Here’s a way I’ve been using something similar to raise achievement in all my KS3 classes this year.
Our assessment scheme means all KS3 students do two or three pieces of formal, levelled writing which contributes to their termly reports. Last year I found they were too happy to keep making the same mistakes and not make any progress in their writing, so this year my idea to prevent this was to get them to look at their previous piece of writing before planning the next.
Since we are trying to help them prepare for GCSE controlled assessment the KS3 writing they do is planned and prepared in class, learned off by heart and then regurgitated under test conditions with maybe a cue card to help.
Our school has the Purple Pens of Progress as this year’s Ofsted gimmick – we mark in green and they respond in purple. So at the start of every planning lesson I make them write, in purple pen in their book:
My target level is ___.
This time I am aiming for ___.
To achieve this I must write __ sentences and include
My feedback from last time was
This makes them engage with the marking feedback I spent hours writing on their last assessment (which is copied by them to a sheet in APP folders which they carry around with them at all times, so they should always have a copy). It makes them engage with the marking criteria to preempt conversations like “But I wrote LOADS!! Why didn’t I get a L6?” They know before they begin what features they need to include and a minimum length for their writing piece.
The most common things I tell them they need to include are
* three sentences in French learned off by heart (for people going L2 -> L3)
* five sentences and CORN (L3 -> L4)
(Corn is connectives, opinions, reasons and negatives – they have sheets in their book and I have a display – the CORNwall – that helps with this.)
* 7 – 10 sentences, CORN and another tense (L4 -> L5)
* 10 – 12 sentences, CORN, two other tenses, “very few mistaks”.
(The Y9 helpsheet talks about tenses and accuracy and has “very few mistaks” in it as my little joke to amuse myself. It was a loooooong time through the year before any student noticed.)