Afl in dene magna english department
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AFL in Dene Magna English Department. Closing the Gap…a brief history….

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AFL in Dene Magna English Department

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Afl in dene magna english department

AFL in Dene Magna English Department


Closing the gap a brief history

Closing the Gap…a brief history…

  • We have been focusing on AFL for four years now and have developed numerous strategies to “Close the Gap”. We believe in our department that AFL should be at the centre of everything we do. What follows is how we have developed and enhanced AFL in the English department at Dene Magna


The last four years

The last four years…

  • Over the last four years we have totally re-developed the way we approach assessment and have completely changed the assessment culture in our department

  • We began with the way we assess writing and the way we use questioning and moved on from there


Ways to develop an afl culture

Ways to develop an AFL culture…

  • Start small and focus on one area of assessment…win small and win often…huge unwieldy policy documents and commandments will not work

  • We began with developing Responding not Marking.


Responding

Responding

  • We felt the best way to approach assessment of writing was as follows:

  • Highlight one good feature of the writing in yellow and one area for improvement in green (relating to the learning objective)

  • Then extend an arrow to the nearest space and write a prompt for the student to help them to make a focused improvement – it could be in the form of a question, an example or a sentence starter / writing frame. It may be appropriate to simply highlight and encourage them to figure out strengths / areas for improvement themselves.

  • Give the work back to them and get them to write a focused improvement. They may be encouraged to write a synopsis of how they improved their work.

  • This has made a big difference to the way students are assessing their work and engaging with their progress


The responding box

The Responding box…

  • We then went on to develop a box for each classroom that contains class sets of essential AFL tools such as:

  • Writing Level descriptors for KS 3

  • Progress tables for Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening

  • Question prompt sheets

  • Aspirational ladder

  • Assessment focus cards

  • Prompt cards for Critical Partnering

  • Grade descriptors for GCSE English


What a lesson looks like

What a lesson looks like…

  • WALTs and WILFs are used in every lesson and are referred to constantly throughout phases of Learning

  • Blooms revised Taxonomy has a high status in the classroom with students encouraged to hypothesise, predict and evaluate all the time

  • Students are often involved in peer or self assessment with clear focus on AFs and AOs

  • Students offer support and advice to each other as critical partners

  • Exemplar materials are used all the time

  • Modelling and demonstration is common place

  • Team teaching and merging of groups happens frequently to enable staff to personalise assessment and learning

  • There is a culture of sharing where students know their own and each others levels and teachers share data and e-mark books with students in both individual and whole class discussion


A whole department approach

A whole department approach…

  • Underpinning what happens in lessons are the other whole department elements…

  • A Responding box in every English classroom

  • Department meetings focused on AFL

  • Members of the department producing Teaching and Learning newsletters

  • Peer observations aiding with commonality of practice

  • Inserts of Responding policy in student’s exercise books

  • APP used across KS3

  • E-mark books for data collection and monitoring


Enhancing and moving forward

Enhancing and moving forward…

  • This year we are looking at Year 7 and Year 9:

  • In Year 7 we are rolling out a new skills based/competence Curriculum with phased units and students choosing how they will be assessed

  • They are currently working on a Competency project with Creative Partnerships that will also enable them to develop their assessment of their Speaking and Listening skills

  • We are piloting an e-mark book for Year 7s to use so that both the students and parents can access this whenever they want

  • Year 9 are developing their knowledge and understanding of the Assessment focuses and we are using APP tasks and ongoing progress in Reading and Writing sheets to help them understand what they need to do to progress

  • We have just started to look at how we can use Responding to assess and give effective feedback through our VLE


Afl lead teachers

AFL Lead teachers

  • This is a project led by David Nicholls and Alex Fleming to develop and enhance AFL across the County. In part it aims to:

  • Bring together a group of teachers who are deemed to be approaching AFL in innovative ways

  • To research what AFL is and what it could be…

  • To build resources to aid practitioners across the county to build their own level of expertise in this area

  • To work together in achieving commonality of practice across the county’s schools


Afl projects

AFL projects

  • Each Lead Teacher has undertaken a project of their own choosing and these range from piloting e-mark books to developing an AFL wikispace.

  • In my department we are looking at the AFL experience for Year 7s. In short, I want to know that every Year 7 has a firm knowledge and understanding of their NC Level for Reading and Writing and how to progress to the next Level. What can we do to create a new generation of AFL-ers who are taking responsibility for and in charge of their assessment.


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