In one class children thought of 2 success criteria but eventually generated more with the teacher. Less time was spent by the teacher explaining them. The criteria were revisited when the writing took place. Children had more ownership of the criteria and understood them better.
By having an ‘every time we write’ list of punctuation, grammar etc. one child went from 2b to 2a because she had that support to refer to. Another teacher produced this list with the children. It was felt that this list helped quality develop.
In one school ‘I can’ learning objectives were changed to ‘I am learning to…’ which was more appropriate.
It was noticed that when success criteria are simply given to children rather than co-constructed, the outcomes are less successful.
In one school children are given a ‘task planner’ on which they write the success criteria in their own words. This has had a great impact in maths. Putting them into their own words has helped the children understand and they often put in extra steps depending on what they want to include.
Having used the ‘task planners with the class for a few sessions I asked the class if they like them/found them useful. The response was an overwhelming yes. Children said that by writing the steps in their own words it really helped them to follow the steps and therefore apply them.
Teachers had shown children good and bad examples in order to generate success criteria.
They had carefully chosen the lesson in which co-constructing the success criteria would take place. In maths this was sometimes rather repetitive.
Success criteria have allowed peer and self-assessment and informed feedback and marking. There are increased cooperative discussions between children and their comments are moving away from just ‘better handwriting’.
To start a unit of work we do a cold piece to show us prior knowledge. For one lesson I showed them a poorly written diary that I had written and asked them how they would improve it/what was needed. The children then created the success criteria and they were displayed on the working wall. The success criteria also informed the marking ladder after their hot pieces, giving opportunities for peer, self and teacher assessment.
One teacher experimented co-constructing success criteria for instructional writing into must/should/could. All children wanted to do ‘could’. She found that having one set of criteria was most successful and stopped some children not pushing themselves.
Three differentiated challenges had been introduced in one school. One higher achiever is never motivated to do the difficult challenge but children with special needs always try to challenge themselves.”
One school swapped the timetable to see what impact it would have. History and geography outcome and evidence improved drastically and for maths and English in the afternoon, children’s mindset appeared to change and they stayed in their comfort zones.
Children now have non-negotiables on display on their tables to remind them of expected parts in every lesson, whether it is English, Maths, Science etc. These non-negotiables are things like capital letters and full stops, using a ruler to draw lines etc. This stops the children forming these as success criteria in every lesson when looking at WAGOLLS (What a good one looks like).
Ruth Robertson, Wisbech St Mary Primary
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