Bright spots // Friday 19th May 2017

Mr Parrott (PE) – Year 7 students were in a Football lesson whereby they putting into practice skills developed in previous lessons, in a game situation. Feedback was frequent and Mr Parrott stopped students regularly to challenge students on their understanding. Often this led to immediately re-teaching students through modelling & explanation and then followed this up with further questioning. The immediateness of the feedback meant students were able to adapt what they were doing (as directed by Mr Parrott’s feedback) and improve instantly. The verbal feedback was built into the learning as opposed to it being bolted on at the end. The nature of PE practical lessons lends itself to constant verbal feedback during sustained deliberate practice, which leads to students making progress over time.

Mr Rutter (Science) – Year 7 students were learning about chemical reactions. Mr Rutter was in the middle of co-constructing an answer with the class making great use of questioning to scaffold responses from students. He was able to identify misconceptions and tackle them with students immediately. Feedback was frequent and built into the learning. Mr Rutter has also been trialing retrieval practice in the form of quizzes. Students responded well to frequent quizzing, explaining that they have found it useful in helping to remember key knowledge. They also explained that this helped them to feel more confident about Science.

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Year 7 retrieval practice in Science

Mrs Guy (PE) – Mrs Guy was teaching year 7 students the scissor kick technique for the high jump. Whilst students were practicing the technique (jumping over low benches to get the technique correct before attempting it on a higher bar) Mrs Guy was circulating the space providing lots of verbal feedback to students on their technique and providing very specific actionable things to change in their next attempt. Again, this was a great example of feedback being built into the learning, in the moment while students were practicing. The immediacy of the feedback allowed students to make noticeable, incremental changes to their practice which produced visible differences in their performance.

Mr Heath (PE) – Year 9 boys were running the 800 meters in small groups. Although this was predominately deliberate practice there was still lots of verbal feedback and instruction. As students were running Mr Heath gave feedback on technique that students were able to immediately action. He also involved other students who were waiting to run by asking them questions and giving them feedback on preparing to run. Each time a lap was nearing completion students would receive lots of feedback and encouragement. It was great to see students actively participating and enjoying themselves at the same time!

Mrs Heath (Art) – Year 7 students were spending time writing about a piece of artwork they had spend some time developing on the theme of surrealism (one student gave a fantastic description of surrealism when they were asked to explain the concept!). Mrs Heath had set students the task of writing about surrealism and she had provided students with a writing frame to help them structure their writing. Whilst students were working Mrs Heath was circulating the room and providing feedback on their writing / artwork. The artwork itself that students had created was exceptional and it was obvious to see that students had taken real pride in their work.

Mrs Payton (PE) – Year 9 girls had been playing tennis (I arrived just before the lesson finished) and in particular practicing the volley shot. Mrs Payton questioned the students to assess their understanding of the practice they had carried out during the lesson. The questioning involved wait time and opportunities for students to discuss in pairs to help formulate ideas before answering (great strategy!). I questioned a couple of students and they were very articulate in their answers, describing the best grip to use when making the volley shot and when the best time to use shot in a match would be.

Mrs Williams (English) – During Mrs Williams TRM she was able to discuss what has been working well in her English lessons. One strategy that has been trialed is whole class feedback mixed with the re-teaching of areas that students found difficult. The whole class feedback highlights common misconceptions, SPAG errors, identifies targets for improvement and then champions exemplar work for all students to see. In addition to reducing the amount of time it has taken Mrs Williams to provide feedback to students, it has also helped plan the next lesson in a timely manner so that she can address the common misconceptions and move student learning forward.

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Whole class feedback in English

Summary.

Feedback (especially verbal) appears to be strongest when it is:

  • built into the learning process rather than tagged on at the end.
  • close to the learning – whilst students are working provide them with feedback that allows them to make incremental changes.
  • used to re-teach misunderstood knowledge and challenge misconceptions.
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