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KS2 Writing Moderation ... how did you get on?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tomtom20, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. tomtom20

    tomtom20 New commenter

    I had writing moderation today - very tough. Has anyone else had their writing moderation yet? How did you get on?

    My moderator was great; understanding and supportive but it was extremely in depth and very small points were picked up for discussion. One child who I'd put at EXS (in my opinion, very secure) was discussed and nearly put down to WTS due to her spelling (she had achieved all other areas in depth and to a good standard). Her spelling is good, but there were a couple of errors across her work, for example dramatically spelt dramaticly and emmeidately (which had been corrected later on in her writing). Although she had achieved the majority of spellings accurately e.g. terrifically, available, opportunity, consequently etc.

    GDS was tricky. Mostly focussed on managing shifts in level of formality. They weren't happy with just using informal speech in a formal piece of work as evidence. They wanted the child to 'manage' the shift in a very clear way. So I have to get some additional evidence for that one. Am working on it now. I have two weeks for two pieces of work to demonstrate this. I just feel so sorry for the children. The child in question is 100% GDS in my mind, a very accomplished writer (can write better than myself at times!) but it's just a tick box exercise - they must show the requirements in the way they want to see them. The moderator sympathised with me. They said that 3 years ago we could be having a discussion about whether to put the child as a level 5 or level 6, the 'GDS' is not equivalent to this - it is more difficult to achieve. Joy.

    Tell me I'm not alone ... please!
  2. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    We're being moderated next week. I teach the top set, so there is weight of expectation with respect to GDS. Were any pupils deemed GDS?
  3. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    So did they explain to you how they wanted them to 'manage' the shifts in formality? Were most of your judgements accepted?
  4. voiceoftruthandwisdom526

    voiceoftruthandwisdom526 New commenter

    You're not alone!! I was also moderated today, and I'm basically in the same boat as you for the GDS. Two/three of mine I think are good enough for it, and the moderator said as much, but he also said there wasn't enough evidence. Hate how the framework judges such arbitrary things, when I've got some amazing writers who can't satisfy the box ticking exercise :(
  5. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    On dear :( weve got ours next week. I'm dreading it. Spelling is a massive, massive issue for us - I would say about 70% of our cohort are not spelling at the required standard for EXP. Despite extensive checking, peer editing, dictionary work etc some of my good writers are making errors of the type you describe. As for those damn shifts in formality...!!
  6. tomtom20

    tomtom20 New commenter

    I had to take 5 pupils from my very small cohort of 15. I'd put 2 as GDS. They put one of them as EXS and the other I had to work hard to allow them to let me produce more evidence for in order to get GDS, they wanted to put them as EXS but I fought my corner for my wonderful little writer!

    He suggested a leaflet style that went from formal to informal and back again but they must 'manage' the shift well - so not just using a 'fact box' in a more informal tone, it must be formal, then use skills to move to more informal and then back to formal integral to the piece of writing. They need to see this type of shift across different pieces of writing.

    e.g. in a leaflet - Do you want an awesome holiday? Adrenaline junkie? You've come to the right place! blah blah blah
    Then a sentence or two to manage the shift ... then to formal. The relaxing golden sands of the serene beaches are a delight for all who travel to this exquisite yada yada ... then seamlessly into informal again ... Ready to come along down to the .... blah blah blah.

    So quotes in a newspaper / narrative wasn't good enough, which is what I was banking on! Poor children, my lot love writing - I really don't want to push them to write in a certain way when their natural style is so good, but that's what we have to do I suppose.

    My other EXS children were fine and went through as EXS. Whole process took 2.5 hours for 5 children! There were other schools there with 5 or 6 Year 6 teachers and ONE moderator. I'm guessing they weren't staying for lunch, so I have no idea how they would manage to get through all their children in as much detail as mine were looked at in the time given.

    Good luck to you :)
  7. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Undertook first moderation visit of the year this week. Lovely school, well prepared. Agreed every assessment.

    It's all about the school being prepared and able to lead the discussion - Directing the moderator, with confidence, to evidence of every element of the standards...
  8. louise1202

    louise1202 New commenter

    We got on well today. Very similar to last year and I agree, a real focus on formality shifts . I was expecting that so had provided opportunities to show this (not newspapers) and we had plenty of greater depths . some very low exs we spent time searching for a few passive sentences or semi colons but they were there. Spelling was fine but we have been strict on this with the children on that so recent work reflects that. The moderators seemed to know their stuff but we're very lovely and it's nice to be moderated by other teachers!
  9. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    It's tricky to be confident having had no preparation other than reading the DfE publications as it's not clear to me exactly what is/isn't acceptable.
    Do you have to select a range of six pieces, or is it just a case of showing examples across the writing in their book?
  10. tomtom20

    tomtom20 New commenter

    Exactly ... info online and the publications are not greatly specific! We have independent writing books which they use to write in at the end of 'units'. I took those and their literacy books. Didn't do any photocopies as the information we were given said not to. I had already used the tick sheets and referenced these to their writing, highlighting and referencing the evidence which meant that we could move through most things quickly.
    I was confident and learnt a lot about what specifically they are looking for which will help me when teaching and preparing next year. It was useful for me as a teacher, even though they levelled a GDS as EXS - I understood their point after they explained the detail required and agreed with them.
  11. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    It sounds hideous. I'm DREADING ours. I don't think i've ever hated anything more than I do shifts in formality. And so many examples out there give the ones you referred to such as quotes in newspaper article or informal speech in narrative.

    Spelling is also an issue for us. Now i'm hoping for around 1% EXS....
  12. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    If you are 2 form entry, will both teachers be in together?
  13. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    Many thanks for taking the time to recount your experience. Really helpful!
  14. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    From numerous sources, there does seem to be a really effort to keep down - to a VERY low level - the numbers of pupils achieving GDS. Why? Why should children who score in the 60s out of 70 on the GPS test AND produce sophisicated, engaging writing not be deemed to be working at greater depth?!...
  15. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    as regards exceeding expectation (or whatever acronym experts decide to use this week) as the curriculum seems to have become a couple of years more difficult n many ways, should there really be many children labelled as exceeding?? Are we doing them any favours at all, or are we setting them up for ten years of ridiculous pressure to complete ever more difficult or unreasonable work and hoop jumping. Just wondering, in light of a relative having a break down in year seven due to unreasonable pressure from the secondary school to maintain her exceeding status. Probably their fault as it included loads of EXTRA work rather than broader work.
  16. louise1202

    louise1202 New commenter

    A range of writing. We flicked through books and I suggested where to find evidence. The most recent short story provided most, then we turned to other bits to evidence certain verb forms and to demonstrate the standard in other curriculum areas. In desperation to find where a weaker child had made some use of semi colons e found some evidence in guided reading books. As long as it's independent it can be used.
  17. louise1202

    louise1202 New commenter

    We were.
    We split up for most of it but discussed that should we disagree then we could all work together again. We all moderated the final child together. We didn't feel were were being moderated but that we collectively found evidence to support judgements we had made. It wasn't baf!
  18. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    When you say well prepared, what would you, as a moderator, be expecting teachers to come with?
  19. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    Thank you! That makes me feel a lot better.
  20. twinkletoes88

    twinkletoes88 New commenter

    Were you given any other ideas of ways to show these shifts? I have my moderation the week after next and already have an example as suggested above but some of my others had been speech within stories, quotes in newspapers etc.! Argh!

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