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Can anyone tell me what APP is?

(21 Posts)
moosemama Fri 14-Oct-11 22:36:17

Ds2 told me today that he is spending more time with his teacher than a lot of the children in his class because he is on 'APP'.

I asked him what that means and he said "It means that they think I'm doing really well and so they are spending more time looking at my classwork".

Is that right? Or is it more likely that they are concerned about his work, so monitoring him more closely, but have told him he's doing well so that he doesn't worry about the monitoring?

For background purposes, he has just entered year 3 and got 2a's and b's in his SATs, which is really good, considering he lost all his skills at the age of 4.5 due to severe illness and has worked really hard to catch up.

Last year his teacher told me that he was sitting comfortably at the top of the lower set and that she felt he could be moved up, but they didn't move him in the end as he has confidence issues and it was felt that being the top of the lower group was better for him than the bottom of the top group, iyswim.

Other than that, the only concern we have about him is that he consistently reverses a lot of numbers in numeracy. He was reversing a quite a few letters up until very recently as well (mainly b and d and p and q, but also the letters e and a on occasion) although this has improved and its mainly p and q that he reverses now.

Oh - and he was moved up a reading stage this week as well, which would suggest that he's at least progressing well with his reading.

From what he said, I assume they are again thinking about moving him up a group.

The only other thing I can think of is that they are monitoring the letter and number reversals.

Any insight into what APP could be in this instance would be gratefully received as we have a few weeks until parents evening and between then and now his class teacher is retiring.

piellabakewell Fri 14-Oct-11 22:38:31

Assessing Pupil Progress, suggest you google it. Not something I'd ever discuss with a child though. Odd...

workshy Fri 14-Oct-11 22:40:25

my kids primary are doing this at the moment and they all know this is what is going on

some of the parents are unhappy that the kids are having more 'exams' but mine don't think they are, they are just being measured

Feenie Fri 14-Oct-11 22:41:38

APP is teacher assessment - that shouldn't mean tests, workshy - just the opposite.

Hassled Fri 14-Oct-11 22:42:08

APP stands for Assessing Pupil's Progress here. It's not really an intervention - it's a collection of evidence re progress. Does that help?

IndigoBell Fri 14-Oct-11 22:43:23

Some schools APP every child, and some schools only APP a selection of kids from the class, so it could be that they've chosen him and some others, but not every kid.

workshy Fri 14-Oct-11 22:46:28

well that's what I thought but there is a big hoo-har about it on facebook

they were doing a non chronological report today based on a workshop they did yesterday with an author that came into school and were told it would be added to their APP files -loads of the kids went home and told their parents they were having an exam!

moosemama Fri 14-Oct-11 22:54:42

Right, thank you everyone.

I did google, but kept getting lots of things about Apps rather than APP.

Just resurfaced after trying a search on MN, but there was an awful lot to wade through there.

Ds definitely doesn't think he's being tested or given extra work to do, he is quite happy and just said that the teacher is going through his work more thoroughly than usual. I think he's taken it as a huge compliment to be honest. grin

As he said they are looking at his work more closely and not at everyone's, I would assume he is just one of the children they've selected to go through this process to assess the levels of the class then?

NedSchneebly Sat 15-Oct-11 12:00:02

APP is basically a list of different criteria for each national curriculum level, under different categories, or Assessment Focuses. The original plan when it was launched was to fill in detaile grids for about 6 children in the class to assess their level, and then fit the rest of the class around them, iyswim. I fill in individual ones for each of my class. There are different ones for reading, writing, speaking and listening, maths and science.

It may be that teacher was trying to check his understanding or fill in some gaps - some of the critieria are about understanding so it might be that she was checking he could punctuate a sentence, or explain what a hexagon looks like, for example. sometimes if there isn't sufficient evidence, sometimes a teacher can clarify by speaking to the child. Also useful for checking if something was a fluke or properly understood.

I used to work in a school that had the grids in child friendly language, so the kids could understand them, and I did share those with the kids, and they highlighted which criteria they think they met.

Hope that helps?

moosemama Sat 15-Oct-11 13:48:57

Thank you NedSchneebly, yes that helps.

At least I know there's nothing to worry about, as its part of the school's normal processes.

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Sun 16-Oct-11 08:48:54

Bit puzzled as to why a teacher would tell a child he/she was an APP child really. I personally don't believe a teacher should spend any more time working with a child just because they're an APP child anyway. It will undoubtedly be to the detriment of other children who need support.
With my APP children I just take their books at the end of every unit and date evidence.

mrz Sun 16-Oct-11 08:54:48

I agree ButWhy ... it seems a strange system

DownbytheRiverside Sun 16-Oct-11 08:56:09

Odd to tell a child, but APP is a recording system for assessing pupil progress. You collect evidence of what a child has achieved, matched against APP charts for Writing, Reading, Maths, possibly Science although not all schools are doing that.
So in my class of 32, I am building up detailed work portfolios on 5 of them, a representative spread within my class, from high ability through middle to low achievers. They all have to be making appropriate progress and being given appropriate challenge. All the class get the work, but only some are being used as the benchmarkers if that makes sense?

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Sun 16-Oct-11 09:00:49

And also - the point of APP is a take a representative sample from the 3 main ability groups in the class. If that child then gets more support from the teacher - they will most likely make more progrss - at which point they are no longer a fair representation of that ability group. If you see what I mean!?

moosemama Sun 16-Oct-11 13:47:27

Seems odd to me as well.

Right, I just have had another little chat with ds and apparently, what the teacher said to ds, was that some of the children are on APP, its nothing to worry about and they are doing well, but he may need to have their books/work handed in more often and may need to keep it for longer than some of the other children and may also ask them a few more questions about their work. He also told him that he isn't to worry about it, because it doesn't mean anything bad.

So, from that, I don't think he has been getting extra support, but it does sound like his teacher has spent more time marking ds' and some other children's work and spending time asking questions etc, checking that they have properly understood what they were doing.

In which case, other than actually telling the children they are on APP, which is still a bit odd, I think its just standard practise, as others have said on the thread. I suppose he told ds in case he got worried about being asked lots of questions. That sort of fits in with ds's lack of confidence in his work in previous years. He's quite astute and very sensitive and may well have picked up on something going on.

mrz Sun 16-Oct-11 14:00:56

APP is used in lots of schools
The way your son's teacher is using APP isn't standard practice ... The handbooks for APP in each subject area for both the primary and secondary phases on the use of APP set out that APP works best when use no more than two or three times a year.

moosemama Sun 16-Oct-11 17:45:09

Could it not just be that he was doing APP across a week's worth of work though, rather than using it continuously?

I thought that's how it sounded anyway.

mrz Sun 16-Oct-11 17:49:40

It still isn't how it is meant to work

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Sun 16-Oct-11 18:55:21

No, that absolutely isnt how it's meant to work. How's the teacher supposed to get an idea of ALL your child's skills in a week? Say he is an APP Maths child - in a week would he get an idea of your child's skills in: number, shape, area, angles, percentages, time, investigation work, fractions, calculator skills, mental skills............etc etc...? Personlly I can't think of a legitimate reason why the teacher said this...

moosemama Sun 16-Oct-11 19:22:30

I give up then, I can't make head nor tail of why he would have told ds - or how he is using APP.

I just assumed it was to stop ds worrying about things, but if he isn't using APP appropriately, then it has just highlighted that, which I'm sure wasn't his intention.

Can anybody think of a non-legitimate reason why he might be doing it this way? Is he cooking the books some way. confused

BatmanLovesRobin Mon 17-Oct-11 15:52:48

I think some schools have struggled to implement APP in the way it was intended to be used, whether through misinterpretation or lack of guidance, I don't know. It could be that your particular teacher is paranoid about getting it exactly up to date in terms of information, rather than doing what we do, which is go through with a highlighter every few weeks / at the end of a unit / half termly / whatever.

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