On Tuesday 8th March 2016, Governors visited four classes to see how the new curriculum is being taught and assessed. Walking into each class, what was striking was the enthusiasm shown by the children as they worked with one another. There was lots of purposeful chatter which on closer inspection was the children sharing what they had learnt, whilst being closely watched and encouraged to deepen their understanding of the subject matter. Feedback from teachers, TAs and children was being given during the lesson and helpful comments – ‘better if’, ‘even better if…’ – were written in books there and then, to enable the children to evaluate and improve as they worked.
It was exciting to see such a high level of engagement from the classes we visited. This was strengthened when we met with four Y3/4 pupils who showed a clear understanding of how the new system of feedback works, and as a result had great pride in the improvements seen throughout their books.
Although this is a change from the previous system of using lots of targets and levels, it is allowing teachers more time to interact in the classroom and to monitor the progress of pupils ‘at the coal face’ – during lesson time. It also enables teachers and TAs to better identify children who are struggling with a particular concept, and further help them in afternoon sessions on the same day while it is still fresh in their minds.