5 Assessing pupils’ progress

The preceding resources have largely focused on the assessment of single evidence activities and strands. This resource the short-term assessment processes.

In 2009 the Assessing Pupils’ Progress scheme was launched for secondary ICT. This builds on short-term assessment and aims to provide a wider, even picture of a student’s ability across a range of strands and learning objectives. In respect of Key Stage 3, it also aims to provide a confident judgement of level to offer information for the learning path into Key Stage 4. Support for this is available from The National Strategies [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] website.

APP reduces the assessment areas to three assessment foci (AFs):

  • AF1 – Planning, developing and evaluation
  • AF2 – Handling data, sequencing instructions and modeling
  • AF3 – Finding, using and communicating information.


Read the document Assessment criteria: ICT. From two or more schemes of work that your students have worked through or are currently working through identify evidence that your students have produced that fits into the grid.

To be confident in applying a level you should aim to evidence the criteria at least once in separate units of work. The document Teachers’ handbook provides further guidance on applying levels.

Recording of APP needs to be planned. A national document has been produced, Assessment guidelines, that separates the levels into blocks of two.

Alternatives to this are the ICT APP calculator 1 or ICT APP calculator 2 Excel workbooks. Consider which method best suits your working practice. If you choose to use the Excel version see the additional guidance below.

Both versions of the calculator use macros to perform a range of calculations. This may require that you alter your level of security to allow use of macros. Where this is locked on your particular equipment refer to your system administrator.

The macros are locked with a password. This will be released on request (see Copyright and use of resources at the end of the Resources).

ICT APP calculator 1 uses a formula to date stamp when a particular criterion was applied to student work. This uses a circular reference which may produce an error message on first use. Alternatively, use the ICT APP calculator 2. This does not use the date stamp facility.

4 Progression in assessment

Using the ICT calculators