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Feedback Is a Gift

23 september 2015

Feedback is identified as one of the most important mechanisms for helping students to progress in their learning.  I am in the privileged position of visiting lessons around the school each week.  If you were to join me in stepping into a classroom, you would see formative feedback in many different ways.  

  • Whiteboard 2015
  • Ipad 2015
  • Ipad 2015
  • Ipad 2015
  • Ipad 2015
  • Ipad 2015
  • Ipad 2015
  • Ipad 2015

Teachers are engaged in learning conversations with pupils, listening to their responses to questions and offering feedback in order to clarify and consolidate their understanding. This is just one aspect of Assessment for Learning (AfL) and is an essential part of learning.  It doesn’t only occur through conversations between teachers and pupils; one of the most powerful AfL techniques involves peer assessment and feedback, through quizzes, using website tools and interactive whiteboards, or using mini-whiteboards to get instant feedback on what the pupils know and need to develop further.

To enhance the AfL teaching and learning strategy further, last week all students in Years 7-11 were issued with iPads.  These are excellent tools for learning both inside and outside the classroom.  Most of us are very familiar with the use of Apps and there are many of these that can be used to help with acquiring new knowledge and revising topics already studied in lessons. Beyond Apps, iPads can be used very effectively for peer-to-peer AfL.  I have seen students recording each other in PE lessons and then giving feedback on performance and ways to improve.  In Maths, student work has been captured and displayed on the class whiteboard quickly using Apple TV.  Great technology, but also effective learning as students identify the steps in a calculation and learn from each other, offering feedback and sharing alternative methods of solving problems.

To conclude, it has been a very busy start to the year for our students with many events to enrich their learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom.  Thank you for encouraging your child to participate in the ECA and BISCAP programmes which help to develop a wider repertoire of skills in our children, including creativity, collaboration, determination and entrepreneurship.  As the term progresses, we see children grow in confidence as they make new friends and learn how to balance their academic study with their other passions and interests, often through ECAs

Wishing you all a restful Golden Week, we look forward to seeing your children back in school on Wednesday 7 October.

Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary

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