Whole staff twilight CPD (Lainesmead Primary School and Nursery, Swindon)


This afternoon saw me venture across the border into Wiltshire to deliver a twilight CPD to all staff at Lainesmead Primary School and Nursery (http://www.lainesmeadprimaryschool.org.uk/) in Swindon.  The theme for today’s session was ‘Progression and assessment in geography and history’, something that I have delivered several times before, but am continually updating due to the current changes in education, e.g. new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) from Ofsted, pilot EYFS Framework.

Firstly, I shared the aims of the session, namely:

  • To look at Ofsted’s new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and think about the impact that this may have on progression and assessment in your school.
  • To consider what progression and assessment might look like in geography and history. (This should help inform planning and the marking of pupils’ work, as well as support good assessment practice within your school).
  • To give you the opportunity to explore a variety of suggested materials and web-links.
  • To share examples of assessments in geography and history and discuss the purpose of each one and what ARE, below ARE and WGD might look like.

and outlined the proposed format for the afternoon.

The starter required staff to work in pairs.  Teachers had to use the question generator grid and the words ‘progression and assessment’ to create a range of questions that they would like to discover the answers to by the end of the session.  They were prompted to generate question stems by using one word from the vertical and one word from the horizontal axis, e.g. ‘What is …?’; ‘Where did …?’; ‘When could …?’.  I explained that some cells could not be filled in using the stems consecutively, but worked better with a space, e.g. ‘How might things have been different if the bus had been one minute earlier?’.  The ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘conditional stems’ also tend to generate questions that require a more thoughtful, deeper response.  Once pairs had done this, they were asked to circle their five ‘best’ questions and then rank their five questions based on which they would most like to find the answer to, e.g. 1 = most like to find the answer to.  This fed into a brief whole group discussion.

Furthermore, at this point, I demonstrated how the ‘question generator’ can be a fantastic way for setting up pupil-led enquiry.  It acts as a framework, helping pupils of all ages to ask better and deeper questions as part of an enquiry.  Students use the vertical and horizontal axes to create and apply questions.  I shared a simpler version that could be used with younger or less able pupils and a case study from Guilsborough CEVA Primary School in Northamptonshire, where Alison Pryce had utilised it in order to improve Year 1’s questions.

The main part of the session looked at Ofsted’s new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and considered the implications that this may have upon future progression and assessment in schools.  I shared two, short movie clips with delegates, the first in which Amanda Spielman gave a clear overview of the new EIF from Ofsted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byaUliCMi9E&t=1s) and the second in which Heather Fearn, Inspector Curriculum and Development Lead, discussed ‘curriculum’ in some detail (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZhhPLsO8mY).  I used a couple of articles (https://www.tes.com/news/how-will-ofsted-inspect-curriculum) and (https://thirdspacelearning.com/blog/new-ofsted-framework-2019-consultation-results-schools/?utm_campaign=19_05_2019_New_Ofsted_Framework_Blog_SLT&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pardot) to reinforce some of the key points.  Of particular interest are the ‘deep dives’ into subject teaching, planning and sequencing that Ofsted are proposing (one relating to reading, maths and a foundation subject at primary level) in order to assess the quality of a school’s education.  Schools will have up until the summer of 2020 to develop their thinking on curriculum, but this could well be extended.  There is a real focus on ‘quality of education‘, with the 3 Is (intent; implementation and impact) being mentioned frequently.

Since there were several representatives from the EYFS, I also displayed a recent guest blog from Helen Moylett, which looked at ‘cultural capital’ – some concerns and questions (https://www.early-education.org.uk/news/guest-blog-helen-moylett-ofsted’s-thinking-cultural-capital-some-concerns-and-questions).  We talked about the proposed revisions to the EYFS Framework following a year-long pilot involving 25 schools/settings, with specific attention paid to the Early Learning Goal entitled ‘Understanding the World’.  I posed a few questions to delegates to prompt a degree of reflection, as well as projecting a website that I discovered last week, which contains some invaluable resources (http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/curriculum/early_years/index.php?category_id=117).

Next on the agenda was progression and assessment in geography.  I shared resources from the Geographical Association (GA); The Royal Geographical Society (RGS); Rising Stars (including information about their new series Rising Stars Geography and Rising Stars History to replace their former Voyagers material) and David Weatherly’s regional primary geography conferences, alongside a sample Key Stage 1 unit from Collins’ Primary Connected Geography.  I then concentrated on progression and assessment in history, steering delegates towards Jamie Byrom’s brilliant guide for schools; an article written by Jerome Freeman for The Historical Association (HA)’s Primary History journal; Rising Stars’ progression framework and material written by David Weatherly for Collins’ Primary Connected History.

Attendees were given time to explore the suggested web-links and resources and encouraged to ask questions, seek further advice, etc.  It is so important to allocate time for this within a CPD session as teachers’ lives become all too consumed once they venture back into the classroom or home environment.  Additionally, it means that I get the chance to chat and build up a rapport with individuals.

Their hard work was rewarded with a round of refreshments, before we embarked upon the next activity.  Working in small groups, e.g. year groups/key stages, staff were given examples of assessments in both geography and history to look at (https://www.geography.org.uk/teaching-resources/investigating-mountains-volcanoes?utm_source=Primary+update+4.9.19&utm_campaign=3ab69fdc9b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_09_03_02_57&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a33a7c63a0-3ab69fdc9b-395273297 and https://www.history.org.uk/primary/categories/670/resource/9544/assessment-and-feedback-in-history).  They were challenged to think about the purpose of each assessment, e.g. What is the teacher wishing to assess?, and asked to discuss what they thought ARE, below ARE and WGD might look like.  I then steered a whole group discussion to find out whether they largely agreed or disagreed.  I provided a few suggestions as to where the school might go from here too.

The twilight CPD was brought to a close with a ‘time for reflection’.

A number of their ‘question generators’ can be viewed below:

My final ‘ask’ was the obligatory two post-it notes.  On one post-it note, delegates were requested to sum up today’s CPD event in five words/in a sentence or two (WWW/EBI).  On the second post-it note, teachers were asked to identify items that they would like to cover during the next TD day in January.  They could add their name and position to each post-it note, if they wished, before sticking their post-it notes onto the backdrop as they left the room.

A productive afternoon for many it seems, judging by their ‘concluding comments’:

Feedback from attendees:

Summing up today’s CPD event in five words/in a sentence or two (WWW/EBI):

‘Relevant; resources; progression document; good discussion time; example of assessment.’

‘Information; different ways to assess; expectations; progression; using outside.’

‘Very helpful for Subject Leader.’

‘Layers of expectation.’

‘Relevant; resourceful; progression document; good discussion time; example of assessment.’

‘Great websites to help me.’

‘A lot of resources.  How resources should be presented to children.  Where to locate information.’

‘Many resources and information to look through.’

‘Thought-provoking and many resources.’

‘Interesting; nice amount of time for discussion; relevant; great resources’ examples of assessment.’

‘Where to find progression maps.’

‘Realise there is lots more to do to ensure progression.’

‘Informative; lots of resources; good discussion time; examples of assessment; relevant.’

‘Lots of resources and frameworks.’

‘Broad; thoughtful; focused; resources; discussion.’

‘A wealth of resources.  Important to consider what work would look like at ARE and WGD.’

‘Useful resources for EYFS.  Good discussions about purposeful assessment.  Helpful to have time to explore resources.’

‘Good introduction to progression and assessment for history and geography.’

‘More information about the National Curriculum and changes.’

‘Helpful for EYFS resources.’

Items that they would like to cover during the next TD day in January:

  • As a Subject Leader, what would progression/skills look like in each topic/year group?
  • Activities outside the classroom.
  • Chronology and timeline progression and ideas for teaching.
  • To investigate progression in skills.
  • Practical ideas to make history and geography exciting and inspiring for children. Not just knowledge-based.
  • What skills are the most important to be assessed? Breakdown of skills.
  • Hands on/practical lessons.
  • Ideas for fieldwork.
  • More specific examples of what objectives look like when covered in each year group, e.g. chronology.
  • Which skills should we prioritise, geographical or transferable?
  • Resourcing cheaply.
  • Breakdown of skills. Who is the assessment for?  How do we keep workload down?  Most important skills?
  • Examples of ARE and schemes of work.
  • How to assess and measure progress for non-verbal and EAL learners?
  • More EYFS focus. Making observations effectively.  Assessing EAL, new, shy, etc.
  • What progression across EYFS phases looks like (not just at the end).

I look forward to hearing about developments regarding progression and assessment in geography and history as they happen and being able to build upon the content of this session in a few months’ time.

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