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Assessment (TargetTracker)

TargetTracker is the name of the system that Lightwoods uses to track the progress & attainment of children in Year 1-6. Teachers use this continuously and report results to the Headteacher & Governors throughout the year.

The school reports to parents three times a year, at parents’ evenings you will receive your child's targets based on the TargetTracker statements. However, the conversation you have with your childs class teacher often gives a clearer picture of your child.


The National Curriculum has been written to give Age Related Expectations (ARE) for each year. As children travel from Year 1 to Year 6 in our school, they are tracked against the Age-Related Expectations. At Lightwoods we use TargetTracker to support our tracking, this provides us with numbered bands and steps to track children.

What are Bands?
Each year group to be a ‘Band’ therefore Year 1 = Band 1, Year 2 –Band 2, Year 3 – Band 3, Year 4- Band 4 and so on.

What are Steps?
Each year band has been broken down into six steps within the year group:

  • beginning (b)
  • beginning + (b+)
  • working within (w)
  • working within + (w+)
  • secure (s)
  • secure + (s+)

Each pupil progresses through the levels as the year evolves.

What does each step actually mean?
The three broader sections may be thought of in these terms;

  • B/B+ Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focussed on the criteria for the band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still to gain complete confidence in.
  • W/W+ Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focussed on the criteria for the band. This is a teacher best-fit decision but could be informed by statement assessments between around 40% and 70% achieved.
  • S /S+ Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focussed on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met.

Lower attaining pupils may be working at a band outside of their current year.

For children to be working at age-related expectation, they would need to reach the secure (s) step at the end of the appropriate year, although during the transition period w+ is also acceptable.

Why have we got ‘b’ and ‘b+’?
Each band is broken into two parts to enable progress within the band to be evident. For example, a pupil may be assessed as Band 2 Beginning (2b) in the Autumn term in Year 2. The next time the teacher records their assessment they may not feel that the pupil has progressed to Working Within, but the pupil has made progress. An assessment of Beginning + will allow that progress to be shown.

So what’s the ‘s+’ step all about?
The advice from the Government is that pupils who have gained a secure understanding of the Y1 programme of study, for example, should not be automatically moved on to the next year’s programme.

Instead they should be provided with extension work to deepen and consolidate their understanding of the concepts and skills already grasped.

The current curriculum is challenging so this extension work will be covered by a small cohort of each year group. Secure +, pupils have attained a more thorough and wide-ranging grasp of the content and concepts.

Secure + is a stepping stone on to the criteria in the following band.

Where should my child be ideally?
We will be tracking progress. Each pupil will ideally make 6 ‘steps’ of progress from one year to the next.

So a pupil who was ‘2s’ (Year 2 and ‘secure’) at the end of Y2, should be ‘3s’ by the end of Year 3 and '6s' by the end of Year 6.

How can you help?
Be aware of  expectations – band expectations can be found below.
Be aware that the curriculum is about breadth, depth, and mastery too. Not moving to the next band.

Support school by working with your child at home.