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Data worth tapping into. GradeHub software deserves an A

The importance of data to direct and assist improvement is understood by school leaders, yet the concept does not seem to have filtered down to students - until now.

An app called GradeHub allows students to use data to work out what they need to do to achieve higher grades, particularly those on the cusp of grade boundaries.

It does this by enabling students to input the grades they receive for assessments across the year in each subject they are taught. The app plots these results on a graph and predicts the grade the student would be likely to receive at the end of the year if they continued at that level of achievement. Students can then click on a "what if" section, which shows what end-of-year grade could be achieved if they upped their game a little bit.

For the latter, students can set themselves a target for the end of the year and the app will tell them what assessment grades they will need to meet that target.

It also offers tactics to help hit those grades, such as attending homework clubs, extra homework or summarising each lesson into 10 key points. Schools can also add their own advice.

Phil Jones, co-founder of Achievement Trackers, the consultancy that developed the app, explains that these tactics are already used by school improvement professionals.

He says that the idea for the app came after years of working with schools where he noticed that students were often unaware of the progress they were expected to make to enhance their grades - sometimes just improving their class assessments by one or two grades could significantly increase their chances of success at GCSE (exams in England and Wales for 16-year-olds).

The app has been trialled in six schools across England over the past nine months, leading to some significant improvements according to those involved.

Simon Glasson, deputy headteacher at Phoenix High School in West London, which is one of the most successful state schools in the UK's capital and one of the first to trial the app, says that it helps to motivate students.

"It is attractive to students because it is user-friendly, interactive and has more than one capability," Glasson says.

"The visual impact is powerful and helps to incentivise students to set personal targets and track and monitor their own progress. They can share their progress at home, which will enable parents to have a better understanding of their child's learning."

For more information about GradeHub or to discover how to download it, go to www.gradehub.co.uk.

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