours of the morning and then want to stay off school to continue playing.

However, when these pupils have taken PASS, their results have flagged green as they actually like being at school. PASS has given us a tool that we can use to demonstrate to their parents that they do like being at school, therefore the reason for their absence is an external factor that they will need to support us with.

Health and wellbeing curriculum

In the new curriculum for health and wellbeing in Wales we have What Matters statements. One of these is ‘How we process and respond to our experiences affects our mental health and emotional wellbeing’. Therefore, when we analyse our PASS reports we look closely at the factors of Feelings about School and Self-regard as a Learner to spot patterns, so that we can put the preventative interventions in place to support that emotional wellbeing.

Another What Matters statement is ‘Our decision-making impacts on the quality of our lives and others’, which very much links to the PASS factors of General Work Ethic and Preparedness for Learning as we need to be able to provide our pupils with the skills to make decisions that will give them a healthy lifestyle (whether this be with work, social relationships, nutrition/food, etc).

The new Curriculum for Wales is very much focussed on wellbeing, so this will be one of the top priorities for our coastal route of schools and other areas in the lower socio-economic bands. It is therefore important for us to continue using PASS to feed into our approach to wellbeing (particularly alongside these What Matters statements) going forwards.

PASS gives us the information we need to demonstrate that we are putting the correct support in place for these pupils at school.

Linda Coleman, Deputy Headteacher at Ysgol Emmanuel, Rhyl

Transition to Key Stage 2

At Ysgol Emmanuel we aim to be preventative with pupils from an early stage. We have therefore used PASS to support our Year 2 pupils making the transition into Key Stage 2. One particular pupil’s PASS scores were especially low across four of the attitudinal factors – Feelings about School scored 2.7 out of 100, Self-regard as a Learner was 1.1, Preparedness for Learning was 25.7, and Response to Curriculum Demands was 6.8.

A table with data from the pupil’s PASS report which shows how their scores were especially low across four of the attitudinal factors before intervention – then how their results had dramatically improved afterwards.

After putting interventions in place (self-esteem groups and morning check-ins for lateness) we discovered that one of their parents was suffering from depression, so we involved our family support group. This worked really well and when the pupil took PASS again, their results had dramatically improved – their Feelings about School score was now 100, Self-regard as a Learner was 67, Preparedness for Learning was 100, and Response to Curriculum Demands was 100. We are delighted at this success story!

We find that PASS normally flags any trouble with our Year 2 pupils straightaway, since they usually do not have the autonomy to do things by themselves at that age. We also find that child protection cases or looked-after children may score low in certain areas of PASS for a specific reason. However, PASS gives us the information we need to demonstrate that we are putting the correct support in place for these pupils at school.

Using PASS with other assessments

If a PASS score is low for a pupil, we compare this with their results from the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and it also usually tallies that they have ALN or are on the child protection register. Therefore, triangulating this data gives us information to build up a whole pupil view. The Standard Age Score (SAS) is especially useful for analysing these results against the national average.

We also use this data effectively alongside the Progress Test in English (PTE) and the Progress Test in Maths (PTM). The confidence bands on the reports allow us to see the minute levels of improvement and progress that our pupils make. We’re very much looking forward to the forthcoming launch of the GL Data Dashboard which will make it even easier to join up all of our assessment results so that they’re simpler to access for staff at the school.

Ysgol Emmanuel is one of our Centres of Assessment Excellence

You may also be interested in...