Best Practice

How do you know your students are learning?

How can you judge whether all your students are learning something in your lessons and making the progress they are capable of? Teacher Helen Webb discusses what learning looks like...

A few years ago, back in the days when our lessons were formally judged, I remember feeling tremendously frustrated about missing out on that prized “outstanding” judgement.

My feedback was that to secure that judgement it needed to be clear that “all” pupils had made progress in my lesson. Had they all done this? I remember having a gut feeling that the majority of pupils seemed to have done well during that lesson, but I couldn’t be 100 per cent sure on an individual basis.

It is a conversation that has stayed with me ever since. What followed was a personal project trialling and evaluating all sorts of assessment for learning (AfL) and marking/feedback strategies that aimed to effectively demonstrate pupil progression. Consequently I have delivered numerous CPD sessions, usually to new teachers challenging them to also consider how they know that all students are learning in their lessons.

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