The power of collaborative learning

AfL Project Phase 1 | @DobbinJulia #Assessment #Edchat #UKEdchat

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After reviewing the whole school development plan, I identified Assessment for Learning as an area to focus on. You can read about the initial project proposal here 

What follows is the rationale and overview of the project to date. For more information or to get involved email me or talk to anyone on the AfL pioneer group.

I felt that my focus on Teaching and Learning and my experience with Assessment for Learning could bring about a whole school impact on improving outcomes for pupils through developing classroom teaching and changing pupil attitudes towards learning. This related directly to the Whole School Development Plan in Key Strand 2 – improving value added by raising GCSE grades by one grade per pupil

  • using strategies to improve pupil attitudes towards learning

Background – Action Plan

With the Headmaster and SMT, I discussed the project and of forming a collaboration with Christine Harrison from King’s College London, who has successfully improved pupils attitudes towards learning in many independent schools using AFL. The next steps and action plan are below:

Action Plan – Year One 2014-2015

  • Run whole staff inset on the 1st September 2014
  • Recruit 10-12 staff volunteers to form the Pioneer group (Sept 2014)
  • Staff attend training days one a half term with JDD and Christine (Oct 2014- April 2015)
  • Pioneer group are provided with support from JDD to develop AFL practice in between sessions (Oct 2014 – April 2015)
  • Pupils are surveyed in November 2014 and March 2015 to ascertain if changes in attitudes towards learning have been achieved.
  • The pioneer group are surveyed in October 2014 and March 2015 to ascertain if their teaching has developed.
  • Pioneers to become proficient in AFL techniques (Oct 2014 – April 2015)
  • Pioneers recruit, support and train two staff in AFL (buddies) (April 2015)

NPQML completed (June 2015)NPQML

Current Progress

Following the whole school inset with Christine Harrison on the 1st of September 2014, a group of 10 pioneers was established.

  • Patrick Reid, Head of Science
  • Jessica Burger, Head of Geography
  • Flora Richards, Teacher of RS
  • Kumar Viswanathan, Head of RS
  • Simon Chapman, Teacher of RS, School Chaplin
  • Adam Westwood, Head of Physics
  • Andrew Williams, Deputy Head
  • Nicola Malone, Teacher of Maths
  • Sarah Nichol, Head of DT
  • Emma Sabato, Teacher of History

I have supported and monitored the progress of the Pioneer group. I have also asked for evidence of work – holding the Pioneers to account on their agreement to implement AFL in their lessons.

  • Have had three meetings and two observations with Simon Chapman – notes available
  • Have met twice with Emma Sabato and observed a lesson – notes available
  • Have met with Nicola Malone – notes available
  • Have met with Kumar Viswanathan – notes available
  • Meetings and observations with other members of the group will be completed in November – December 2014
  • All pioneers have taken part in the first of two surveys on their teaching practice
  • Pupils took part in a survey in November 2014
  • Proved books, clips and research articles tailored to teachers focus to encourage personal research in their area of focus


Details of support meetings and observations

During meetings I use the TGROW model to coach teachers and focus the session.

T – Topic – what is the issue, challenge or need you have identified with your pupils?

G- Goal – what do you want to see changing, happening once you have addressed the issue?                What will success look like?

R – What is happening in your current context? Any possible obstacles to success?

O – Options – Brainstorming – what are all the possible ways forward? What can you do?

W – Will – getting a timed commitment to implement the next steps


After the session we arrange a lesson observation – then a feedback and next steps session. The Lesson Observation has a clear focus, chosen during the meeting, so feedback can be specific and non- judgemental. In the feedback session discussion on the lesson observation draws out teacher reflection and a focus on research carried out by the teacher to encourage reading ad experimentation. The next steps are decided and another observation scheduled.

Check future blog posts for further details and an overview of the AfL workshops which have been carried out over this academic year.

For more information or to get involved email me or talk to anyone on the AfL pioneer group.


Author: TeachAldenham

Online profile of TeachAldenham, Aldenham School Teaching and Learning Group. teachaldenham.wordpress.com Find us on twitter @teachaldenham

One thought on “AfL Project Phase 1 | @DobbinJulia #Assessment #Edchat #UKEdchat

  1. Hi, would love to discuss your project.. Did you liaise with any of the prep school teachers re their use of Afl in Ks2?

    Liked by 1 person

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