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How St Edward’s First School use Fagus to assess pupils’ social and emotional development and understand the impact of interventions

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Summary

Fagus has helped St Edward’s First School in Windsor to understand pupils’ social and emotional development by:

 

  • Gaining an insight into the causes of some pupils' behaviour using the results of the Developmental Checklists and Developmental Profiles.

 

  • Using the Developmental Guides to set specific and measurable goals for pupils who are demonstrating some delays in their social and emotional functioning.

 

  • Tracking social and emotional developmental progress over time for these pupils.

 

  • Producing hard data to clearly evidence the impact of the school’s strategic interventions to governors, school improvement partners and Ofsted.

 

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St Edward’s is a popular and oversubscribed Catholic First School in Windsor, which draws pupils from a wide area. They have pupils with a range of specific learning needs and in their latest Ofsted Report were rated as ‘Outstanding’ across all areas.

The school has been using the Fagus resource to support its pupils who are struggling with some aspect of their emotional and social development. Deputy Head, Emma Turver, took on the role as the Fagus ‘champion’ and discovered that Fagus could help the school understand, with more clarity, the social and emotional challenges some of its pupils are facing. It could also assist in tracking these pupils’ social and emotional developmental progress over time and provide the robust evidence and data they required to measure the impact of the school’s supportive therapeutic interventions.

 

How is Fagus Used?

Emma Turver explains:

“We identified a number of children, about 10 in total, who were presenting behaviours which suggested difficulties in their emotional and social development. These children demonstrated behaviours which often provided a barrier to learning, such as children who had difficulty coping. In all cases children were already receiving some emotional literacy support at the school.

 

Using the checklists

We decided that for each of these children, the classroom teacher together with supporting teaching staff, would assess their current level of social and emotional functioning using the Fagus checklist tool. We worked through all the checklists, this took around an hour to complete as the staff knew the children well and they had a good grasp of how the children functioned in school

 

Understanding the Developmental Profiles

Once the checklists were complete, we viewed the individual Developmental Profiles that Fagus generated. The profiles showed a clear graphic representation of each pupil’s emotional and social functioning, with the areas marked in red or yellow depicting a degree of developmental delay and the areas marked in green illustrating that a child is functioning at their chronological age.

 

Setting measurable goals

We then referred to the relevant Fagus Developmental Guides which provide detailed information about the behaviours you might expect for a child at various ages and stages of development. We concentrated on the pupils delayed development flagged by the Developmental Profiles. If we know what developmental age a child is functioning at in certain social and emotional domains, we can start to set measurable goals to progress the pupil through the developmental sequence to achieve more age-appropriate social and emotional functioning.”

"The Fagus toolkit generates hard data so we will have clear evidence of what is happening with each child."

What are the benefits derived from Fagus?

Insight into pupils’ social and emotional development

“The Fagus Developmental Profiles help us gain an insight into pupils’ social and emotional development and drill right down to the nitty-gritty of what might be causing a particular behaviour in a child. For example, we had felt “Coping” was probably the biggest challenge for one child, but her Developmental Profile demonstrated that her “Self-Awareness” was also a concern. In another case, a very young child showed a delay in many domains revealing the full extent of the challenges he was facing.“

 

Setting specific goals

“We are now able to set very specific goals in social and emotional development for some of our pupils. Previously we used the SDQ, but we found that the feedback from these questionnaires was not specific enough. Fagus clearly highlights domains where a child is struggling so we can set SMART goals to help move a child forward. We looked at the specific Fagus Developmental Guides in the domain where the child was experiencing their biggest delays, to identify their behavioural targets. We used the output to put 3 or so specific goals in place, then outlined a plan of how these goals would be achieved and this information was integrated into their individual pupil plans. These targets would hopefully progress each child towards their expected level of social and emotional development for their age.

We shared these targets with teachers and any additional adults working with the children, who all found it extremely useful to see the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses in social and emotional development visually laid out and they could easily identify the areas of individual need and tailor interventions to a child’s specific requirements.”

 

Provides data for the impact of strategic interventions

“The Fagus toolkit generates hard data so we will have clear evidence of what is happening with each child. Fagus allows us to track and monitor progress by understanding whether a child has achieved their set goals and to what extent. Later down the road we will update the Developmental Profiles to see if there has been an improvement in a child’s social and emotional functioning overall. This data can then be applied to support our thinking and inform our approach moving forward. The data helps us measure the impact of an intervention and to make adjustments sooner if necessary. It means that we can share this evidence of progress with parents and illustrate accountability of funding with third parties such as governors, school improvement partners and Ofsted etc.”

 

Summary

Emma Turver concludes:

“The biggest advantage of Fagus is that it gives us a greater depth of insight into a pupil’s social and emotional needs and it starts to explain the reasons underlying some pupils’ behaviours. It gives us a method of monitoring social and emotional progress and examines whether an intervention has achieved what it set out to do and whether it has been a valuable use of funding. In education today, teachers are expected to monitor a child’s progress in academic subjects and now we can do the same for emotional and social development.”

You can download this case study here

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