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Reflecting and Improving: how to encourage the re-drafting process

It's not always easy getting pupils to look at your marking rather than the grade, mark or percentage. It's even less easy to encourage pupils to actually engage with both the criteria and your marking. Therefore, over a one year period I created several ways of using assessment strategies at different points in a scheme of work; some more formal than others.

I was finding that pupils were continuously making the same errors in their work and were becoming so frustrated when they weren't improving. This was also affecting me as I hated having to return a piece of work to a happy expectant face only to see that same face crumple when they saw the grade, mark or comment.

However, much to my dismay, my 'expert' words seemed to be falling on deaf ears and no matter how many times I walked around the room repeating my staple aphorisms of: "you will improve when you tackle your target" or "look at the comment not the grade" or "re-drafting is your road to success", no-one listened. Yes, cheesy I know but nothing was working. So I decided that force was needed. I had to find a way to 'force' them to engage with the mark scheme and their targets.

The RISE sheet allows pupils to identify their strengths and then make targets for future improvement. I hand these out after each major assessment and it is then stapled onto to the front of the assessment so they can look back at it before the next piece of work. In addition to 'reflecting' on their work, they are also required to 're-draft' which I think is a vital part of the assessment process. I mainly use this sheet for KS3 and use the 'Self-Review' sheet for KS4. The 'Self-Review' sheet includes a traffic light checklist as well as the subject specific criteria so pupils can assess themselves against the official mark scheme.

I tried out and tested these methods on both KS3 and KS4. Some are quicker and easier to do in a short period of time and others require perhaps a whole lesson so pupils can really think about how to improve, and then do it! My classes have now got to a point where completing a R.I.S.E sheet or a re-draft bubble is natural to them so my 'force' levels are now less. So I suppose I have successfully 'tricked' them into engaging with the reflection process after each piece of marked work, Success! I hope it lasts...

All of these resources can be found on my freebies page.

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