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Discussion in 'Primary' started by sevans17, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. sevans17

    sevans17 New commenter


    I am looking for some thoughts on using comparative writing judgement in the primary setting. I understand the premise of it and the amount of schools now using this as a way of assessing writing is undeniable but I am a little confused about HOW we deem one piece of writing to be better than another. Obviously for many pieces of writing this will be obvious but what if we compare 2 pieces of writing that are 'similar': one which has fantastic composition and grammatical agreement but appalling punctuation and one with outstanding punctuation and grammar but is boring and not particularly well written- which is better? Also- in the climate of TA against the frameworks at the end of key stage and using a portfolio of evidence rather than 1 cold piece of writing, how have schools integrated the comparative judgement model into their school assessment schedule and especially into Y2 and 6 without increasing workload? Just trying to see how other schools have used this as our MAT is keen for us to and other schools locally are. We currently have a system for moderating writing which we are confident and happy with so seeing how we might adapt to use this to

    Thanks for reading if you got this far!!!
  2. J.M.Powell

    J.M.Powell New commenter

    We use comparative judgment and we think it’s great. You are correct in thinking that most pieces are easy to judge between, but admittedly there are occasionally two that are trickier. Of course there are various elements that we know make good writing, and we inevitably scan for these when it isn’t immediately obvious, but it really doesn’t take long. In the end, you will find you are always able to choose one over the other without too much difficulty. The beauty of the system is that you know that the writing is being judged many times and the consistency of judgments is monitored. We find the reports that are generated incredibly useful, as they give you writing ages, comparison against other schools nationally, gender comparisons etc. The materials are simple to use and the processes are straightforward.
    We recognise that the tasks are only a snapshot and we don’t use the judgments in isolation to inform our assessments. Clearly, in Y2 & Y6 it is important to build in sufficient opportunities for children to demonstrate the elements that are required. The tasks for Y2 & Y6 are in March and will sit alongside this evidence and help to flag up children who are not where we expect or who have the potential to be better. The workload generated is not bad at all. The task takes one hour to administer, with scans done by the admin team afterwards and then I upload them. The judging time depends on how many judgments each judge makes. You calculate this by 10 x the number of pupils writing and then divide it by the number of judges. We always get all teachers to judge every task and this means we only have to do around 45 judgments each. We allow 30 minutes at the end of a staff meeting to do the judging, but in reality most people are finished much quicker than this. Staff have commented that they find it useful to see what other year groups have done. I really cannot recommend it enough!
  3. ElizaMorrell

    ElizaMorrell Occasional commenter

    It's pretty useful to see what other schools are producing.

    However, not particularly reliable. We noticed that some pieces started with exactly the same few sentences, showing that some schools are heavily scaffolding despite the guidance. We also had instances where a couple of older children wrote in their home language but got rated higher than those who wrote in English, seemingly because the handwriting was better. You get rated as a moderator, but it seems that these bad judgements are still included.

    It's also nice to say that all teachers are involved and given time, but (from word of mouth and my own experience) many schools expect year group teachers to moderate the full number, and the teachers are expected to do it in PPA. Workload is giant.

    Overall, it was reassuring to see how our kiddos compared to others, but it created a lot of work, the younger kiddos hated having to write something after only 5 minutes of peer talk, and it didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.

    If you've got something decent in place already, I'd be wary of changing to this.

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