Ask a students their target grade and some will reply with a “ Dunno”. Students need to be well prepared for any questions they may be asked by an OFSTED inspector. They need to know what they are currently working at and where they are heading to. As post 16 students they will be given target at the beginning of the year, but it seems they sleep and it’s all forgotten the next day, unless they are reminded of it regularly.
Another issue is that students need to see how they are progressing. This means that simply giving marked assessments back in class can lead to them losing the work or putting it in a file to never see daylight again.
A useful technique I’ve started to use to address these two issues is an assessment folder. This means giving each student a plastic wallet at the beginning of the year with a front sheet where they write their name, target grade and marked assessment grades as they arise. As they complete work they add it to the folder and enter their marks on the front sheet. This means that they reflect on progress for each piece of work that has been returned. The front sheet also contains a grading for each piece of work of E ( exceeding target ) O ( on target ), S ( slipping by one grade) or M ( major concern, 2 or more grades below target). This gives an indication of how they are progressing in relation to their target.
The folders stay in class until they need them for revision. That way as a teacher you can check progress whenever necessary. I also find them invaluable at parents evening. They also are reminded with each piece of work what their target actually is. Hopefully they then remember it when asked!
Cost wise the folders are relatively cheap ( 20p per student) and are a worthwhile investment. Initially I used exercise books but they were wasteful in terms of unused paper and they were too heavy to take home, especially when there were 60+ essays to mark.
The students take only a short while to get used to the system and many are grateful for the enforced organisation. All their marked work from in class tests or homework is in one place. The next problem is to ensure perfect notes and up to date folders. Any ideas?!