Hope everyone has had a great week – hard to believe it’s only 7 weeks until the Christmas holidays! At Roslin, things are going well – though having a full moon and Halloween in the same week, made for an interesting few days:) In terms of VL, we are continuing to gather evidence in preparation for our Evidence into Action Day Two workshop. We held another school working party meeting this week and I shared our gathering plan with the staff. We had an interesting conversation about effect sizes as I showed them some of what we have gathered thus far. We looked at the results of our Relational Trust survey where we had 22 out of 28 responses. We identified clear strengths and were able to discuss how we can improve one or two of the areas. On a personal level, it was great to share the results of my teacher feedback survey. A few of the teachers are now interested in doing it themselves and that is what I hoping to achieve! The teachers are noticing more and more within their class, how pupil dialogue is changing and have asked for a jotter to be put in the staffroom so that they can record it. Each of these are small pieces of evidence, but help create the bigger picture of how we are developing.
A few people have asked me about the Learning Walk we held last week. Quite a few schools do Learning Walks, with similar formats, but I thought I would write a quick post to let you know how ours went. The information below has come from Mrs Wilson’s summary document of the week.
The SMT, class teachers, learning assistants and Learning Council went on a series of learning walks and shared classroom experiences, in nursery to P7, over the course of the week. The purpose was to gather evidence of where we are in our Visible Learning journey. Evidence was gathered through: direct observation of displays and resources accessible to pupils, discussion with pupils and LAs, direct observation of teaching and direct observation of areas outwith the classroom (corridors, halls, office etc). Evidence was recorded using photographs, notes (using a VL master sheet as a moderation tool), a master sheet for observing shared classroom experiences, notes from jotter moderation and talking to pupils. Class teachers and SMT met at the end to identify examples of best practice and agree on recommended next steps. One of the most important pieces of feedback that came out of our staff reflection was that teachers noticed the progression of VL across the school. It’s clear that staff are beginning to integrate VL into their daily practice more and more and are doing so at the appropriate level for their learners.
Some examples of the evidence recorded in nursery to P7 were: nursery planning and policy folders reflect VL research, visual displays of ‘what are we learning’, floor planning books, using post-it notes for pupil dialogue on displays, changing your mindset phrases, questions cube, effort scales, thinking about learning question cards, reflection/metacognition words, visual timetables, LI and SC on display, brain work, peer feedback phrases and development, artwork in relation to brains, mindsets, mistakes and VL reading.
Evidence outside the classroom/across the school was: school improvement plan on display for all, quality indicators, HGIOS quotes, VL mind maps, professional reading resources, reading books for children connected to VL and wider achievements of pupils across the school.
When the Learning Council came together to reflect on what they had observed, their comments were:
- they recognised the differences in how each class are looking at things
- stated that it was now important that we integrate these key concepts of VL into our everyday learning
- ‘the school is using VL as a strategy for all subjects in school’
- ‘you can use the strategies in everyday life’
- ‘growth mindset helps us not to give up’
- ‘the learning pit is a series of events in learning’
- ‘learning feels very different now’
- ‘it is a major change’
- ‘it allows you to take on challenges’
- ‘it has had a big impact in a good way’
I was lucky enough to observe P3 in action as they were applying their understanding of food chains to a cooperative learning task. Sitting and watching a pupil of that age turn to another pupil and say, ‘why don’t you have another attempt at that, you’ll get it, keep trying’ was just lovely to experience. I know it’s small, but we’ve only been at this a short time and to see dialogue like that taking place, just makes us very proud!
We are now working on prioritising our next steps and look forward to the next part of this adventure!