Assessment for learning
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Send  your ideas on assessment for learning

A GA discussion paper, Level descriptions and assessment in Geography is on the GA website. It is a very interesting and informative read.

Pupil self-evaluation dartboards

Cindy Benson, Head of Geography, Alun School, Mold,  shares a sample of the dartboards she uses at the start and end of topics. The start dartboard illustrates the key questions.  Students code each - green "totally understand" to red "don't understand at all".  The same dartboard appears at the end of the topics along with boxes for student targets and teacher targets.  Student targets should reflect the ambers / red so should be subject specific.  Teacher targets address this & reflect assessment work.  At the beginning of the topic, the student staples a bullet point list of how to meet their level characteristics for this topic and ticks it off as we progress through the unit.  I've attached an example of this too.  I know the Welsh levels are slightly different but I'm sure you can get the general idea. (Dartboards reduced to A5 to stick in books)
The following examples are from a rainforest unit, World Cup and Disasters.

Y9 Dartboard rainforests
Y9 Dartboard rainforests (end of unit)
Rainforest glossary
Level expectations in Rainforests unit
World Cup
Natural disasters (end of unit)

Cindy has also been working on resources for NGfL Wales

Objective led lessons

Garreth Stockton, Cheadle High School, has re-written the whole of their Key Stage 3 scheme of work using a standard template for each lesson plan. Read first how Garreth's approach to objective led lessons works. He also shares a whole topic of pre prepared lesson plans for Volcanoes with Year 8, you can add your own lesson structure. Lesson 1; lesson 2; lesson 3; lessons 4 and 5; lesson 6 and 7; lesson 8; lesson 9; lesson template.

newsite.gif (147 bytes)How to make improvements in Geography

Alex Prior, Court Moor School, Fleet, Hampshire has produced a flow chart with suggestions to help pupils improve their work. This is the marking criteria they use so pupils know exactly why they are given the grade for their enquiries! Teachers feedback on the enquiries using this form and pupils use the feedback to set their target for next time. Teachers plan their lessons using this template. Rainforest enquiry for Year 8.

Stepping Stones

Justin Maguire (St John's School in Cyprus, a British Forces school), has sent this stepping stone diagram  to help pupils move simply to higher standards using very brief words. They applied the idea to simple diagram that the kids would be familiar with Volcanoes and Rainforest.

newsite.gif (147 bytes)Peer assessment activities
Rob Gray from Nottingham Bluecoat school has been working on peer assessment activities. These guidelines are for pupils to use when judging the other groups performance in producing a news report, but they could also use them as a kind of checklist.

How to produce a good news report

Group checklist and assessment sheet (Antarctica campaign)

How to get better at writing geographically 4 

We are now in our last year and we are going to publish but before that we would like you to take a look at a few other ladders of progression that may help your pupils to assess the quality of their work. 

The BPRS-funded geographical writing research group from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is now 13 strong [my lucky number].  The main focus of the research is on how to improve the way you teach with the models of writing to support pupils in understand how to get better. 

Congratulations to Pauline Marsden, Julie Dale and Jon Clarke who have had their work published in the journal Teaching Geography April 2003. Pauline Marsden describes her work for lower ability pupils. John Clarke offers a model for better judgements and Julie Dale offers thoughts on using the models below with higher ability groups. Joe Ball has offered a version which is called 'Better decisions'.

Fiona Osmaston, Head of Geography Tamarside Community College, Plymouth. says: 

'As Geography has been picked up as one of the subjects for TLF this year in my school we have adopted your better descriptions/explanations ideas. This has been trialled with year 8 top sets. Some students were interviewed by myself and the KS3 strategy consultant. Overwhelmingly they thought that a good piece of work was one which was neat, well presented and with very few literacy errors. So top set year 8 have not had marks given to them since they were interviewed but we have identified what is good in their work and what they need to do to improve by giving a generic statement bank to the kids. I've attached this too. Students will be interviewed again before the end of term to see how their perceptions have changed.'

The article is now published in the October 2002 issue of teaching geography.  Jean George at Hagley Park High School and Jon Clarke at Cannock Chase High School used BPRS to develop a method of helping KS3 students to understand different levels of attainment in geographical writing. A ‘model’ was developed for describing progression in pupils’ written descriptions and explanations.   

More assessment for learning - WALT rules 

Anthony Cheetham, Highfields School, Wolverhampton has offered this target marking approach for key stage 3 pupils - any feedback would be welcome. The guidance sheet is here.

NC Level descriptors for students 

Rosey Hopwood from Maryhill High School, Media Arts College, shares these very visual pupil friendly grids How can I Improve my level in geographical skills and How can I improve my level in geography

Caroline Johnstone, ChristChurch Middle School, Stone, has created ladders to help pupils make understand their work and to make progress; there is a ladder for each aspect of geography. Step up the Geographical ladder!

Paul Williams has offered this attempt at rewriting level descriptions for pupils.  Paul is Head of Geography at Saint John's International School, Bangkok, Thailand.  SLN geography can truly claim to be networking geographers globally.

wpe1.gif (20354 bytes)Mrs Johanna Hazell, Head of Geography, St Bartholomew's School, Newbury has offered these 'placemats' for levels.  Right click is the fastest way to download. The cartoons make you smile too!wpe3.gif (16789 bytes)

Let us know what you think and or offer alternatives if you have them.

Philip McCullagh from Coulsdon High School, Surrey, shares his pupil friendly levels on the geography department webpages

Step by step - Monitoring progress in geography
Francine Wilson Jones formerly  of Wilnecote High School has offered a new version of this approach to pupils jointly monitoring their own learning.  The biggest success is that:
  • pupils begin to understand different aspects of progress;
  • Teaches can use it to differentiate tasks;

Variations for both GCSE and KS3  by Anthony Cheetham, Highfields School, Wolverhampton are also available.

Fiona Osmaston and Alec Jiggins have offered other approaches

The full story & downloadable files here!

An approach to assessment for learning

Marilyn Cannings and the team at Clough Hall Technology College, Kidsgrove take this approach to key stage 3 assessment for learning.

  Crime in the local community (MSWord document)

It is used for peer reviews of work as well as assessment of learning in their regular assessed pieces of work. They do not give the pupils all the grid but a selection of appropriate levels according to ability. Pupils shade in their minimum target level at the beginning of the assignment. This example is for Crime in the local community.



This page last updated 03 April 2012