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Ministry of Education.

Phase 4 - Learning Inquiry

What is the impact of the teaching and learning?

Melissa is constantly investigating the impact of her teaching in terms of the prioritised outcomes, and uses a range of approaches. In this case, the students are self-assessing their progress and achievement on the Homai School Writing Profiles. The school has developed these over the last few years, using the Literacy Progressions, the e-asTTle rubrics, and the National Standards book, to show longitudinal progress and achievement in writing over their six years of primary schooling.

For this assessment, the task was for the students to write about their science investigation. They had to select their purpose - to explain, describe, or instruct - and to use the appropriate structure and language. This was an independent writing sample, with one teacher conference. They look for evidence of their goals, and annotate their own writing sample by highlighting, on the profile rubric, the criteria they have achieved.

The challenge is to involve the students as they discuss, clarify, and reflect on their own goals, their achievement of these and their next steps. Melissa supports the discussion in a group conference, where students work in pairs to discuss their sample of writing. They need to understand the desired outcomes and criteria for success. They know where they are going, they know how they are doing, and they know where they need to go next. Thus they are becoming assessment capable.

Watch video clip 4: Student learning inquiry

Questions for teachers:

  1. What has Melissa done to set up these conversations?
  2. How do you develop your students’ voices to reflect on their own progress and know themselves as learners?
  3. What evidence do the students use to show mastery of a literacy skill, goal, or process?
  4. How do you support your students to find evidence for self-assessment of their literacy goal across the curriculum?
  5. How do you monitor and track your students’ writing progress from year to year?
  6. How do you ensure consistency of assessment across classes?

Following these group conferences, Melissa reflects on the impact of her teaching, asking herself the three key questions:

  •  Where am I going?
  •  How am I doing?
  •  Where to next?

She considers what teaching strategies were successful, what students learnt, and what they need to learn next.

Watch video clip 5: Teacher reflections of learning inquiry

Questions for teachers:

  1. How are you doing in terms of developing your students’ assessment capability?
  2. What are your next steps for further development?
  3. What support will you need? Where/how will you access this?

Published on: 15 Feb 2016


'When students see that they are making progress, their motivation is sustained and their confidence increases.’ (NZC p40)

Writing hub

These resources will help strengthen your knowledge and skills for teaching writing across the curriculum and increasing students’ rate of progress.