Using Alps Data to achieve high performance learning

2nd June 2023

by Matthew Tansley, Head of Secondary at International British School of Bucharest. 

The International British School of Bucharest (IBSB) was established in 2000, and now has around 430 students from over 20 nationalities. IBSB is a 3-18 all through school, with the secondary school making up the significant part of the school roll. All students follow the National Curriculum for England and Wales, which prepares them for GCSE, IGCSE, AS and A Level examinations. Graduates from IBSB have been accepted into some of the most prestigious universities in the UK, the USA and Europe. IBSB offers a broad and diverse GCSE and A Level programme, including subjects such as classical studies.

In terms of inspection, IBSB was rated as “Excellent” in September 2022, in what was its most recent British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). IBSB has also been accredited as a World Class School by High Performance Learning (HPL), which recognised that “the International British School of Bucharest is a wonderful school with children at the centre of everything they do. They are a risk-taking team and driven by success at every opportunity.” IBSB is also an active member of COBIS, HPL Fellowship of World Class Schools and the Association of British Schools Overseas (AoBSO).

How does Alps culture of aspiration fit with IBSB?

As mentioned previously, IBSB is a World Class school within the HPL framework. HPL is a research-based philosophy that states all students have the potential to be high performing and not limited by ability. The HPL framework is teaching and learning based, which aims to grow and develop cognitive skills. Schools should strive to continuously improve, and the decision should be made to utilise the HPL framework to give structure to the maintenance of a growth mindset. At IBSB, we believe that all pupils have the ability to perform and achieve at the highest levels and should strive for success. Using Alps to generate the data and the targets, and track the progress that students are making, allows this aspiration in many cases to become reality.

Using Alps in an international school setting

I was introduced to Alps through a conversation with other senior leaders of schools that were going through the accreditation process of becoming HPL schools. This led to a conversation with Simon O’Connor of Jumeirah College, regarding the impact that Alps had on his setting in the UAE. One of the issues that we often have in an international setting is the availability of prior attainment data that you would have in a UK school, such as KS2 SATS data or FFT data. The ability to be able to use GL assessment CAT4 data in the Alps platform, Connect, to generate a minimum expected grade (MEG) for a student in year 10, that will act as a target that progress can be measured against, was a game changer as far as we were concerned as a school. This allowed us to demonstrate to pupils, parents and teachers exactly what the minimum expectations could be for a student and, extrapolating forward, for a class of students in a particular subject. From this, more aspirational targets can be negotiated.

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