The brief opening slot of today’s INSET provided an opportunity to set out some of the priority areas for the coming year: the inextricably linked ideas of shared success criteria, effective assessment and students knowing how to improve…
Prior to the INSET day, everyone was organised into groups of about 8 staff (to ensure staff were working in groups containing a range of subjects/ experiences/ characters) and an email went out with the subject ‘Important information for the INSET day (worth flagging)…‘
The body of the email repeated the hint: ‘You might like to flag this email ahead of tomorrow’s INSET… (and yes, it will help your team stake their claim on a prize)‘ and then provided a piece of information (each group had a different email, though they didn’t know this and nor did they know who was in what group… a sure way to create some intrigue in the staff room in the days leading up to the INSET! A nice way to get people talking about the INSET day in positive terms before it has even happened!)
Examples of the sort of information each group was given included:
Your population is 15.74 million, you produce most of the balsa wood in the world, and your capital city is Quito.
Your population is 8.098 million, public performances of your national anthem usually only involve the final verse and chorus, and your capital city is Tegucigalpa.
Your population is 22.92 million, you have 143,700 landlines in use, and your capital city is Antananarivo.
And so on for 13 different groups. The only bit that anyone needed to think about was the capital city, but the random facts added to the intrigue! Most staff googled the country, but not all had then taken the hint to look at the flag for their country!
Watching staff run around the school hall (flight of the bumblebee blaring out) trying to work out which flag was theirs, shouting at each other for help in order to be able to start the first challenge (and win themselves a breakfast hamper of croissant, pain au chocolat and juice to consume during the rest of the morning!) was a great way to start the morning. The first challenge was a L&T Tarsia (if you haven’t discovered Tarsia, you’re missing out! Free, easy to use, kids love it)
And so to business…
First we took a look at some of the research headlines to provide some context for the decision to place some emphasis on the three specific areas of our Challoner 10 over the coming months.
This, combined with the fact that we have a new assessment and feedback policy in place this year which we are seeking to develop and embed, provides good justification for taking some time to think about these three areas!
Terminology and general rationale…
I started by suggesting that it doesn’t matter a great deal whether we call them objectives, outcomes, success criteria, aims, WALTs, WILFs, etc. Rather, what matters is that we have a shared conception of the ideas, why they are arguably important, and how we might use them effectively. Given the seeming preference within the research literature (and my own personal preference for what I think is greater clarity than objectives/outcomes), I framed the session (and continue to frame my conversations with colleagues) using Learning Intentions and Success Criteria.
Learning Intentions & Success Criteria
Having explored, in groups and as a whole staff, what Learning Intentions and Success Criteria can be/ should be, we focussed our attention specifically on Success Criteria. The full slides from the session can be seen below, but the focus of much of the discussion was on the importance of students being able to operationalise and internalise the success criteria, through modelling and assessement (of various sorts). Unfortunately, there was little time left to really get into the value of modelling and some particular strategies for how to go about using modelling and collaborative assessment, but this is certainly something we’ll come back to… (in the meantime, check out this post over at ClassTeaching)
And here is a nice little video from John Hattie…
Full session slides below…