On pupil learning
What has been the overall impact on pupil learning?
Impact on targeted schools in this Y2 and Y4 initiative.
Progress in specific areas of the writing curriculum has been made because of the tailoring of curriculum to focus pupils.
Where it has been well used, it has had good impact.
Where well disseminated by strong subject leaders, good impact has been identified by the subject leader, but they have also identified a need to revisit in light of APP. SfW makes more sense where APP has been implemented.
It will have more impact on learning next year, because this year impact has been on teachers and it takes time to become embedded in practice.
Any targeted work has little impact when there are 6000 pupils in a cohort (203 schools). We supported 17 schools for Y4; 70-100 focus pupils would be 1.66% of whole cohort, so capacity of team to impact authority-wide is limited with such an initiative.
But it has had a big impact at school level:
- One City Centre Primary School reported that 96% of Y4 pupils with end of KS1 level, (so not including new arrivals) are now working within the level above their KS1 level in writing. 81% have made a whole level of progress within the 2 years.
- Another City Centre Primary School reported 88% of Y4 pupils with KS1 level made at least one level (or 6 points) of progress in writing, 53% have made more than a level of progress. (small school, so 1 child = 3%)
Thoughts you think are relevant to overall impact on learning
Pupil turnover – if pupils joining after KS1 are taken out of data calculations, schools are achieving expectations. We need to encourage schools to target how to support new arrivals so they quickly make progress.
Quotes you think are relevant to overall impact on learning
Children more confident with text-type vocabulary.
Literacy Subject Leader and Y3/4 teacher
Staff are using TfW materials in their lessons. However children are still finding it difficult to get their ideas on paper in a structured and detailed way.
Quantitative evidence of impact on pupil learning
- Periodic teacher assessment
Qualitative evidence of impact on pupil learning
- Observation outcomes
- Pupils' work
Describe the evidence of impact on pupil learning
Our evidence is largely pupil progress data, and evidence from visits to schools.
What has been the impact on teaching?
We are confident that there has been impact on teaching, as the evaluations, teachers' perceptions and our review visits inform us this is the case.
This initiative is tailored to schools', teachers' and pupils' needs. As a new Literacy Subject Leader in a challenging school said, 'Targets are tailored to classes, so teachers and children have greater ownership.' It wasn't externally imposed from a national perspective of what pupils should be learning, but started from where they were in each school and worked towards pupils making improved progress.
The initiative had good impact on teachers whom we have met face to face – we are not so confident it has had impact across whole schools.
Y2 and Y4 teachers demonstrate increased confidence in tailoring planning to pupils' needs.
Greater awareness of the difference between group and guided work.
The participant audience was mixed, from NQTs to very experienced. They bought in to APP more than SfW, because APP is clearly definable, whereas SfW is a suite of materials to be used as and when appropriate; some elements are universally used, eg Text-type guidance, while others may be less familiar, especially if teachers came in to the profession recently. Drawing attention to existing materials that are good was a valuable element. If we ask teachers what has had an impact this year, they haven't said SfW – they'll say Primary framework, because everything is interwoven. It’s not identified as SfW, despite the literacy team considering, discussing and recording SfW in every visit.
Teachers were inspired by texts – teachers are increasingly choosing texts as a result of text-type guidance, and asking for ideas for good texts.
Progression papers and text types guidance were by far the most useful to teachers – they can print off and use to refer to in planning and teaching.
Steps in learning and pupil writing targets were harder to use unless they understand their purpose and are already familiar with guided writing.
Main barriers to successful implementation, collated from evaluations:
- Confidence of teachers in school to have a go at changing their approach to teaching – due to lack of 'headspace' to think about and try new ideas. This is seen in some cases to be a consequence of being overloaded.
- Staff meeting time – all booked up well in advance, competition for time – eg maths priority may override considerations of literacy.
- Lack of funding for lesson study
- LSL off sick or didn’t attend; also change of LSL, new one didn’t know, lack of continuity
- No non-contact time
- Navigating National Strategies site difficult, too much material. Change of site unhelpful as trained with old site on DVD, no advance access to new site for LA trainers.
- Lack of motivation by some teachers – not their area of interest
- Anxiety of subject leader, having to disseminate to staff who are not receptive, so doing it as briefly as possible
Last year (07-08) 50% of schools said they’d completed the gap task (fed back at staff meeting, used APP materials with some pupils, and carried out lesson study). This year most will say they have completed part of the gap task, and 60-70 % will have carried out a key literacy action, such as having a go with APP with some children.
Thoughts you think are relevant to impact on teaching
It's good to work directly with Y2 and Y4 teachers that HTs have identified to attend training. HTs might have preferred to send other year teachers but they had to select Y2 and Y4, because of the National programme.
There is a tension between year teachers and subject leaders as a priority for professional development.
Targeted support is an offer – not compulsory – so schools have opted in, therefore there is good engagement, little reluctance to engage.
We have worked closely with School Improvement Partners (SIPs) to look for impact – the changing arrangement with SIPs has had to be overcome, and action taken to ensure information is shared.
Quotes you think are relevant to the impact on teaching
SfW focused the Y4 teachers on targets and progression.
Literacy subject leader and Y4 teacher
We took time to identify our strengths and areas where we would like support. .... Modelled Talk for Writing to colleagues and parents. We shared practice with children in a workshop style with parents and other staff. This had a huge impact and made the children feel valued. Also allowed parents to see how they can engage with children at home.
Year 6 teachers in one school
All staff aware of Steps in Learning and have found Text-type overviews very useful. Staff are using this support within their planning.
Y4 planning improved as a direct result of SfW. Staff more confident in using SfW materials.
SfW Follow-up CPD in school: Not yet. Looking to incorporate into new curricular targets in Sept after data analysis and then linking it to APP gaps in Dec/Jan. (Not covered this year as main emphasis in terms of planning/ primary framework is Maths. Guided writing main focus in literacy)
There will be two of us with knowledge of APP and support for writing who can trial and present to the rest of the school. Our teaching will be more focused because of steps for learning.
Y2 teacher and subject leader
Using planning tools and resources to help with planning. The objectives and the ability to track them across the year groups was very helpful.
Better idea of what is missing from plans via APP and other learning materials.
My year four children have had an unfortunate year and their writing is very worrying. This input has spurred me on to identifying the areas they need to develop.
Evidence of impact on teaching
- Evidence from observation and monitoring
- Evidence from planning
- Teacher perceptions
Describe the evidence of impact on teaching
Feedback and evaluations; quality of professional dialogue during school visits.
On school organisation and leadership
What has been the impact on school organisation and leadership?
Participants in SfW initiative have been equipped with materials and modelled sessions to support dissemination in their schools, and this may have had a positive effect on subject leadership. We asked subject leaders and classroom teachers to feed back to the rest of staff and lead on dissemination but that was often difficult to achieve. Our impact session with subject leaders in Summer 09 ought to support Subject Leaders in looking for the impact of CPD in school. Overall, impact on Subject Leadership is limited because of focus on Y2 and Y4 teachers in SfW – less capacity to support subject leadership, so are returning to Subject Leader twilights in 09/10.
Evidence of impact on school organisation and leadership
Evaluations (see Impact on teaching tab)