Thanks to my colleagues Debbie Dunn and Amy Hagan for their contributions to these tips!
How can we demonstrate rapid progress in our lessons?
We are constantly being told that all of the students in our classes need to make progress – in fact the ideal is for them to make ‘rapid’ progress.
Of course, there does need to be a clear way to make sure we know whether they have learnt something, and our AfL strategies and plenaries should make this learning – progress – very obvious.
We would expect progress to be made in every lesson – otherwise what a waste of an hour! And it makes sense that progress can be made from the beginning of the lesson rather than waiting until the end before any learning can take place.
The measure of progress needs to be clear
Lesson observations are now more focused on evidence of progress. The information below will also touch, therefore. on how we can demonstrate the progress that is being made.
During an observation, the observer must be confident that students have made good or exceptional progress during that time in order to rate the lesson as better than satisfactory.
Why do we measure progress?
Students should be part of the process (it's amazing how many teachers forget to share this information with students!) They should know and understand what success will look like each lesson, and they obviously need to know if they have achieved this success!
The benefits of effective progress checks
When we are being observed – either as a trainee, an NQT, or an established teacher – the worst thing we can hear in our feedback is that the students did not appear to make progress. It can be frustrating – particularly if we worked hard to plan for this. It is even more annoying if the progress was made in the part of the lesson the observer didn’t see!
Let’s look at some of the reasons why this progress may not have been demonstrated clearly enough.
An observer might not recognise the progress the students have made because...
What does progress look like?
How do we know progress has been made?
Progress within a lesson does not always have to be measured in terms of data. It can be as simple as
The key to good progress being made has to come from the partnership between the students and the teacher. Teaching and learning happen together – and progress is the outcome of good teaching and learning!
This means an awareness from both parties as to what is expected for success to be possible, and pertinent, individual feedback throughout the lesson to keep the students on track to make that progress.
The teacher and student should continuously reflect on progress together, through marking and dialogue, through identifying the next steps in learning and through establishing what particular support or extension work might be required to ensure the student’s individual needs are met.
Pupils learn well and show rapid progress when:
Key ingredients to promote rapid progress
In Friday’s blog post I will share some specific tasks and activities to help demonstrate and measure progress – and make it more visible.
Dr Sharon Williams