Various strategies had been used to capture children’s interest first:
- Reading a story from a message in a bottle found in the local lake
- Invitations from the headteacher
- Mr. Wolf the puppet does something wrong and the children have to improve/correct his work
- Looking at previous children’s work, trying to work out what they were learning
- True/false cards to discuss, which in one lesson led to children being able to compare modern and ancient Olympic Games.
Teachers had used a range of strategies for children to generate success criteria. One example was covering up the success criteria and revealing them one by one. For some lessons it was more appropriate to have weekly success criteria. Another teacher used traffic lights throughout a lesson for children to indicate where they needed help.
Another teacher wrote a story opening for the class and asked them what they thought of it. They compared it to another better example, realising that the second was much better. They gave reasons for the better example which generated the criteria. The children came up with amazing writing with consistent aspects of Level 3.
A variety of strategies had been used to get children to generate success criteria:
- Putting items on a table and using children’s ideas to stimulate the lesson e.g. adding 2 digit numbers – discuss. Children were enthusiastic and motivated to discuss how they had done it.
- Asking how something worked or how a game was played. This latter led to criteria for instructional writing. Children took ownership over generating success criteria with a purpose and really understood the skill.
- Use of a class puppet with photos of it doing things correctly and incorrectly. Children were clear and gave good tips about how to improve
- Kept examples from previous years so that excellent examples could be analysed for criteria.
- Starting with a problem to then generate the steps.
Children were extremely motivated by going out and playing a game when they thought it was meant to be English. When they came back inside they described to their partner how they played the game.
I heard them using time connectives, ordering steps etc. Without them even knowing they were generating instruction success criteria before my eyes.
Each part of an invitation was put on to orange card and hidden around the room, except for one piece. Children were asked to find all the pieces and as they found them they discussed them. One boy was heard saying ‘what starts at 2pm.?’
When they were all back at the carpet we questioned what these pieces might mean.
Each piece was put up on to the board and rearranged as the children felt necessary. We generated the success criteria from these as one child said that each piece of card gives us 1 success criteria.
After writing the criteria I questioned if we needed anything else.
I was told that we don’t know where the party is so ‘where’ needs to be on our success criteria.
The invitations, as a result, were very good.
Y1/2 teacher, Austrey School
‘Steps to success’ were used for success criteria, with children saying what they needed to do. Children have been generating their own success criteria after seeing excellent examples, to link with their personal needs and use marking grids to mark their work against the criteria. There are ‘every time we write’ checklists, to separate the main skill from secretarial skills. Children are able to see their progress and where they need to improve. Feedback time is given for children to respond to each other. They respond positively to feedback from each other, which is evidence of the growth mindset.
Children are generating success criteria, and the process is getting easier. Showing good/bad examples of descriptive writing has been successful in generating criteria, using a visualiser. Asking children how one could be better is a good way to generate the criteria. Success criteria are now visible all the time and higher achievers support lower achievers.
One teacher found the criteria particularly helped a struggling child, as she was able to go through the steps involved. The vocabulary becomes the children’s language.
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