How we measure progress

Progress at Prior’s Court School is measured using our I Can statements system. Simply put, an I Can statement is what a young person is able to do in any given task, activity or learning scenario across our seven Areas of Learning.

I Can statements build on each other but are broken down into achievable steps towards a much bigger goal.

We recognise that young people all have different starting points and require different levels of support. We use ten levels ranging from 'Encounter' to 'Application' and feel that this supports the journey and challenge of each young person.

All young people at Prior’s Court are functioning below National Curriculum levels. The I Can statements represent the journey of learning towards a level being achieved.

Measuring learning progress in all environments

Our I Can statements system allows us to measure progress not only in traditional teaching environments such as the classroom but also recognise the importance of generalising that skill to different times and places. The Areas of Learning focus on all areas that are important to enable young people to live as independently as possible. We recognise that Daily Living Skills such as cleaning teeth and dressing are essential life skills.

The breadth of this system is huge with the seven Areas of Learning breaking down into more than 30 Learning Programmes, hundreds of Focus Areas, and thousands of I Can statements, to provide a holistic view of progress across a wide range of scenarios.

There are also five prompt levels:

  1. Experience recorded
  2. Physical prompt
  3. Gestural prompt
  4. Communicated prompt
  5. Mastered

The ambition is for young people to gain skills at a mastered, most independent level. Independence is recognised as still requiring structure and visual support. We recognise the complexities of our learners and therefore when they achieve the I can (regardless of level) we celebrate that success and recognise this as a skill gained.

Progress data

The table below shows the average number of I Can statements achieved per young person as set, with prompt levels, within each Area of Learning over the past three years. The bottom row shows the average number of I Can statements achieved per young person per year.

Area of Learning 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
Communication 8.5 7 6.5
Daily Living Skills 3 10 10
Functional Academics 20.5 23 15.5
Healthiness 5 18 10
Keeping Me Safe 2 5 5
Positive Behaviour Support 8 13 9.5
Vocational Learning 12 19 53.5
Average I Can's achieved per young person 8.5 13.5


Notes on this data:

  • The average number of I Can statements, and therefore skills, achieved by the young people at Prior's Court School is consistently increasing year-on-year.
  • We recognise the importance of learning in all seven Areas of Learning as there are times when the young people we support may struggle in one area and achieve more in another. We want to celebrate this progress.
  • With the three years of focused data, year-on-year we are able to set targets that stretch (i.e. ambitious targets)
  • Alongside this, we also review the whole of the framework for each young person to see what skills they have also gained through regular practice. We may not have targeted this skill development and therefore they may go unrecognised.
  • We have a particular celebration in our vocational streams which is really exciting as we have developed many work programmes for the young people we support.

Where progress is not yet at the level we would hope for a young person, this is often because they still require some level of staff support or prompting to complete a task and therefore while they haven’t yet achieved the skill to a ‘mastered level’ they are still working to achieve this.

How learning is accredited