Book Look Part 2 – Humanities and MFL
As I begin my second “book look” I am yet again bowled over by the quality and depth of the marking, this time in Humanities and MFL, the departments which form the second focus of the “book look series”.
I have started by taking an example from each self assessment which focuses on something the line manager emphasised as a particular strength within the marking:
Helen told Marion that her “challenge questions” were effectively extending pupils learning and that she liked Eddie’s trialling of the “5 a day” taken from the hubs. Bronagh told Chelsea that she was really encouraged by the way her marking was developing pupil’s writing skills and she noted that Helen has really extended the variety of DIRT activities she is using.
Emma told Toni that her marking and feedback showed great development of with lots of dialogue, new ideas and questioning skills shown at various levels. Greg felt that Charlotte’s EBI questions were really extending learning and that Martin’s development of literacy stickers was something that all the department had benefitted from.
I was really impressed with the depth of marking of both Emma and Greg and their willingness to model and trial new ideas. I loved Bronagh’s idea of the “golden phrase” for students to peer assess and pick out something they felt their peer had excelled in and Helen’s structured peer assessment framework, MONSEIUR was a great way to scaffold student’s to give constructive feedback.
The 4 D’s – Dialogue Development, DIRT and Drafting
Across Humanities and MFL the level of dialogue by teachers with students is being developed and effective use is being made of DIRT time. Both departments have noted that DIRT is most effective when a whole lesson is given for students to fully re-draft work and make corrections. There are a number of different strategies being trialled which is helping to promote a culture of reflection and improvement. In Humanities, extensive use is being made of stickers to develop dialogue; marking stickers show level/grade criteria and teachers and students can use these easily to mark work and show WWW/EBI for students to then improve on. Questions are posed in both Humanities and MFL to develop dialogue and students extend, consolidate or showcase their learning by answering these questions.
In lower ability classes the questions are often closed with specific knowledge development being focused on and more able students are extended through more open questioning.
The student’s responses to questions are also being verified, either by the teacher through further marking or by a peer. Emma uses the lesson time to verify it as students are working, circulating with a green pen and highlighter. The development of dialogue also links in to peer assessment with student’s completing each other’s questions and responding to their feedback, opening up a dialogue with their peers.
Martin is developing his tracking to demonstrate where students have levelled up as a result of feedback and responding to dialogue. Across Humanities and MFL there is a feeling that dialogue development is helping to tackle misconceptions and develop progress. Helen (French) noted that she is receiving written work of a much higher quality and students are able to use their work for revision for speaking and writing assessments. Helen (Spanish) said that it has improved the accuracy of work, particularly in year ten as it has made them more aware of grammar, with them using the grammar garden display to promote grammar improvements. Bronagh feels the greatest impact has been to reduce the number of silly mistakes. Marion has been developing questioning in her marking by giving students challenge questions to extend their learning. Greg has already tweeted quite extensively about his sticker development, using extension stickers for fast marking and finding that the students are taking greater pride in their work through tweet tweets and polaroid moments.
Peer and Self Assessment
History have been using peer and self assessment to develop student understanding of mark schemes and BSG criteria. Students can highlight where they think their peer is on a grid showing the criteria for an examination question or a KS3 assessment.
Greg, Martin and Charlotte noted that students are becoming better at giving constructive comments to their peers. With lower ability students they are often given sentence starters or prompts to help them. Emma and Toni both talked about how students confidence is improving with peer assessment, particularly in KS4 where there is more time available to devote to it. Emma was really pleased with the way her lower ability students, particularly in year 11 have developed with peer assessment, becoming much better at assessing each other’s work. She is using the STEAL idea to help them to learn from each other and to share their ideas. Martin has been developing three way dialogue following on from some work he has done previously in a hub. He is also trialling GM ideas by getting students to moderate a set of work to try and draw out misconceptions and themes.
Greg has been trialling ABC feedback, and has also encouraged Charlotte to do the same. This is not only developing peer feedback and dialogue with a clear scaffold but is also teaching the valuable historical skills of challenging and arguing effectively. Helen (Spanish) has developed a self-assessment checklist to allow students to fully check their work before a peer or the teacher and Helen (French) and Marion are using MONSEIUR peer assessment sheets for feed forward advice. Bronagh has been using peer and self-assessment to further develop fast feedback by getting pupils to rate themselves or their peers BSG against the learning outcomes at the end of each lesson. The SENORITA checklist is used widely across Spanish by Bronagh, Chelsea and Helen to ensure students thoroughly check their work. In peer assessment students must highlight their peers work to give justification for their feedback.
Literacy has been a big focus across the school and the Humanities faculty have looked for a variety of ways to try and improve pupil literacy. Martin and Greg have developed stickers to promote further independence and to ensure students are checking their work for spag errors. The sticker is placed next to a particular paragraph and the student must then find their error. Martin feels that he now needs to work on developing numeracy in DIRT.
Toni has been trialling dot marking for literacy errors, much like the dot marking used for correcting target language errors in MFL.
Toni has found this particularly successful with lower ability students. Emma and Toni have also been developing extensive resources to promote understanding of key GCSE command words. They have created a booklet for year 11 students to use to ensure that they know how to approach different types of command words. Emma noted that the impact of this was really evident in the year 11 mocks. Helen (Spanish) has been using a highlighter to draw student’s attention to spelling and syntax errors for correction. Helen (French) notes that all literacy errors are corrected in the target language and Eddie continues to use dot marking for literacy.
This is an area where both departments have been working hard, looking at ways to develop fast feedback and ultimately reduce workload without losing impact. Following in the footsteps of English, History have been trialling marking codes and Geography, following on from the January INSET have also been trialling marking codes.
Both of them note that it is too early to really comment on impact but are certainly finding it quicker and engaging students in their feedback more. History have been refining and developing their use of stickers in all areas as well as ABC marking to enhance peer assessment and polaroid moments and tweets to grow confidence and pride. Emma has been literacy fast marking, circulating the room with a highlighter and a pen as students work so as feedback can be immediate and corrected there and then. Martin has been adopting the purple pen of progress for students to make corrections so it is easy for him to see where they have made changes.
Charlotte has been trialling highlighter marking and peer verification and adopting a number of strategies from Greg to help develop her marking and to find strategies that work for her and her students.
In Spanish Helen has been using feedback grids for extended work with a simple tick box system for students to check off as they have completed aspects of a piece of work.
Bronagh has been encouraging students to annotate questions to develop their approach to the exams, getting them to think of possible questions and related vocab prior to a listening exercise. In French Helen has been trialling a number of help mats that she has adapted from Katrina in the questioning hubs. She has been using these to break down questions so the students find it easier to approach them.
Chelsea has been trialling dashit marking with year 11 students to try and boost confidence and resilience and build a growth mindset, she has also been interleaving vocab tests to try and reinforce memory and recall. Marion has also been trialling some of her work from the hubs and the Breakfast Jams, looking at the development of questioning and modelling – she has taken the Disney film “Frozen” and developed some work around the theme “Do you want to build a snowman?”
Overall the feedback that the students are receiving in Humanities and MFL is excellent and it is great to see so many new ideas and strategies being trialled and shared.