Integrating assessment with learning means knowing whether students understood ideas and skills, and on the broader scale, how they are progressing towards exam-readiness and scientific capability. We need assessment approaches that are easy to use and provide reliable, valid information.
The inputs in this theme aim to answer questions like: how do you make assessment authentic ? Is there an evidence-based tracking system without levels or 1-9 grades? How do you plan in effective diagnostic assessment and intervention?
Presentation slides and handouts
How can we make marking and feedback work more effectively?
We spend a disproportionate amount of time marking books and writing feedback for gains which I do not see materialising in students work. Is the feedback making any difference using WWW and EBI ? Why don’t students respond to feedback in a similar way?
These questions led me to devise a marking and feedback policy that reduces the amount of time teachers spend marking books. Also, to quickly identify the areas students struggle with so that interventions can be implemented in lesson time. In other words, that marking books helps plan your lessons. This approach supports mastery because it is only through solid foundations that new learning can take place.
My goal is to make marking more sustainable, diagnostic and support the students to be more critical about their work. It is proving to be far more effective than our previous policy.
Using a mastery approach to teach science in key stage 3.
Gartree High school is a 10-14 Leicestershire high school – but not for much longer. We will soon be in direct competition with a much larger, well established 11-18 school on the same site. The external pressure is enormous. We realised that our tiny science department needs to demonstrate what we do at Key Stage 3 links seamlessly to the new GCSE curriculum.
The mastery approach of the KS3 Syllabus linked to Engage came at an almost ideal time for us. We have changed everything we did at key stage 3 whilst writing GCSE schemes of work too. What we started in the science department quickly spread around the school, with our senior management replacing National Curriculum levels with “mastery levels”. These are based on the idea that a student who is secure in their learning are able to achieve that which is expected for their age.
A rose by any other name
Masters of the universe: learning to learn. How do you plan in effective diagnostic assessment and intervention? I chose to do develop a model based on the context of my students, many of whom do not have the supportive environment or ‘learning capital’ to be successful. I wanted provide equality of opportunity with regard to preparation for tests and the best support possible. Anything they would do outside of the class would be over and above the school’s provision given. This is inclusive learning – we are in this together.
All students had revision lessons with the same materials taught by their teachers over a two week period. The assessment consisted of structured questions, a long answer question, and an AfL task. After marking, a gap analysis was done by the students and they had to answer questions on the weak points from the assessment. The next step is to devise assessments that contain questions on the topics from previous assessment which most students did not understand. This way we can build student’s mastery of the ideas over time.
Improving exam results through personal learning checklists
As teachers, we focus largely on the planning and delivery of lessons. Outstanding lessons, which are engaging and challenging, do not necessarily lead to outstanding exam results. The key is effective lesson follow-up, with students identifying gaps in their knowledge and understanding before the final assessment and moving on to another topic.
Personal learning checklists offer an approach to get students rating their confidence on each specification point before and after revision. I will provide examples of personal learning checklists that I have used for A level Chemistry, and provide templates that can be easily modified.