All pupils should reach their potential, but how do we help them? Shout instructions from the sidelines like a football manager? Play alongside them on the pitch? One thing is for sure at least, that help needs to be bespoke.
Tracking children’s progress, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses and adapting their learning is a tough business. We haven’t quite got to the stage of attaching tiny satellite transmitters to children, but it can’t be far off.
In the post-levels assessment landscape, you may have tried reinventing the wheel, you may have looked over your neighbours’ fence and copied what they are doing, or you may have just reused and recycled. Alternatively, you could still be up in the air and in need of some fresh and modern input to link planning, assessment and communication together. If so, this is where InfoMentor can help.
InfoMentor is a distinctive and award-winning teaching-and-learning platform. It’s a system that can help schools deliver their own robust and coherent custom-made curriculum, assessment and analysis package to enable pupils to make good progress and achieve well.
The idea is that InfoMentor promotes smarter working by letting schools plan, teach, assess and analyse against any curriculum by personalising it to the needs of its pupils, allowing teachers to break things down to ensure skills progression.
InfoMentor is available in three modules: planning, assessment and collaborate – and together it works as a complete tool. This means no more faffing about with memory sticks, hard-drives and servers, because all this is hosted in the cloud. Everything in one place, all under one umbrella.
The software is simplicity incarnate, with all your curriculum statements accessible so you see clearly what matches your lessons. It’s clean, fresh and well-designed, so it’s easy to dive into and use. Full-training is provided.
In terms of planning and teaching, you start by uploading your own curriculum to the software, then you can effortlessly assign and monitor curriculum coverage across every year group.
This means you can centre on ‘mastery’ through depth and consistency, allowing you to create lesson plans together using collaborative planning tools, and then easily share them with colleagues across the school to embed best practice.
InfoMentor claims that you can save 50% of your planning time with these simple assessment tools and it is easy to see how that claim could be backed up. It would be a real time-saver.
Setting cover should be a thing of the past too, as InfoMentor’s system allows you to easily access plans and pick up the teaching so that learning isn’t disjointed.
There are automatically created mark books to keep a record of learning, so you can see what is being taught and when. And as all the curriculum statements are there within InfoMentor it is easy to match them to a lesson and pick up and use.
The ‘Assess and Analyse’ module works with any curriculum and any assessment framework (it comes pre-programmed with Rising Stars or the NAHT curriculum, with suggested mark schemes for assessment). A range of assessment tools are on offer, all of which can be used to identify trends and patterns while still keeping a firm grip on individual learning gaps.
It is particularly useful for assessment as you can assess little and often on the go by using a tablet. Sit with a group doing maths or reading and you can input your real-time data there and then.
You can therefore see what, when, where and how subjects and skills are being covered for each learner and so help push progress across the school.
This is clever data collection. InfoMentor produces easy-to-read bar charts and pie charts for excellent overviews, and for looking at each pupil’s strengths and weaknesses.
Connecting and supporting learning is where the ‘Collaborate and Engage’ module comes into its own. Not only does this join the dots together, it prevents communication barriers rearing their ugly heads, meaning everyone can see what each other is doing.
Collaboration is king with InfoMentor because it allows parents to see where their child is in their learning and what strategies teachers are using.
The curriculum can be shared with parents so that they know what is being covered and what to expect. Parents can also see timetables and whether their child has completed her homework. Up-to-the-minute notifications about strengths and weaknesses in different subjects are given to parents using InfoMentor
In Iceland a whopping 95% of schools use the InfoMentor software, a fifth of schools are using it in Sweden and lots more in Germany, Switzerland and Italy too. What this says is that time-precious and tuned-in teachers can see the benefits of having all their lesson planning, assessment and tracking in one place.
It helps you personalise the curriculum, integrate your own assessment framework, monitor coverage of the curriculum, demonstrate pupil progress and attainment, engage the school community and share valuable learning information. So this is going to help you establish consistency in policy and promote best practice.
There used to be a time when ‘assess’ had a bespoke definition meaning ‘sit with’. Now, assessment means many things to different teachers and schools. But at the end of the day it still boils down to this: ‘do you know enough about each child to help them progress and reach their potential?’
The reason why InfoMentor is so powerful is that you can teach a class directly from the plan, evaluate at the point of learning and notify to parents all via the same software. It strips away complications, streamlines and lets you get at the information you need to ensure pupil progress through little-and-often assessment.