Year 5/6 Literacy

Researcher: K Aldridge Minchinhampton
Context: Year 5/6 Literacy
Desired Outcomes: Pupils to be self-assessing from a selection of feedback statements provided by teacher. Talk partner support in choosing most suitable statement and advice on how to respond.
Method: Informal discussion with chosen sample group … ‘How do you feel about this form of feedback?’…. ‘What are the things you enjoy/don’t enjoy about this way of feedback?’ Oral responses recorded by TA in the form of a pupil questionnaire.
Results: It is clear to say that the proposed way of giving feedback was received differently by groups of pupils within my class. Some children are confident in selecting feedback and also at giving advice to a partner as to how to improve. In return, it would seem that the opinion of these children is listened to and valued. These pupils have more self-awareness as to where to take their writing next and so are arguably less reliant on needing guidance from an adult.
However, for other groups of pupils, this way of receiving feedback was not constructive. These children are very clear in saying that they want/ need/prefer direct teacher support. They have a much clearer cut impression of their role in education. They want their feedback presented verbally and backed with written feedback from an adult daily. My concern of ‘do they even read my marking?’ doesn’t appear to be the case with these children- they do read it and do look for that positive confirmation.
From this over the next series of lessons, I deliberately moved this group of children to be nearer to me during whole class teaching time. I called their time with me ‘our workshop’. I explained to the children that they could ask me for any advice at any point at any time- like a patient asking a doctor. It enabled me to see them at work a lot closer and to pin down the simple errors they were making. Colleague writing moderation recently highlighted that it was clear how supported these children had been during this time and that alongside opportunities to let them explore independently, this was a useful exercise.
1. It felt good to be asking them about my teaching style and what worked/didn’t work for them. It opened my eyes into that one rule doesn’t fit all.
2. The quality of the feedback was excellent in partnerships that were balanced not only academically but socially too.
3. Pupil ‘workshops’ are worth exploring further.

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