Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Feeling stretched thin just now. Lots to do and I think part of the problem is that I am too tired to know where to start.

At a department meeting on Monday we were told about (yet) another Government directive, this time on Assessing Pupil Progress in English. Well, to be honest it looks to me like a step back to the first days of the National Curriculum, when we were constantly assessing pupil performance and recording it. It's not quite the same - we are only to focus on some pupils, at least initially - but we have to copy and annotate and level etc etc on a very frequent basis.

As a colleague said to me, "You don't fatten a pig by weighing it."

I believe I have a good idea of my pupils' abilities and skills in the subjects I teach )and beyond). I can tell you who forgets to use capital letters, who needs to use a wider range of connectives, who can retrieve information from a text and who can use deductive skills to read beyond the literal. I think that is more important that deciding what overall level they are working at every half term, recording that, copying and annotating evidence. I'd rather spend time planning lessons which will engage them, talking with them about their work, giving them feedback and praise.

OK. Rant over. No doubt I will end up doing this, ticking the boxes and producing the evidence. But I don't think it will make me a more effective teacher to do so.


madsadgirl said...

I can understand why you feel the way that you do. This government seems to find it impossible not to set targets and to require assessment of anything and everything all the time. Your colleague had it exactly right about fattening the pig. There is no need for this continuous checking, especially as whatever the result of these assessments, they will make them say whatever they want when they all get put together.

La-reve said...

You are doing so well coping at work and with these new plans and discharging yourself and everything, I don't think I would cope as well, so give yourself a pat on the back and an early night?
Lareve x

Disillusioned said...

Thanks, madsadgirl. I agree - most of these numerical assessments mean nothing. It was bad enough when it was just level 3 /4 / whatever. Now we have to give "sublevels" - 4a, 4b, 4c etc - and it is just meaningless most of the time.

La-Reve - thanks. Good suggestion - I had a lousy night last night (well, I tried to go without sleeping tablets didn't I - not a good call!) - an early night is definitely called for.