'Ours is not to reap the harvest, Ours is just to sow the seed'
Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey

Academic Tracking at Mount Sackville

Academic Tracking at Mount Sackville

“Ours is not to reap the harvest, ours is just to sow the seed”.

Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey

Academic Tracking at Mount Sackville

Like many other schools we love to celebrate our Leaving Certificate results. We are delighted to share our attainment and rejoice in our many past students who move onto the next stage of their life’s journey. During our 2018 Whole School Evaluation we had engaging conversations about tracking attainment in school. We asked the questions:

  • What about the attainment tracking of our students right here, right now?
  • What about offering each student the opportunity to engage with her ongoing assessment and allow her to own and direct her success?

Having researched and explored academic tracking as a concept, Dr Orla Walsh and Ms Jennifer Simmons set about organising a programme of academic tracking in the school for 2019/20. To begin with the Tracking programme was launched for 3rd years, 5th and 6th years. As we manually worked with academic tracking we became energised by the various insights unveiled and excited by the trends uncovered.

Data Rich

Having much data from the monthly assessments, (although tough going on both students and teachers), became a source of encouragement for all. Through trial and error we learned that subject coordinated common assessments, weighted assessments and exam paper orientated assessments were key to productive findings.

Indeed for the end-of-year results for 2020 as well as the calculated grades for LC2020, we were delighted to have so much hard data to hand.

We learned that our new approach to assessment meant each senior student could be awarded her CAO points on a regular basis and so she had the opportunity to make an effective impact on them. Students came to appreciate what the CAO cumulative points looked like and felt like. Although the CAO points received are not the final set, each student begins to grow accustomed to receiving them throughout her 5th and 6th year at school.

Promoting Reflection

Academic tracking promotes reflection and offers the impetus to change a grade, attitude or indeed the experience of being assessed. In addition, academic tracking is a successful intervention programme that is rooted in students reviewing their own work, tracking their progress and working to set their own goals and targets in order to realise their full human and God given potential.

We have assessment for learning that is feedback orientated, we have assessment of learning that is summative by nature. Now we are taking the opportunity to incorporate assessment as learning into our attainment here at Mount Sackville.

Together we work to ensure early intervention is included and that each individual and unique student is given the best possible opportunity to pursue her career path in a very real and tangible way. All of our 6th years have engaged in a self-reflective piece on their learning and wrote about their experience around assessment. Personal reflection on attainment means that metacognition often promotes further mature and valuable learning.

Academic tracking 2020/2021

This year we launched academic tracking with the Athena tracker programme for every student in the school. To date every student from 1st to 6th years has completed three common sets of assessments and their results uploaded to the programme. This means we can support each student in an individual way and allow each student to see the trends being established in the different subjects.

We are very excited about the trends apparent and the early intervention that can happen due to academic tracking. In addition, our senior students have engaged with a self-reflective piece that allows them to evaluate their learning habits and to improve on their assessment management and thinking.

We look forward to the information and assessment as learning in the months to follow.

Dr Orla Walsh and Ms Jennifer Simmons lead the programme with Mr Patrick Porter taking specific responsibility for the junior years and their academic tracking.

To find out more about the Athena Tracker programme we have engaged, please read below.

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Mount Sackville Teachers attending an online CPD session with Athena

Athena Tracker

The Athena Tracker is an academic tracking tool that creates a student’s baseline potential in each subject in each exam. This baseline is based on a statistical model we have built using the exam results of all of the previous results of students on the software. The purpose of the software is to highlight when a student falls below this potential and may need further support so that whenever a student falls below their potential in any subject, the teacher receives an alert and can investigate what is going on with the student and whether any additional support or intervention is required. Thus ensuring no student gets missed in a very busy school system.

Dr O Walsh Discussing the Athena Tracker

Jan
11 2021
MS@home
Jan
19 2021
Parents Council Meeting
Jan
20 2021
Past Pupil-Stella O’Malley
Jan
25 2021
Past Pupil-Stella O’Malley Talk for Junior Years
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Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Chapelizod,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061


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