Peer and self-assessment is integral to learning and maximising progress. Particularly with the increased demands of the national curriculum, peer and self-assessment can be vehicles for helping pupils to reach more demanding standards. It starts with pupils having a really good idea as to what they are aiming for. Exploring examples of good work, playing ‘detective’ to identify good features and creating/using success criteria are all essential elements that need to be in place before pupils can use peer and self-assessment effectively. Teachers need to develop a culture that focuses on ‘crafting’ high quality work, which often includes creating more than one draft or extensive review and editing processes. In these classrooms you often find the journey of creating work displayed on walls, rather than just finished pieces. These teachers celebrate the improvements and the approaches pupils have used to develop work.
For peer and self-assessment to have real impact, pupils need to be taught explicitly how to critique their own and others’ work. They need to see the process modelled and be provided with sentence starters and structures that will allow them to give meaningful advice to others. They need time to be analytical and time to make the improvements. Pupils should be encouraged to consider what makes a good ‘critical friend’ and what type of advice helps someone to make changes to a piece of work.
Schools can increase their success with peer and self-assessment by considering how it develops from Early Years right through to Year 6. It also helps to consider why structures and tools are being used in different year groups to help pupils get to the level of depth and detail which leads pupils to make progress through peer and self-assessment.
Please find below a selection of tools that may be of use. The picture links should open PDF files.
6 traits editing station cards