By Dan Ainscow, Assistant Headteacher, Crosshall Junior School, St. Neots
By getting all children to take PASS, we were not only able to make comparisons across classes, year groups and the whole school, but it also identified issues with pupils whom we might not have otherwise looked at.
Our school was first introduced to GL Assessment’s Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) through our work with Whole Education. It came at a perfect time for us, as we were interested in looking at how we could further engage children within the school.
The fact that PASS is such an accessible test means that we used it with the whole school and, in many ways, this is where its power lies. Other tests we have in school that we use to assess children’s attitudes require a significant amount of adult time to deliver. Therefore, we end up using them with only those children we feel need it. By getting all children to take the test, we were not only able to make comparisons across classes, year groups and the whole school; but it also identified issues with pupils whom we might not have otherwise looked at.
As it covers a range of attitudes, the results we received gave us insight into a number of different areas of support. In some cases, it reinforced our understanding of pupils, the support they were getting and their approach to school. With others, it identified underlying issues which class teachers were not aware of. Because of this, staff were able to intervene before problems had manifested into bigger issues. It looks at both global concerns as well as individual strands such as attitudes towards teachers and, as such, it provides staff at all levels information which is useful in a practical way.
An interesting aspect of PASS is that GL Assessment does not just provide the analysis of results. In addition, they provide a list of suggested strategies for dealing with particular children. These are general, but give the adults working with a child a starting point from which to make changes. In our case, these were particularly useful when we were working with children with whom we had already put in place strategies and were running out of ideas.
Crosshall Junior School is one of our Centres of Assessment Excellence