What are percentiles?

Find out more about the Analyse > Progress page of the Parent Dashboard

Written by Jo Kiddell
Updated over a week ago

Parents of babies are often more familiar with percentiles from growth charts; we have recreated them in Doodle to give you a clear indication of where your child lies on the ability spectrum 📈

On our Analyse > Progress graphs, you will see percentile curves. Percentiles data shows how your child's progress compares to others born in the same month.

These curves allow you to:

• See which percentile your child currently lies on in comparison to others of a similar age

• Track the progress you would expect them to make

• See whether they are keeping up, getting ahead or falling behind

If your child’s current progress is on the 50th percentile, then they are exactly average for their age at maths. If they lie on the 90th percentile, then they are better than 90% of all students - in other words, in the top 10%. If they lie on the 25th percentile, then they are only better than 25% of all students - in other words, in the bottom 25%.

Doodle measures progress from the initial baseline assessment that all children do, and then ongoing from their responses to questions. It determines their percentile by comparing their performance to the hundreds of thousands of other students on our system.

A child making good progress will track their percentile or move from a lower percentile to a higher percentile. Poor progress will result in the converse. A lack of activity in the app will result in a flat line - this doesn’t necessarily mean a child is falling behind, but we’d recommend doing another baseline assessment to find out.

As an example of how to interpret the percentiles data, let’s take a look at this graph relating to Josie, a year 5 child at the start of the school year. The graph looks at their progress over the last 12 months. Here are the key features:

1. In October 2020, one month into year 4, Josie understood roughly 90% of the end-of-year 3 objectives from the previous year, and was between the 75th and 90th percentiles (one might estimate the 82nd percentile).

2. In March 2021, she was set a goal (the yellow line), which she worked steadily towards and achieved in July. At this point, she was working on almost the 90th percentile (one might estimate the 89th).

3. In August, she completed a new baseline assessment which made a slight correction to her progress level.

4. She has worked steadily since then to find herself on the 86th percentile.

Incidentally, Josie is a real student, and earned 2967 stars in the last 12 months.

You can view their progress along their percentile chart in terms of % of End of Year Objectives covered and also their DoodleAge. You can choose to view this progress over a range of different time periods varying from 2 weeks to 2 years.

It is important to note that if children are covering work from a different year group to one they are actually in, that is OK and is actually what we would expect. Children need to revise and revisit learning from previous year groups in order to have a really secure understanding. The most important thing is that the questions they are being asked are sufficiently challenging to them as an individual to ensure progress, without being excessively difficult and leaving them demoralised.

If you have any questions about the Analyse > Progress page, please do get in touch via the green chat bubble and one of the team will be happy to help!