Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsJANE WINTER: Hello and welcome to the first Yeasmin and Jane's Video Diaries for the Planning for Learning course. We've really been enjoying reading your comments. We've selected some of them to talk about this morning. And we just had a good old chat about them. And I think as ever Yeasmin and I have learned a lot just having our little discussion. Haven't we, Yeasmin? And she's going to kick off with a comment from John.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZZA: Indeed. Thanks very much, John. So John raised the question about practicals and what their purpose. And John says, I want practicals to be learning events rather than activities. I mean, that sentence there says it all. Doesn't it, really? Yeah. One of the traps that it's very easy for science teachers and maybe DT teachers possibly to fall into is that with some caught up with the activity of the doing, the learning may accidentally sort of slip off the bottom unintentionally. But it happens because we just are so caught up in the doing. And I actually observed a lesson where a teacher did what would be otherwise a fantastically active lesson.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsBut actually, the students just didn't recall what they were learning about, which happened to be photosynthesis. Not a single one was able to use the word photosynthesis. So there's a real danger there that the practical can end up as a doing task and not as a learning task. So as Jane reminded me, mind's on, hands on. The two work together. And so, when it comes to planning for practicals, we just need to be really careful that we have identified success criteria that are learning related, and the practicals are a means to an end. And that's something that's supported by Ofsted and research as well. The research shows that it's a very common error that science teachers make.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 secondsAnd Ofsted show that they will pick up on if there's a lack of actual learning going on. So that's something that, thank you very much for raising that, John. And it's something that's useful for all of our science teachers and anybody doing practical subjects as well to remember. Moving on to William's comment. So William, thank you very much for your comment which I think reminds us all about the practicality of working as a team and the dangers of maybe not working as a team. So William raised the thing about time and feasibility to committing to planning. Because as ever, we're always up against it. There's never enough time. There's always too much to do.

Skip to 2 minutes and 39 secondsAnd so, this is where being part of a team can be really useful. We can delegate. And we can share the work load. Because schemes of learning are usually joint properties. So it's something that it's 1,000 times better if workload is split. Obviously, it needs some sort management to manage that. But it does mean there are so many benefits. And the most immediate one is work load. And the second one is joint ideals, joint ideas, joint thinking, collective ideas, developing a vision around what constitutes good planning as well. And obviously, if those of you who are not part of a team for any reason, well, you just have to go slower. Because what can you do? You're only one person.

Skip to 3 minutes and 25 secondsAnd there's no expectation that one person should do 10 people's work. So, you know, cut your cloth according to what is genuinely possible. Because we're only human. There's only so many hours in the day. So I just wanted to give that sort of health and well being message out there as well. I think I'm going to hand over to Jane the next comment.

Skip to 3 minutes and 50 secondsJANE WINTER: Yes. Just going on to what you were saying about people working on their own. That is really common in primary schools. You might be the only person in your whole key stage. So look after yourself as well as your students. So I've got a comment from Mike now. And he echoed what a lot of people are saying, that this idea of decision driven data collection was messing their minds a little bit. But I think Mike managed to take it down, make it a little bit more simple when he said, it's about choosing the point in the assessment cycle when you collect data.

Skip to 4 minutes and 27 secondsThere's a tendency for us to collect data and think to ourselves, now, what am I going to do with this data. Actually, you need to think, what do I need to do, what do I want to happen to my students, what do I need to know in order for that to happen. So I love the idea of just changing the point in that assessment and planning cycle when we collect data. It's after we know what decisions we're going to make. And I've actually fallen into this trap. I can remember one of the assessments for early years used to be that the child's able to use positional language.

Skip to 5 minutes and 6 secondsAnd you can spend an awful lot of time deciding, well, who in the class can use positional language. And then, what are we going to do with that data. Because actually, for all the children, I'm going to provide them with a rich environment with lots of opportunities to hear and use positional language. And whether they can do it or not, at this point in the year, I don't need that data. And you feel so good when you've collected that data. And sometimes it can be a bit of a red herring. And Patrick expands on this a bit more. He says, if we collect data and it's of no use to us, we're wasting our own and our students' time.

Skip to 5 minutes and 43 secondsAnd my time is so short. We just haven't got that time to waste. Have we? So I think it is really, really important to think, what do I need to know and collect that data only. And also, when thinking about data, I've got that little image on the screen of a computer with graphs and tables. And sometimes it can become very summumative, can't it, and you know But the best tables and charts and the most nicely presented information is a complete waste of everybody's time. The data might just be something that the child says and you react to. That's data. So I think we really must be careful of not disappearing down a rabbit hole.

Skip to 6 minutes and 29 secondsOnly collect what you need for what you need, and think about that first. So thank you very much for another great point from you, Patrick. We've heard a lot from you. And then I think we're going on to Pooja, who makes the great point, when we collect data we're not only assessing our students. We're assessing ourselves. And if we suddenly realise that no one in the class understands a particular concept, we need to look to ourselves and our teaching, don't we? So thank you for making that really useful point which is easy to forget that. Isn't it? We tend to fall into what we call a gap.

Skip to 7 minutes and 9 secondsWe look for gaps in student's learning and think of it as what we call a deficit model of education. And actually, we need to be looking at what students know. And if they don't know it, look to ourselves, don't we? Thank you very much for that great point. And I think you've got a point from Adam now. Have you, Yeasmin?

Skip to 7 minutes and 26 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZZA: Yes I have. Before I go into that, I just wanted to pick up on one of your points, Jane, a really interesting point. And Jane and I were talking about data and who's it for. And sometimes we do fall into the trap that data is for accountability and things-- you know, points on a graph, et cetera. But actually the most important kind of data are the ones we don't record. And they're data nevertheless. It's information that we act on straight away. Jane, you picked up on that. I like to think of it as transient data. So it's data that emerges, information that emerges. We act upon it. And then it's done. We've already acted upon it.

Skip to 8 minutes and 3 secondsAnd if we create that rich environment where students are responding to each other's data, then that data is being put to use as well. Again, no recording needs to be done. Rather it's the AFL that happens live because that data is doing its job where it's meant to do it. And that is in the classroom as it emerges, allowing immediate intervention and interactive learning to take place. So yeah, I think when Dylan talks about decision driven data collection, he's also talking about that day to day information that's surfacing. So moving on to Adam's point here. Adam, raises a really, really interesting discussion, actually, about success criteria.

Skip to 8 minutes and 53 secondsAnd his comment along with many other people who had similar comments came out of one of the questionnaires that was set up in, I think, week three. And there was a mention that success criteria should be come co-constructed with students. And a lot of people, including Adam, were worried about, does that mean we don't give them success criteria. And I think here, it's important to clarify that actually there's a hierarchy. There's a hierarchy of practise. So right at the bottom would be no success criteria. That is bad practise. Next up would be shared clear success criteria. The students know what they're supposed to be doing. They know what success looks like. That is essential for any kind of good teaching.

Skip to 9 minutes and 49 secondsEven better is co-construction of criteria. And the reason that's better is because it takes it higher up in the Bloom's Taxonomy. The students are generating the success criteria as a learning exercise. So it's another way of meeting the success criteria by getting them to generate it but through reason and rationale. Because what they are doing is it's another way of approaching the learning. And what it does is it allows them to end up with success criteria which are more powerfully understood. So that's the thinking the co-construction or shared criteria. It's also a matter of differentiation.

Skip to 10 minutes and 33 secondsIf for some reason the students are not able to get to that point, it is important that they are given some success criteria that they can work to as well. So that it is a matter of judgement for the teacher. So I thank you very much for that comment, Adam. And I think the next comment is by Caroline. Over to you, Jane, for that one.

Skip to 10 minutes and 57 secondsJANE WINTER: Yes. Just a little bit more on what you're saying about success criteria. I would just urge you to go back and read that thread. Because there are some people who've got experience generating success criteria with their students. Sadly, none of them have come back and given us permission to use their comments on here. So I suggest you go look for them for yourselves. Yes and Caroline, now she was a little bit worried that we were going to be letting our students loose into the world of university where they're not going to be looked after in quite the way that we were recommending that you look after your students.

Skip to 11 minutes and 31 secondsAnd she worries that by looking after them too much, we're not preparing them for the harsh reality of the world out there. And Yeasmin made the great point that if we do that, we risk not finding out what our students don't know until it's too late. So they don't learn what they need to. And in fact, Caroline came back to Yeasmin and said, yes, she'd found that with her class. And I would also say, by the time the students get to university, they are young adults. And they should be beginning to apply those skills that we have taught them.

Skip to 12 minutes and 6 secondsAnd if we're not even teaching them this those skills when they're at primary school or secondary school, how can we expect them to apply them at university? We're about teaching them to become independent learners, for example, by generating their own success criteria. And even if we take the worst possible view of university, that it doesn't support learners and perhaps in some cases it doesn't, I would say if you're sending somebody out to starve, you don't starve them to prepare them for it. You give them a good feast first.

Skip to 12 minutes and 40 secondsSo even if we take the worst possible view that university doesn't meet learners' needs well, we need to make sure we make an extra good job of meeting them while we've got the chance to, don't we? I'm not saying that. But just to pull out the argument straight. So thank you so much for that really useful point, Caroline, which again got Yeasmin and I really thinking and talking just now. So I think that wraps it up for this week, doesn't it, Yeasmin?

Skip to 13 minutes and 5 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZZA: It does indeed. So we've got two more video diaries coming up scattered throughout the course. So please keep your comments coming in. There is an opportunity for you to post your questions for our experts to address. So that needs to be done by you posting your question on Step 5.2. And you've got until the 14th of June to do that. So as I said, keep the comments coming in and look forward to seeing you all online.

Mentors' video diary and your choice of comments

Jane and Yeasmin will be recording three video diaries during the course. Please keep an eye out for their requests to include your comments in the video.

This is the first of their video diaries, uploaded on 24 May. A transcript will be available as soon as it’s processed.

Learning from others

To celebrate the contributions you have all made, we’d like you to look at the last two weeks’ learning. In the comments below, either:

a. Share a link to a comment made by another learner or mentor that has informed your thinking or practice.
b. Summarise a comment or discussion that has helped you reflect on how you teach.

Tip: To share a link to a comment, right click on the time/date of the comment and select Copy link address or Copy shortcut. You can then paste this into the comments below.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment in Science and Maths

National STEM Learning Centre