Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. 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

As with every school we love to celebrate our State exam results. We are delighted to share our attainment and rejoice in our many present students as well as past students who move onto the next stage of their life’s journey.

During our Whole School Evaluation (2018) 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. This began in the school year 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. However we soon realised that this was an enormous task that required much time and in-depth analysis.

Data Rich

Building data from whole school 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 the Covid years 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 in terms of visioning for the future. Although the CAO points received were absolutely not the actual set, each student began to grow accustomed to receiving this particular set of points in the 5th and 6th year at school.

It now became clear to us that exploring what the Leaving Certificate results could look like as well as engaging in conversations around how we could achieve target grades, was a very worthwhile pursuit.

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 lifelong learning journey here at Mount Sackville.

Together we work to ensure early intervention is included and that each individual and unique student is afforded the best possible opportunity to pursue her career path in a very real and tangible way. Students are invited by their teachers to suggest a target grade in each subject, a grade to aspire to and strive to manifest. Personal reflection on attainment means that metacognition may promote further mature and valuable learning.

Athena Academic Tracking

In the 2020/2021 school year we launched academic tracking with the Athena tracker programme for every student in the school. To date each student from 1st to 6th year completes common sets of assessments across their subjects in each year group. The results are uploaded to the Athena tracker programme. This in turn means that we can support each student in an individual way and allow each student to see the trends being established in the different subjects. We can spot anomalies and issues as they arise and in real-time.

This year we have launched a Mount Sackville Athena protocol which means that in-class testing is often uploaded, parent-teacher meetings include Athena information and students are invited to add and in time edit their target grade in many subjects across all year groups.

We are very excited about the trends apparent and the early intervention that can happen due to academic tracking.

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, please read below.

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.

23 2024
Leaving Certificate 2024 Results
26 2024
1st Year Induction
27 2024
TY Trip to Carlingford
27 2024
1st Year Induction
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

© 2024 Mount Sackville Secondary School