B Squared have now released an Achievement Export Utility for their new curriculum product to support the transfer of data to CASPA; for full details of what can be transferred for users of both old and new curriculum versions of B Squared, read on…
If you are using the “old curriculum” in B Squared
There is no impact – you should just continue to use the Achievement Export Utility to export data to CASPA as before. Just make sure you are running the latest version of this utility for your version of Connecting Steps. If you are unsure, please contact B Squared to confirm the relevant current version.
If you are using the “new curriculum” in B Squared
The new curriculum version of B Squared records assessments against the new curriculum subjects and the impact will be different depending on whether a pupil’s attainment is within the P Scales or above the P Scales.
For pupils working within the P Scales
The DfE republished the P Scales in July 2014 and retained the existing subject names with the exception of ICT changing to Computing, and Modern Foreign Language changing to Foreign Language; the only other changes to the P Scales were a couple of minor wording changes, e.g. ‘games console’ replacing ‘PlayStation’.
Whilst these subjects do not match those used in the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study, the DfE have confirmed to us that it was neither expected nor intended that schools should assess at the P Scales using any subjects other than those for which the P Scales were published and have confirmed that statutory reporting of P Scales will continue to use these subjects for the foreseeable future. If an assessment is for any other subject, it is hard to see how it can truly be called a P Scale.
To comply with statutory requirements, B Squared are working towards producing a version of their Achievement Export Utility for their new curriculum product which will export assessments based on the P Scales as published by the DfE, despite recording assessments for the new curriculum subjects. At present, they they are unable to export assessments for Science (required for statutory reporting of teacher assessments for years 2 and 6 as a single subject assessment) and for Design & Technology.
B Squared assure us that the assessments they can now export for the P Scale subjects are consistent with assessments from previous years; our understanding is that the assessment points, or skills, that B Squared uses for the new curriculum subjects are the same as those used under their old curriculum product but have simply been rearranged.
We are aware that B Squared are intending to further develop their export utility to extend its capabilities. To confirm the current version, please contact B Squared.
For pupils working above the P Scales
In B Squared, users can choose to record assessments using either curriculum years or levels. CASPA will not import assessment results from B Squared that are based on curriculum years.
For the current academic year, schools are required by law to teach the old National Curriculum for pupils in Years 2 and 6, and statutory teacher assessments in summer 2015 must use the old national curriculum levels. CASPA currently uses the old curriculum subjects and levels above P8 to facilitate this and assessments recorded in CASPA are therefore compatible with statutory requirements and can be exported directly back to your school MIS to enable statutory returns.
Where schools have adopted the new curriculum version of B Squared, B Squared has chosen not to support the statutory requirement to assess pupils in years 2 and 6 against the old national curriculum subjects and levels.
It is therefore important that the limitations of assessment data transferred from B Squared to CASPA for pupils in years 2 and 6 are fully understood. It is your responsibility to ensure that any data exported from CASPA for statutory purposes is correct, exactly as would be case if you had entered it manually.
In terms of what can be transferred from the new National Curriculum version of B Squared to CASPA, the assessment points, or skills, recorded in B Squared for the new curriculum subjects for levels exceeding P8 cannot be mapped directly to the old curriculum. So, whilst the new curriculum version of B Squared still has a subject called Reading, the skills that are assessed are not identical to those for Reading under the old curriculum and schools will have to check carefully the data that CASPA is going to import.
For English, the new and old Programmes of Study overlap sufficiently for new curriculum assessments from B Squared to be a reasonable starting point for assessment in CASPA. For Mathematics, where Using and Applying has been subsumed into the other subject areas, Shape Space & Measures has split into two areas and Handling Data has morphed into Statistics, the changes are so fundamental that CASPA will not be able to import assessments from B Squared for these subjects. The same applies for Science.
When you carry out your import, CASPA’s preview report will show you exactly what CASPA will import; if a result for a subject is blank, either there is no assessment in the B Squared export file or the assessment cannot be imported into CASPA. As noted above, it is your responsibility to check carefully the assessments that CASPA is going to import and to note any changes required to ensure compatibility with the old National Curriculum levels, particularly where these are required for statutory reporting.