All teachers were already decontexualising learning intentions. One teacher co-constructed success criteria by showing children lots of different leaflets and getting them to note down the features and what makes a good leaflet. Children got a lot out of this, were able to remember the success criteria and created excellent leaflets.
It was trickier to get good examples of good work in certain genres but co-constructing success criteria was easier to do in writing.
Having a slower pace in writing to allow for redrafting gives children a chance to improve.
Children feel empowered by co-constructing success criteria.
Seeing what a good one looks like really engages children, even if it has been made up by the teacher.
One teacher had created a writing toolkit with the class which was attached to children’s jotters for constant reference.
In one group all teachers had co-constructed criteria for writing by preparing exemplars of excellence. Children’s achievement was greater than before as a result. Showing children an example of a line or bar graph then asking what needed to be on a graph to make it successful, worked for generating criteria.
One teacher showed a bad example of a letter of complaint, using inappropriate language. Children discussed what was wrong with it. The teacher found it engaged children when they knew she had written it. Children love pointing out mistakes and suggesting improvements, so this was an effective hook. (See anecdote below).
Pobble was also a useful resource to source exemplars for writing and images.
“We had been doing a block on functional writing and were about to start a letter of complaint. I told them I had written an example of one for them to look at. I had written very bad example, very informal, inappropriate and humorous in places.
“As they looked at it at first there was no reaction, but once they realised what I’d done, there were gasps and laughter and, more importantly, a great discussion.
“The pupils then had to volunteer to tell me what was wrong with my letter, the only rule being that they had to show me how to improve it. Since we had already been working on functional writing, they already had a good idea of what a formal letter should look like. And sound like. This then led to the co-construction of the success criteria (e.g. use formal and precise language).
“The class were very motivated because the example was so bad and it had been written by their teacher. It was also easy for all children to see what was wrong with it and why and even less confident writers could contribute.”
Pam Gray – Strathesh Primary
North Wales Team 1
All teachers had introduced the learning intention and modelled what excellence looks like. The children are aware of what the end goal is. They keep the objective in mind while working through the success criteria and there is greater understanding of the smaller steps.
Teachers are using the visualiser to highlight success and mistakes to celebrate. All teachers had been showing two examples of work from two different levels when modelling excellence. Children are leading the learning by picking out what skills they need to learn I order to succeed. Children are aiming to supersede the standard of the excellent work shown.
Some schools used work from previous classes and one school had a modelling portfolio. This was a critical tool for co-constructing success criteria.
Using success criteria allows children to evaluate each other’s work against them.
Lessons are based on decontextualizing learning intentions and focusing on the skill. Teachers feel that they have a better understanding of the numeracy and literacy framework and curriculum.
One school has colour coded success criteria:
- One colour –what you must include
- Second colour – what you could add to make it even better. The ones they must have are the ingredients that go into the mixing bowl. The others are the icing on the top. This was useful with some higher achievers who usually complete all the success criteria and made them think about the impact on the reader
North Wales Team 2
Three teachers had changed when the learning intention was shared, after the prior knowledge starter. ‘We are learning to..’ had replaced ‘I can..’ and all of this had engaged children and become more child led.
Working walls had success criteria displayed. These were con-constructed by good compared to not so good and picking out the features. This made the process easy. The language is now more accessible from analysing what makes a good one.
Criteria are written in books. Generic toolbox criteria are known well by children.
All teachers were co-constructing success criteria, giving children a point of reference, as these were displayed. The criteria have made children more independent and are self-assessing.
Analysing what a good and a bad one looks like has helped children achieve higher quality. Children can magpie good ideas shown. Similarly cold and hot tasks allow for reflection.