Progress: What does it look like on Bedrock?

By Emily Newton

12 Dec 2023

A student and a teacher learning about nouns

‘The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon Education’

George Eastman

What is progress?

Progress is the process of gradually improving or moving closer to achieving or completing something. It involves the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise desired state. Progress can be observed through the development of skills, knowledge, and understanding over time.

Is progress linear?

Progress can include both advancement and regression.Progress in literacy is not linear because learning is a complex and non-linear process. While a linear approach to education divides the course material into a fixed order of steps, non-linear learning allows for a more flexible and personalised approach, where students can pull information based on their needs and interests.This nonlinear nature of learning means that progress in literacy can be messy, complicated, and unpredictable. It involves a variety of factors such as individual differences, learning styles, and the need for repeated practice and experimentation.

Can all progress be measured?

Measuring progress in reading and writing is often considered easier than measuring progress in oracy due to the availability of standardised tests and assessments that specifically target literacy skills. These assessments provide clear, quantifiable data on students' reading and writing abilities, making it easier to track their progress over time.

But what about oracy?

In contrast, oracy skills, which encompass speaking and listening, are more challenging to measure using standardised tests, as they involve a wide range of complex and context-dependent abilities that are not easily captured in a traditional testing format. While oracy can have a significant impact on reading and writing skills, the lack of standardised assessments for oracy makes it more difficult to measure and track progress in this area. An article this year by the BBC highlighted how speaking skills, or lack of, are holding young people back from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, with new government policies being introduced aimed to improve children's speaking skills, as part of a drive to break down class barriers to opportunity.

Is it possible to monitor or measure oracy progress?

Observing progress in oracy can be challenging due to the ephemeral nature of spoken language. Research has shown that there is a strong connection between reading and spoken language. It is fair to assume that often if a learner has strong reading and writing skills, their oracy skills will also be at a similar level. However, it’s important we don’t solely rely on this as a form of measurement to track oracy related progress.

Measuring progress at Bedrock

Progress on Bedrock is determined as the difference between a learners’ pre-test and post-test results.

Progress can be broken down into the improvement of one particular learner, even how they fared on different topics and activities, or it can be viewed over whole classes and cohorts - even your whole school.

As well as this, learners’ progress can be broken down into micro-population demographics such as gender, SEN, PP and more to allow for detailed analysis of progress made over time.


Bedrock’s blocks are broken into topics, which are again broken into lessons. As learners complete two lessons a week, data is collected frequently, compiling a detailed view of the progress each learner makes.

This data is collated automatically through Bedrock’s self-marking system, providing teachers with high-quality analysis while saving time. This data, collected from lessons and tests, is available instantly for teachers, parents and learners to view. It is also shared as a monthly progress report into the lead Bedrock teacher's inbox.


The statistics and outcomes of using Bedrock Vocabulary

Bedrock's impact on vocabulary development was tested by an external statistician with a sample size of 84,000 - Bedrock's impact was shown to be statistically large across every demographic, with an average improvement of 30%.

The demographics of learners that benefited most from using Bedrock Vocabulary were primary-age learners and SEN students, making 48% and 43% progress respectively.

93% of all Bedrock Vocabulary learners made progress after completing just five topics - this improvement increased after 10 topics.

This progress was not only shown through data such as tests and marks, but also through the confidence and enthusiasm of the learners.

"As my child works through the Bedrock topics, I can see that she is making progress. It does wonders for her confidence!"

A parent at Birchwood School

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