Target Tracker

Tracking Attainment and Progress with ‘Steps’ from Target Tracker

The school has begun using Target Tracker software to measure pupil attainment and progress. This has been highly recommended by a number of local schools.

To replace national levels Target Tracker has devised a system of ‘bands and steps’. This performs the function of communicating progression and attainment in a simple format where the number of the level awarded is the same as the year group the pupil is currently in.

What are Bands?

Each year group will in effect be a ‘Band’ therefore Year 1 = Band 1, Year 2 –Band 2, Year 3 – Band 3, Year 4- Band 4 and so on.

What are the Steps?

Each year band has been broken down into six steps within the year group:

- beginning (b)

- beginning + (b+)

- working within (w)

- working within + (w+)

- secure (s)

- secure + (s+)

Most pupil will begin a year group as a ‘b’ and progress through the levels as the year evolves.


What does each step actually mean?

The three broader sections may be thought of in these terms;

- B/B+ Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focussed on the criteria for the band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still  to gain complete confidence in.

- W/W+ Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focussed on the criteria for the band. This is a teacher best fit decision but could be informed by statement assessments between around 40% and 70% achieved.

- S /S+ Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focussed on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met.

Lower and higher attaining pupils may be working at a band outside of their current year.

For children to be working at age related expectation, they would need to reach the secure (s) step at the end of the appropriate year, although during the transition period w+ is also acceptable.

Why have we got ‘b’ and ‘b+’?

Each band is broken into two parts to enable progress within the band to be evident. For example, a pupil may be assessed as Band 2 Beginning (2b) in the Autumn term in Year 2. The next time the teacher records their assessment they may not feel that the pupil has progressed to Working Within, but the pupil has made progress. An assessment of Beginning + will allow that progress to be shown.

The inability to record smaller progress measures was a frustrating issue with the outgoing levels system.

The school has 3 major assessment windows during the year where progress is entered into Target Tracker.

So what’s the ‘s+’ step all about?

The advice from the Government is that pupils who have gained a secure  understanding of the Y1 programme of study, for example, should not be automatically moved on to the next year’s programme.

Instead they should be provided with extension work to deepen and consolidate their understanding of the concepts and skills already grasped.

The new curriculum is already more challenging so this extension work will be covered by a small cohort of children from each year group. Secure +, pupils have attained a more thorough and wide ranging grasp of the content and concepts.

Secure + is a stepping stone on to the criteria in the following band.

Year 1 Autumn 1


End of Year 1


End of Year 2


End of Year 3


End of Year 4


End of Year 5


End of Year 6










Where should my child be ideally?

This will obviously depend on the pupil’s ability level and how hard they work!

However, the expected standard at the end of each academic year will be ‘s’ – ‘secure’.

BUT we will be tracking progress as well and each pupil will ideally make 6 ‘steps’ of progress from one year to the next.

So Helen who was ‘2s’ (Year 2 and ‘secure’) at the end of Y2, should be ‘3s’ by the end of Y3. 

Obviously this is based on an ideal.



This is an example of how targets might be set for a child with a year one entry level assessment as working just below band 1 at the end of the EYFS requirements (40-60s+), in order for them to reach the Keys stage 2 standard, 2 secure (2s) at the end of Year 2. In turn a child achieving  2 secure (2s) at the end of Year 2 would have a target of 6 secure (6s) at the end of Year 6.

So what should the age expected ideal attainment and progress look like?

For a pupil to attain thorough coverage of the year band, children should reach the secure (or s) step by the end of the appropriate year

We believe this makes reporting your child’s progress and attainment much clearer for you .

How can you help?     

Be aware of the new expectations – we will make these available and are attached to this booklet.

Be aware that it is no longer about just moving children on as quickly a possible to the highest level. It is now about breadth, depth and mastery too.

Be aware that fewer children in the first few years will possibly achieve the new secondary ready standard. This is expected nationally.

Overnight the curriculum expectations have been raised, as has the standard to pass.

Refer to the guides for each band on our school website.

Support school by working with your child at home.

Thank you.