‘High- quality marking of written work makes a vital contribution to pupil progress. Marking provides children with a clear and precise guide to how to improve their next piece of work and a clear expectation that they concentrate on improving this aspect as the next small step in making progress in their learning overall. In effect, marking is short- term target setting for pupils, as well as an opportunity for teachers to make accurate assessments of pupil progress and needs.’ – Desford Primary School (2017).
During my placement, there was no marking policy. However, I agree with the statement above and consider effective marking as a crucial form of assessment. The children love receiving feedback and next steps. It is evident that I have also used positive reinforcement within my marking to praise the child for producing such a fantastic piece of work. I always ensure to begin with strengths and then provide areas for improvement. I expected the children to respond to my marking to ensure that they have fully understood their feedback and if I have corrected spelling then I complied with the class teacher and expected them to correct underneath. Although marking is very time consuming, it is key to pupil progress through providing effective feedback. I aim to continue providing good quality written feedback as I develop into an NQT.
This self-assessment template was used after a lesson based on Anne Frank’s no silent campaign. The boys used their speaking and listening skills to reflect on their verbal performances. This enabled them to identify strengths and areas for improvement. As the boys watched their performances back on video, this enabled them to evaluate their work personally. This was a key strength as I used technology effectively to support learning and reflection. However, the IWB that I was using chopped off half of the boys faces which they found comical! I learnt to always test out technology prior to planning! Although this encourages rigorous self-reflection, it is important that the children know how to do this effectively. I had to model quite a lot in order for them to understand how to do this so if I were to implement this again in the future, it is important that the children know how to reflect and don’t just tick ‘yes’ without meaning.
During my Phase 2 practice, I implemented ‘I Can’ statements which enables pupils to reflect on what they have learnt so far, as well as providing as an assessment tool. The template was given to the children at the beginning of the topic and we would tick off what we have done so far. It was a good way to look back and reflect on when children were absent and what they have missed. This could then be implemented into future planning. I got the idea from observing the year 6 teacher’s Science lesson so I asked for support with regard to planning the templates and how to implement them within the classroom. This was a beneficial tool for me but I question the effectiveness for the children. Although it allows them to see their own progress, some children were ticking things dishonestly and inaccurately. For example, a child ticked every box on the first lesson. This was a critical incident for me – as it taught me that I must model how to use checklists to prevent this from happening again. This is something that I will always remember.
As part of my second year mathematics module, I analysed a piece of writing assessment. In order to do this, it was crucial that I had relevant subject knowledge of age-related expectations and of the National Curriculum. As a class teacher you will be required to carry out a considerable amount of data analysis. This will take on a variety of forms and will be used to inform short, medium and long-term planning according to the format it takes. This Directed Task enabled me to practice gathering, analysing and using summative data in order to inform planning and teaching. At the end of each academic year, most schools carry out some form of standardised testing such as the ‘interim SATs for years 3, 4 & 5. The data is put onto a grid to show which Qs each child got correct or wrong. The class teacher will then analyse this data to identify what the children can do well and which aspects of mathematics need to be addressed by the next class teacher. (N.B. this type of data analysis can also have implications for the CPD of the class teacher. If the majority of children have clearly struggled with say, solving missing number problems, this may be an indication that the teacher finds it difficult to teach the concept of using inverse operations…). This task proved beneficial as I now feel much more confident when assessing writing. I have left that analysing is key in order to inform the next steps to learning. Additionally, I think that it is important to work with other staff when accessing writing to ensure that your mark is justified and correct. However, it is important to note that summative assessment is not the only kind, and as a teacher, you will need to implement a wide range of assessment types.
Teachers’ Standards –
TS2 – Be accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and outcomes
TS3 – Have a secure knowledge of the relevant subjects….