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Does your school do 'Writing Progress?'

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tafkam, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    We used to at my old school. I found the whole exercise entirely pointless. I provide plenty of opportunities for the assessment of writing in my regular teaching timetable, without the need for taking time out of that to do an assessment which won't actually offer any feedback to the students.
  2. We do the progress book but without the levels. Just comments and targets.
    The children absolutely love them.
  3. I've used this system for the past three years.
    I don't report the levels to parents. I keep a record of these, however, and look at the overall progress across the year.
    I do show the comments to the children and give them targets based on this unaided writing. Since most writing in class has some scaffolding and teacher input, I find it useful to (once a half-term) collect a piece where they have no help whatsoever, to see what has sunk in and become habitual.
    I've not found this a problem. I tell the child what their overall level is. If this one-off shows a lower score than previous pieces, this is not a problem if their overall work is making progress. All writers have good and bad days.
    What I do find is that at the end of the year, this is a powerful tool to show to parents/inspectors/etc that a child's writing has moved on over the year. Even with inevitable fluxes, the sixth piece will show an improvement on the first, and one piece will stand out.
    As to levelling, teachers pair up to quality control the level awarded.
  4. 77


    We do APP and have tracking three times a year where a level is assigned using a range of writing - not all from English lessons. It is useful to have at least one unaided piece, but it doesn't have to be completed in "test" conditions. I'm in Y6, however, and so I do administer tests so that the children become accustomed to working in that way and within the time limit.
    We also have writing standardisation and moderation meetings fairly regularly, which is also happening at meetings of lit coodinators from schools in our local cluster.
    There is definitely a diffference between APP levelling and the levelling done for a Y6 SAT. It has a lot to do with the task and how it inspires each individual child. Some are far better at non-fiction and vice versa, and some, as one person has said, can just be having a bad day! Allowances need to be made.
    I don't think of it as pointless, however. I like to seen evidence of progress as well as lack of progress which needs to be addressed in planning.
  5. I don't think we should be giving overall levels rarely. If we want children to progress we will level strands and plan to ensure progress in the strands of attainment. I think when dealing with parents, saying "Look, she's level 4 on this area, but we've got to work on this one where's s/he's only level 2A" means that parents go off happily, instead of anxiously - leaving us to get on with our jobs!
  6. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Except, of course, that the NC levels were specifically designed to be broad strokes, not narrowly-focussed. So it isn't possible to be level 4 on on area and 2a on another (aside from the fact that 2a is a made-up value)
    What's wrong with "She's achieving well in doing X, Y and Z, and now needs to further develop her ability with A and B"?
  7. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    We do an assessed piece of writing each half-term. As my class have a "Big Writing" session once a fortnight I use a piece of Big Writing. These are then assessed using the Big Writing tick sheets which asign a NC related level based on the number of points scored by the writing. This helps to address the problems of a lack of consistency about what constitutes a level 2a, 3c etc as we are a tiny 2 teacher school so I have no-one to compare notes with!
    The Big Writing grids have just been updated to include APP AFs.
    We also compile the assessed writing pieces in a single book which is used through out the pupil's school career - at least that is the plan but this lark has only been going on for 6 terms. I expect that it will have been abolished before my Year 1s get to Year 6! My H-T is very laid back so last term when most of the school was off sick with noro-virus we abandoned the idea. This half-term we still have lots of people off with a nasty flu like virus I don't have to worry about those who were off sick.
    PS Has any-one else had the sickest half-term ever? I don't think that there has been more than 2 or 3 days when my whole class has been in.
  8. We also do a piece of assessed writing every term and have been using Roz Wilson assessment criteria. We are now looking to update these to include App asessment focuses. I would love to have a copy of how you have updated yours to see how you have done this.
    My email address is jackie.platts@hotmail.co.uk. Thankyou

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