Traffic lights

A simple traffic light colour scheme can be a very effective way of communicating how a student is performing.

In this example, the school wanted to highlight how a students current grade or level compared to their end of year target. Green was used to identify where students were their current level meant they were likely to exceed their target, amber where they were likely to meet their target, and Red where their end of year level was likely to be below their target.

Some quite complex formulae were built into the system to give students more leeway in the early part of the year. But for the end user the output is very straightforward; the 'Red grades' stand out on the screen or page in a way that lists of grades or numbers do not.

The school uses their traffic lighting principle in three areas, each targetted at a specific group of end users:

Senior Management, Heads of Year and Heads of Department recieve a spreadsheet showing all the results for a year group, with the grades for that half-termly assessesment colour code. This helps them build up a picture of performance across the school and in particular subjects, as well as students who are underperforming in all area

Teaching staff entering their grades and levels on ePortal using a template that uses the colour coding scheme. As well as helping them spot the students who may be struggling, it also encourages teachers to double-check their own marking methods - if the whole class is green, perhaps they are awarding students grades that are too high?

Parents recieve a printed report with traffic light columns. Where a traditional report just showing the grades and a brief comment might be glanced at and thrown away, the colour scheme stands out and encourages parents to question and engage, both with their son our daughter and with their teachers.