This inquiry seeks to investigate the impact of feedback on pupils’ progress, specifically in writing. The following intervention focuses on addressing a low rate of pupil response to feedback as instructional marking.
Pupils had been responding well to instructional marking in numeracy based tasks. Most often, this type of feedback came in the form Hattie calls ‘task and product level feedback’; feedback that typically indicates a correct or incorrect response. (Hattie, 2012 p.133). However, providing feedback as instructional marking in literacy tasks had been more problematic. Early reconnaissance activities demonstrated a low rate of pupil response to marking, and little evidence of literacy marking having an impact on pupil progress.
The intervention sought to address three key areas;
- To enable pupils to progress in writing by offering feedback and more importantly, by giving pupils a chance to respond.
- Improve pupils’ response frequency
- Improve pupil well-being, by giving time to reflect, enjoy their achievements and see feedback offering challenge as a positive experience.
The project focused on a class of year 4 pupils of varying abilities, gender and background. Pupils participated in a series of activities using ClassDojo resources (www.classdojo.com, 2016), designed to introduce children to Carol Dweck’s theory of ‘growth mind-set’ (Dweck, 20) and encourage the notion that ‘negative feedback, while perhaps disappointing, is not an indictment of a permanent ability but is part of a learning process’ (Blackwell, Trzesniewsky and Dweck ,2007).
The main intervention was held over six weekly sessions, in which pupils were supported in reviewing and responding to the instructional marking in their books. During the sessions pupils were urged to work collaboratively in mixed ability groups, and to begin to self-regulate their feedback, by identifying their own areas for improvement.
During the process a mixed method approach of data collection was utilized, involving qualitative and quantitative data. Data analysis demonstrated that providing pupils with time and support in working collaboratively to respond to written feedback was effective in improving the rate of pupil response. Most pupils made accelerated progress in literacy, specifically writing. However the data also indicated that further support and amended methods would be required to maximize the impact of written feedback on the attainment of SEN pupils.
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