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Published in Profiles and Using HOW2s

Matt’s Plenaries

As he looked over his class, Matt Smith, an NQT at Nine Mile Ride primary school in Berkshire, noticed there were too many pupils just coasting during his plenary. This had become a bit of a pattern recently. So he decided to do something about it before his next observation.

HOW2: Learning Capture

Not only did Matt want to make his plenaries more interesting, he also wanted to find a HOW2 that would give him more feedback to inform his planning. He looked in the Assessment for Learning set and found Learning Capture. 

Its built-in discussions looked just what he needed. To be double sure his pupils engaged in the discussions, Matt added a prior stage with pupils working in pairs before moving into 4s. It worded a treat. 

The children are especially confident if they are encouraged to share one of their group member’s ideas, rather than their own.


Know Thy Impact” urges John Hattie

Yes, a strange phrase, almost Biblical in its wording. It springs from the mouth of John Hattie, the best-known global advocate of evidence-based teaching. What he is saying is that the most powerful form of feedback is what the teacher receives. This way, they can adapt their teaching according to what the pupils need. 

And that’s exactly what this HOW2 achieves. While the pupils discuss their learning, you can wander around the room listening in. The group’s final reporting back to the whole class adds more information about the learning. 

So, as Hattie emphasises, this is less an evaluation of the pupils’ learning as it is about the effectiveness of the teaching. Not the teacher themselves, take note, but just the teaching.

See For Yourself

Why not see what Matt found so good about this Learning Capture HOW2? You’ll find it in the Library, in the Assessment for Learning set.

View ‘Learning Capture’ HOW2
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Pinker on Drafting

We can all agree that many students find drafting torturous. So how can you persuade them that it really is a necessary step in writing? Steven Pinker has written numerous books on psychology and language and knows a thing or two about drafting. Here’s what he has to say on the topic.

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