Oswald Road Primary School recently worked with One Education’s Literacy Team on a writing project that took place over the course of the school year. This case study shares how they strengthened their approach to writing assessments and boosting teacher confidence in the teaching and assessment of writing.
Setting the Scene
Oswald Road Primary School is a warm, caring and inclusive school based in Chorlton, Manchester, where pupils are encouraged to develop as confident, independent and resilient individuals. The school are committed to providing all children with the highest quality education, giving them a strong foundation for their future.
Teachers at Oswald Road are incredibly passionate about the importance of literacy, which ensures pupils have the skills to succeed in other areas of the curriculum. Teachers were confident in their reading assessments but, due to its subjectivity and scope, teachers were less confident in the assessment of writing and the challenges that this can bring. When seeking out support, staff often found they received conflicting advice, especially with regards to defining “greater depth” writers.
To address these concerns, the school reached out to One Education for support. The Literacy team are all highly experienced moderators and extremely knowledgeable in the curriculum. Deborah Howard, headteacher at Oswald Road Primary School, explains ‘we had worked with One Education before and it was a really positive experience. We also knew they had a strong reputation for their Literacy expertise and services.’
Simone, Literacy Lead Practitioner at One Education, collaborated with class teachers over the course of the academic year to boost their confidence in the teaching of writing and making accurate judgements within writing. She worked closely with each member of staff to understand their individual strengths and areas for development. Specifically, they focused on mid-year assessments, tracking pupil progress and identifying what children needed to do next within their writing to further develop and hone their craft.
‘Simone was really personable and easy to work with. It was really helpful to be able to talk things through and be honest with her.’
With a background in curriculum development, moderation, and coaching, Simone was able to share a wide range of strategies and skills with staff, helping them to identify how to use assessment to support children’s progress and to feel more secure in their judgments, especially for children who were “on the cusp.” Towards the end of the year, Simone supported the school’s moderation process, where teachers were able to discuss their assessments and collectively develop a bank of annotated exemplars to support future practice.
- Increased Confidence: After working with Simone, teachers reported feeling more self-assured in their assessment judgments. Simone’s approach encouraged open and honest discussion, which made staff feel more comfortable to address any challenges and explore new possibilities.
- High-Quality Assessment: With a renewed sense of confidence, the team at Oswald Road utilised the full potential of the moderation process, ensuring that teacher-judgements were accurate, fair and consistent. This helped to enhance the quality of teacher judgements and, ultimately, informed next steps in teaching, learning and interventions.
- Inspiration and Ideas: Simone shared a wealth of expertise with staff, including many creative and innovative strategies on how to use assessment to inform practice, adapt the writing curriculum, and create a culture of writing for pleasure that benefits all learners across the school. After working together, staff were excited to implement new ideas in the classroom and breathe new life into the writing curriculum.
Staff plan to leverage the work they have done with One Education with different year-groups and phases across the school. Drawing on the new bank of resources created with Simone, the team feel confident in facilitating meaningful conversations about writing assessments and pupil progress. They also hope to engage in knowledge sharing and collaboration with other schools, bringing their expertise to cross-school moderation and networks.
Above all, Deborah adds, ‘staff are now so much more confident in their own talent and capabilities. They are willing to try new things and lead their own initiatives.’ For example, one member of staff who worked closely with Simone felt confident enough to introduce supplementary resources to strengthen the school’s broader approach to writing assessment.
‘We can’t thank Simone enough. She has made a world of difference to our school.’
Oswald Road Primary School strongly recommends One Education to other schools who are looking to develop their writing curriculum, strengthen their writing assessment process, nurture teacher confidence, and increase collaboration between staff.
One Education’s approach not only benefited the school’s immediate needs, but better-positioned them to evaluate and enhance their broader writing practice, and support other schools in the future.
If you would like to learn more about our Literacy Services, please explore our website or get in touch. A member of the team will be happy to help.
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