Summer Feedback part 3 The Final Showdown

Summer Feedback part 3 School’s Out!

Here comes summer School is out, oh happy days

Here comes summer Gonna grab my girl and run away

If she’s willing We’ll go steady right away

Now let the sun shine bright on my happy summer home

I knew you’d be expecting the Alice Cooper song! I’m an old romantic at heart!

School’s not so bad but the summer is better

They give me more time to see my girl

Walk through the park beneath the shiny moon

Oh when we kiss she makes my hair curl

Not too many of our staff will recall my curls but the sentiments are probably the same now as they were when Cliff Richard [and many others] first sang the song. Sadly though we do have to say goodbye to some long serving colleagues and of course, quite an important person!

This is our final blog of the year and the 3rd part of our summer sharing of feedback/marking and observation ideas. It is also the last blog of Alison Heaton’s leadership of our school. Alison prefers to stay out of the limelight, always seeking to praise and develop the contribution of others, rather than talking about her own leadership and success. The truth, now revealed, for those from other schools who read our blogs, is that everything you read about our collaboration, mind-set and innovation and sharing emanates from a vision and a role model that Miss has provided Meols Cop with for the last 11 years. She will deny it and always say that the best is yet to come. Her leadership has taught us that this is the only way we must think here to sustain and improve what we have. We do celebrate our success internally but externally you won’t hear us talk about inspections, results or progress to anyone. [Unless we are asked-we try to help and support those who need it most] If the ‘best is yet to come’, that is only because of the foundations that Alison has worked with dedicated commitment to establish here. She’s pretty good for a posh scouser! Thank you Miss, enjoy your retirement and be ready by the phone to dispense your advice when we get stuck trying to lead half as well as you have!

A few pictures to begin with from Carol our English TA who has designed some lovely board games to support our G.C.S.E. classes. Connect four, blockbusters and trivial pursuits-thank you Carol!

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Our mathematicians sent their feedback from our last faculty meetings to me and you can see the questions asked, if you haven’t seen the previous blogs.

Maths best bits!

  • Feedback that the student acted upon and you then have the evidence that it closed a specific learning gap

CB shared her using the STAR marking to identify issues. Identified confidence issue then supported with different approach and students completed successfully


CB – another response from student’s misconception and tackling response.


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BK shared her student’s responses to the STAR questions


ZE – showed us how a student had shown they could take action with their weaknesses.


AV identifies student concerns and makes students list their own individual steps needed for the mathematical processes.

  • Feedback that you can evidence was a real penny dropping moment that might have taken ages to for it to drop!



BK – We had a whole class discussion on a similar questions as identified as a weakness. Students that struggled were asked to answer something similar in their books. We can see from student response they’ve appreciated the extra go!


AV – Penny dropping moment from 9 set 1 to challenge their mind-set to push from KS3 to KS4 understanding, using the multiplier method in maths.


JF – Trialling ZE’s method of differentiated hints this student had really struggled with the 1st attempt but was keen to have another go. After a silver hint which was more structured than the Gold she successfully answered a tricky surface area question.

  • Feedback that you feel showed a tremendous piece of mind-set from the student involved in achieving it



ZE – student showed a positive attitude towards problem solving by using a challenging hint to assist in their second attempt in learning.


ZE – Students were asked to solve a problem using sequences, they make their first attempt and choose their own differentiated hint ‘bronze, silver or gold’.


SL shared her observation lesson. No clues for the first attempt and students designed their own hints and attempted a second time if needed. This student had the confidence and didn’t need a second attempt.



BK – Students are given the opportunity to ask for a ‘challenge question’ when completing their STAR marking.


JF- Mindset in action and a student write ‘I don’t get it yet’, celebrating the YET part!

  • Feedback from self/peer that was a superb example of honest critique with examples/follow up checking/success



An honest students discusses their thoughts from BK


AV – Students are grouped to support with Peer assessment. Books are swapped 3 times for different students to look.




SL – Students tackle misconceptions with the different methods on multiplication.



JF- Peer assessment and Growth mindset together, using the students to build confidence in answering high end GCSE style questions that can sometimes cause students to panic.

  • Feedback that hit any of our current obsessions-re-drafting, innovative, fast, SPaG etc.



CB – during an external visit CB challenge 10 set 1 to redraft their work on a A* GCSE question. She used the ‘hint’ method to guide. This example is a second attempt where we she simply checked her work.


ZE – Student has another go at their final answer.

Art and DT

Katy, Aimee and Josie kindly sent me examples of their current marking and discussions.

Lesson Observation Risks:


The focus of my l and t and also my lesson obs was independent learning spurred on by growth mindset.

I chose a problem solving exercise in which students where given the style of an artist and had to work out the best way of simulating that style using 4 tables of different materials that they moved around. The risk was the movement of students around the room and the fact that students would be at different stages of development even if they began from the same starting point. All students produced something according to G/S/B criteria and the challenge of problem solving worked well as a motivational tool.

Students did not manage to get around all tables in the time given however if this task becomes embedded as a regular lesson format, less explanation and more work will take place. Problem solving will be linked to real life work scenarios to ‘up’ the stakes and increase motivation for boys and girls alike.

Independent learning was achieved by all students in some capacity and a great side effect was the problem solving dialogue between students at the same table.


8.4 lesson on ‘teens and choices’.

My lesson was based on special dietary needs of individuals and I wanted the students to consider their own special dietary needs being a teenager. The students completed a starter task using min wipe boards and were given some facts about special dietary needs answering true or false to each statement using their boards. This task had some common misconceptions surrounding nutrition and teens choices for example- ‘how many teaspoons are in a can of coke?’ I wanted to use facts which surround their choices to really make them think about their choices and if they are the right ones.

The students were then given a fact sheet full of information about teenager’s special dietary needs- the student used a highlighter to highlight key words. I did this as I feel I really want to push independent learning as I feel that student in key stage 4 struggle to collect information from for example a textbook in mass.

The student then analysed case studies and planned suitable meal for each case scenario giving reasons for each item using factual information – from their fact sheet. Some students struggled with this and I encouraged them to highlight and they found it useful.


The students used the growth mind set dice as their plenary task I really feel this was a very positive task as I overheard some great comments such as ‘ we talk about this in science and PSHE’ .

One of my lesson targets was GM and I was really happy with the outcome- students made some great comments and all gave positive feedback about the plenary activity. I enjoyed the conversations I overheard during this task.

The second lesson target was independent learning and I really feel this was a highlight as the student all used the factual sheet to collect information to complete the task. Some students did struggle with this activity but I feel if they were to do a similar task again would find it easier and with this in mind it would aid their research and learning in key stage 4 as I personally feel in Catering this is something some students struggle with- the confidence to research independently.

I guess what I was really trying to do is make them each think about their choices and how the choices they make now are so important. I used factual information on items such as ‘coke’ McDonalds’ for that reason to make them aware of what is actually in each item.


8.3 – Observational Drawing and Independent Learning

The class were coming to the end of a scheme of work investigating observational drawing, an important focus of the new Art GCSE. The focus of all artwork has been to understand the skills required when drawing from observation, the technical use of a variety of media and learning to develop and refine their artwork over a period of time; the lesson therefore was a further development of these skills and understanding.

The focus of this lesson, was to build upon their understanding of using media and explore observational drawing through the use of ‘creation stations’. The four ‘creation stations’ were split into two different media; graphite powder and Indian ink. These were both mediums that the students were new to, however the application of them is no different to their understanding and use of pencil and paint.

Normally when a new media is introduced, I will demonstrate and show students exemplar artwork to show the possibilities of the media; this can however result in some students becoming very reliant upon teacher guidance. The risk of this lesson, was to give the students primary observation items to draw with new media, having received basic guidance/instructions for use from myself.

Basic guidance was supplied through simple instructions and health and safety guidance in a photo frame on every table.


My expectation was that the students would struggle on the first media, ask for teacher support and then improve on the second media. When it came to the activity, I was pleased and impressed that the students enjoyed the exploration of the new media and the fact that I wasn’t telling them what to do. On the second media the student worked to a much higher standard, as their confidence seemed to grow. When they evaluated themselves on the scale of confidence, all students noted improved confidence on ‘creation station’ 2.


To support the risk, I utilised the four Platinum students I have in 8.3 and put one in each group as an aspirational target for the other students to work towards. I think this worked well, as the discussions between the students involved tips to help each other use the media and support as to how to improve their artwork.

The aim of this lesson was to improve independent learning and the idea of exploring new media; when feedback from the students was collected they all commented that ‘you should just have a go’, ‘don’t be scared’ and ‘don’t panic’.

Feedback Evidence:

Feedback that you feel showed a tremendous piece of mind-set from the student involved in achieving it

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Aaron Fuller has struggled with the observational drawing scheme of work, as he is not a confident realistic drawer. He has used the diary to record the tips and advice I have verbally provided and applied it to his artwork.


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Freya Matthews is a talented artist, but she rushes her work. The feedback diary has encourage her to slow down and focus on her skill level and therefore ensuring she gained Platinum at the last reporting opportunity.

Feedback from self/peer that was a superb example of honest critique with examples/follow up checking/success

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Peer Assessment is often used in Art, as I’ve found the students provide honest critique of their peers’ artwork. As well as complimenting the artwork, students are encouraged to choose an area of the artwork that needs improvement. They must provide very specific advice, and not say complete the artwork.

Rezija Vitola was told to focus on increasing her use of pattern.

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Nathan Wills was complimented on his observational drawing and encouraged to improve his use of pattern and white chalk in his artwork.

The peer assessment generally takes place half way through the lesson, therefore allowing students the opportunity to use the remaining part of the lesson to focus on their targets and feedback. When they have done that, they write down exactly what they did during DIRT time as a record of progress.

School is almost out for summer and I’d like to thank all of my colleagues who have shared ideas over the year and all of our new friends at other schools who have either visited us to chat about our ideas or engaged in a dialogue about learning and teaching with us. Have a wonderful and hopefully sunny holiday.

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