Teaching and Learning Bulletin N0.49

Further T&L ideas from Scalby School. Especially interesting thoughts of Success (Grit) v Frustration (Learned Helplessness). Also research based on the importance of communication skills to employers who are looking to recruit graduates.

Scalby Teaching and Learning

Here is the latest bulletin with assessment, pedagogy, oracy, gcse reform, literacy, mobile phones and a really great history/science website.




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Reducing Time Spent On Marking

THIS may help some teachers to reduce the time spent marking student work. My timetable at the moment has 11 different classes where I have between 23-30 students in each. It dawned on me a while back that I was spending way too much time writing out the same information over and over again. I decided to come up with a system to ensure that I wrote less, the students worked harder and that they thought more deeply about their learning in order to make further progress.

THIS is my system;

  1. For every period of work that needs marking I create a list of codes that represent mistakes that have been made within the period of time since the book was last marked. The codes will also give learners the opportunity understand how they can make further progress. This is a Year 7 marking code that I recently created. This takes only a few minutes and often develops as I mark the books depending on the need of the group.markingcodesimage
  2. I then get each student to write out the comment/question using the code that has been placed in their books (green pen = teacher, red pen = student). This will ensure that while they are writing the comment/question they are also thinking about what it says more deeply than just skim reading it.
  3. Students then respond to the question that has been set (EBI). This will mean that the student is either correcting some work that was wrong or commenting themselves on how they can achieve the higher stage in learning.
  4. Completing marking this way ensures that I cut down my time marking and the students are given more thought time to think how they will approach the task of improving their work.
  5. The two examples, shown below, are from a middle-‘ish’ Year 7 set and these students are middle-‘ish’ based on ability.markingimage3markingimage2
  6. After the students have responded at the start of the lesson, I will then go around and check that the response is appropriate for their ability. This is usually carried out while students are completing the next learning activity. It further allows additional formative verbal dialogue between myself and the student.

Finally; THIS is a comment from Sean Harford (HMI National Director Education) again making it clear to inspectors that Ofsted do not look for any particular type of marking frequency. This update has been published to try and ensure that inspectors and schools are aware that marking quantity or depth is NOT proven to raise standards.

‘I remain concerned that we continue to see some inspection reporting which gives the impression that more detailed or more elaborate marking is required, or indeed that it is effective in promoting pupils’ achievement. Inspectors must not give the impression that marking needs to be undertaken in any particular format and to any particular degree of sophistication or detail… there is remarkably little high quality, relevant research evidence to suggest that detailed or extensive marking has any significant impact on pupils’ learning. So until such evidence is available, and regardless of any area for improvement identified at the School previous inspection, please do not report on marking practice, or make judgement on it, other than whether it follows the school’s assessment policy’. (Ofsted, School Inspection Update, November 2016 | Issue 8)

Teaching & Learning Bulletin No. 39 — Scalby Teaching & Learning: Growth Mindset Thoughts…

Here is the latest T+L bulletin featuring growth mindset, who the best headteachers are, homework, research, literacy and some posters. tl-bulletin-no-39 A historical seating plan. An interesting idea. I’d imagine this one might end up with food being thrown at the very least!!

via Teaching and Learning Bulletin No. 39 — Scalby Teaching and Learning

The Progress Pie Chart

THIS has been developed as a Computing/ICT resource. This resource can be used to demonstrate progress of all learners over the course of a lesson. It could be easily adapted to demonstrate progress over a period of lessons (ideally 3 based on the 3 segments).

The resource is a different slant on the more conventional Progress Clock or Progress Wheel teaching resource used by teachers to demonstrate progress in a lesson for every student. It has been changed into a pie chart as this gives it the Computing/ICT backdrop. A blank template can be found in this link THIS Education Progress Pie Chart.

The idea is that students identify what they know at the start of lesson, the progress they have made in the middle of the lesson and then finally what they now know/have achieved by the end of the lesson. The example that can be seen in Image 1 shows a student in one of my groups who is nearing the end of a project over several lessons to create Apps using App Inventor. The student identifies their level and what they are going to do to try and make an improvement within a lesson. The student can show progress within the complexity of the task they are doing or via an improved level (hopefully both!).

Image 1


It can be seen that the student is making choices about their learning, demonstrating understanding about what they need to do to make progress and developing independent learning skills within a given success criteria. It also provides a self assessment tool for students to use at 3 points during the lesson. It could easily be used as a peer assessment tool too. A collection of these would demonstrate progress over time.

At my school we have department open days which allow teachers to visit lessons in other areas of the school to gain ideas and provide constructive advice to improve teaching and learning. In my opinion this a truly collegiate approach to improve teaching and learning within the school structure and breeds a really supportive environment through peer review.

Image 2 shows feedback that I recently received at one of these open days when the Computing department was open for colleagues to visit our lessons. I have included these peer comments within the blog as it demonstrates what other teachers thought of how the Progress Pie Chart is used.


Progress Pie Chart main points from Image 2

‘Clear pathway for progress’

‘Students really interested and engaged, all spoke highly of how much they liked the pace and challenge – I liked the Progress Pie Chart’

‘Effective assessment tools’


Dissecting Progress 8 (@Headguruteacher)

Now that Progress 8 has been born and looks like it’s here to stay, there’s no use wallowing for too long in outrage at the data-garbage bonkersness of it all. We might all agree that averaging out every child’s achievements across the school via a super-convoluted and arbitrary algorithm to generate a single number with […]

via Dissecting Progress 8. The good, the bad and the ugly. — headguruteacher