Two teachers described choosing a section of children’s work to discuss at the visualiser, showing skills of how to improve then the child whose work it is makes the improvement. Every child sees how to assess a piece of work.
An important strategy was fine tuning the success criteria to help children with examples. ‘Stop, share, steal’ was also encouraged with children having magpie books to ‘steal’ good vocabulary from shared writing. This has an immediate impact, with children using this vocab in their independent writing.
One school has ‘feedback Fridays’ in which teachers meet every child one to one to discuss their targets which are set every half term. Children look through their books and choose their own targets based on marking suggestions. The teachers speak to children about their progress so far, looking for evidence of meeting the target.
Modelling and questioning was seen to be key with an ethos of improvement being a thing to strive for. The collaborative culture should be continuous and constant throughout the school. Children can refer to the success criteria and have a learning dialogue about their work.
Children like the elevated status of being teachers to each other but children need to be trained.
One pairing of a Year 4 lower achiever and a middle achiever were ‘sparking’ off each other with constant discussion (e.g. ‘I like this word. How about we try something different here? We could improve this.’).
Teachers had followed the process of mid lesson learning stops and cooperative improvement, with one book on top of the other at a time. The process had improved quality, particularly in literacy. The random choice had been very motivating. Children are constantly having work read to them or reading their work out loud. Hearing their own mistakes rather than reading them is significantly easier. One Y3 child said ‘When I hear my work I can easily spot my mistakes’. Reading out loud for sense was key.
Having a set routine is important so that they can then use it with ease.
Using anonymous work had provided a safe way of looking at improvements. In one school children’s work was so far only used to celebrate positive elements rather than ‘even better ifs’.
It was important to focus on one of the success criterion so that visualiser modelling was clear and precise.
One teacher has children’s writing displayed on the wall but they can be taken down at any time by the children and improved. The culture is clear that there is no end: we should be constantly reflecting and improving.
Children know the colours used by the teacher for marking and can apply those in their own marking.
The code VFG (Verbal feedback given) was used in one school. Children now write that for themselves after someone’s given them verbal feedback (teacher or child).
Having children in mixed ability pairings meant that high achievers treat lower achievers with complete respect, always looking for and finding positive elements. Learners are thus empowered regardless of their level.
Teachers had been developing their marking policies, introducing various colours for good things and things to improve. Written feedback in a special school was very difficult as the children were unable to read comments so stamps or stickers were being used but next steps was an issue.
Oral paired feedback but there was some feeling that it was hard to do within a lesson. Children want to improve their work but are sometimes anxious about spoiling it. They seem more prepared to improve a ‘rough’ copy.
It was felt that mid lesson stops sometimes interrupted lessons.
Claire Hodgson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tower Hamlets, London
Stella Smith | email@example.com
Stella Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org
Pauline Hill | email@example.com