We have been thinking a lot about scaffolding recently. How do we best ensure that all pupils can achieve the same outcomes and that these outcomes are excellent? One method we use to achieve this is the creating and sharing of success criteria.
My Year 8 class were completing an assessed piece of work at the end of their unit on regional variations in East Africa. They has three tasks to complete:
- Describe the location of Kenya,
- Use development data to select an area most in need of aid,
- Select an aid scheme for this area and justify your decision.
I wanted to make sure that all pupils knew how to complete these tasks well in advance; I wanted to assess their knowledge, understanding and skills rather than whether they knew what doing these things involved.
Before we started we discussed what would make a good answer for each question. Not the answer itself but the criteria I would use to judge it. I recorded these on the board to remain there during the session; I kept referred back to it as they were working. As they completed the task they used this criteria to check their work and make improvements.
I can now see whether pupils can do what was required rather than whether they knew what was required.