Planning Support

Guidance to Support Tracking of Pupil Progress


To ensure effective tracking of pupil progress schools should have:


Planning is part of the assessment process and teachers should evaluate evidence of pupils’ progress from previous work before moving on to the next block of work. A variety of teaching and learning approaches should be used to meet the needs of all pupils and tasks matched to pupils’ abilities and experience. Development areas for individual pupils or groups should be identified and recorded within the evaluations and next steps sections in Forward Plans. 

Planning should consider the development of the 4 capacities of ACfE, the 7 guiding principles for curriculum design and the experience and outcomes for the 8 curricular areas.  Materials supporting this are available from East Lothian’s Curriculum for Excellence website (

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Assessment is the means of obtaining information, which allows schools, teachers, pupils and parents to evaluate pupil progress.  The starting point for this is the curriculum and the processes of learning and teaching. Assessment is integral to the planning process and is a tool for reflection on programme construction and teaching. Assessment measures the success of learning, teaching and achievement and guides the next steps in learning.

To assist this process schools should adapt the principles of ‘Assessment for Learning’ to support the needs of their own learning communities and ensure that they have in place:


Assessment FOR learning that: 

  • Supports learning and teaching directly
  • Is ‘self-referenced’ and personalised
  • Compares the individuals learning now to the learning before
  • Uses feedback continuously to identify strengths and development needs and plan next steps in learning


Assessment AS learning that: 

  • Involves conversations about learning and reflection on evidence
  • Develops a language for, and skills in, self-evaluation
  • Helps learners to understand and take responsibility for their own learning
  • Assists learners to plan next steps
  • Supports choices and decisions about future learning


Assessment OF learning that: 

  • Regularly evaluates learners’ achievements in relation to planned learning 
  • Helps staff provide a summary account of progress for learners, their parents and other professionals 
  • Helps determine the allocation of additional support 
    • Uses moderation to ensure that there is robust evidence of progress 


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Recording and Gathering Evidence

Recording is about capturing and profiling the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes that young people have acquired. It involves considering the evidence of learning that has been gathered, reflecting on its quality and identification of next steps.

Recording will assist teachers to:

  • Share successful learning with pupils and identify development needs and next steps
  • Monitor the effectiveness of teaching and pupils’ progress in relation to attainment outcomes and targets
  • Report pupil progress to parents
  • Transfer information to other teachers and appropriate agencies.
  • Contribute towards schools’ quality evaluation procedures.


Types of Record

Teaching records: 

  • A succinct account of teaching and learning aims
  • A brief indication of teaching methods used
  • An evaluative comment of how the class/groups have coped
  • A note of next steps


Individual Records could be:

  • Folios/collections of work
  • Records of self-peer assessment
  • Indications of achievement
  • Standardised Test results e,g, PIPs
  • Teacher generated assessments
  • Individual Education Programmes (I.E.P.s)
  • Coordinated Support Plans (C.S.P.s)


Summaries of overall class performance could be: 

  • Group/Class targeting and tracking



  • Records of day-to-day progress kept by staff on a group/individual basis.
  • Records of evidence in teachers’ weekly / daily plans 
  • Project folders with examples of pupils’ work



Ways of recording

Evidence can be:

  • Recorded on tape or disc
  • Paper copies in folios of pupil’s work
  • Feedback in pupils’ jotters
  • Detailed in teachers’ forward plans,
  • Checklists, worksheets,
  • Group/Class targeting and tracking
  • Video recording and photographs (with parents’ permission) 
  • Self/peer assessment sheets,
  •  Pupil progress reports
  • Oral discussions with pupils


What to record

Teachers should record for each pupil only what is useful and relevant for planning next steps in learning and for reporting progress. This should include brief comments on progress in relation to specific teaching aims, particular strengths and development needs. It may include pupil’s approach to learning, their interests and information about personal and social development.

When to record

Recording should take place:

  • At the end of a planned block of learning and teaching 
  • As is required within the day-to-day running of the class 
  • In order to update individual/group pupils’ records on an ongoing basis 
  • Prior to parental consultations, teachers should ensure that individual pupil progress has been evaluated to facilitate the sharing of information.  

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Quality Assurance

Quality Improvement Officers work alongside schools to assist in the process of effective self-evaluation to support learning and teaching.

Authority staff will gather evidence through:

  • A focused programme of school visits
  • Analysis of standardised test data e.g., PIPs
  • Classroom observations
  • Evaluations of pupils’ work
  • Moderation
  • Discussions with promoted staff, teachers, parents and pupils
  • Schools’ Standards and Quality reports
  • Schools’ Improvement Plans


Self Evaluation

Schools should develop their own monitoring programme to support the development of effective self-evaluation and gather evidence through:

  • Regular attainment and achievement reviews
  • Regular tracking of individual pupil progress including Individual Education Programmes and Coordinated Support Plans
  • Standardised testing analysis
  • Individual pupil / group progress
  • Regular review of attendance and exclusion data
  • Regular review of finance and resources to support learning and teaching
  • Forward Plan monitoring and feedback to staff
  • Classroom observations – to review learning and teaching and S.I.P. progress
  • Review of Service Improvement Plan progress with staff
  • Samples of pupils’ work
  • Pupil focus groups
  • Staff/parents and pupil questionnaires



It is essential to have effective quality assurance and moderation processes in place.

Moderation is the term used to describe approaches for arriving at a shared understanding of standards and expectations for the broad general education. It involves teachers and other professionals, as appropriate, working together, drawing on guidance and exemplification and building on existing standards and expectations to:

  • plan learning, teaching and assessment
  • check that assessment tasks and activities provide learners with fair and valid opportunities to meet the standards and expectations before assessments are used
  • sample evidence from learners’ work and review teachers’ judgements
  • agree strengths in learners’ performances and next steps in learning
  • provide feedback on teachers’ judgements to inform improvements in practices


Moderation helps to ensure that there is an appropriate focus on outcomes for learners. Teachers’ participation in moderation activities is a highly effective form of professional development.


The National Assessment Resource (NAR) has been designed to support assessment and moderation by: 

  • Providing examples of assessments of Literacy & English, Numeracy & Maths, and  Health & Wellbeing for all ages and stages across all curricular areas
  • Involving practitioners in developing, peer reviewing and quality assuring assessments for ACfE experiences and outcomes


Guidance for moderation and quality assurance for session 2010/11 has been issued to schools .

Standardised testing

Schools should use standardised test information alongside teacher assessment to evaluate pupil / group / school progress and determine next steps for learning.


Reporting to Parents

School should use a combination of written reports and parental consultations to discuss individual pupil progress. Teachers should ensure that individual pupil progress has been evaluated to facilitate the sharing of information.

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Sharing and supporting steps made by East Lothian learners, parents and teachers.