Engadine Public School

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The purpose of feedback is to progress student learning. To effectively progress learning, you need to communicate an intended goal (or 'learning intention') to the student, and provide criteria for them to apply in order to succeed and most importantly, timely formative feedback for them to act upon.

Feedback is information given to the learner and/or the teacher about the learner's performance relative to learning goals. It should aim towards (and be capable of producing) improvement in students' learning.

Feedback redirects or refocuses either the teacher's or the learner's actions to achieve a goal, by aligning effort and activity with an outcome. It can be about the learning activity itself, about the process of activity, about the student's management of their learning or self-regulation or about them as individuals.

This feedback can be verbal, written, or can be given through tests or via digital technology. It can come from a teacher or someone taking a teaching role, or from peers. It can also be something that is undertaken personally.

Providing effective feedback is challenging. Research suggests that it should be:-

  • specific, accurate and clear (e.g. "This is a great example of persuasive writing because you..." rather than just "Correct, or Good Work.");
  • compare what a learner is doing right now with what they have done wrong before (e.g. "I can see you were focused on improving in this area (C) as it is much better than last time's effort in the same area (B) or you have really progressed from (A) to be able to do (D) so well;
  • encouraging and support further effort
  • be given sparingly so that it is meaningful;
  • provide specific guidance on how to improve and not just tell students when they are wrong

Feedback strategies

  • At Engadine Public School we use a range of feedback strategies. Feedback may be given by teachers, learning support staff, classroom helpers,  the students themselves and peers, in the following ways:
  • Verbal feedback (VF),  Peer feedback (PF),    Self feedback  (SF)  and Group feedback (GF)

Sample strategies

Two Stars and a Wish  or Two Stars and a Rocket

We use two stars and a wish (or rocket)  to give effective feedback. The person or group giving the feedback must identify two things the student (team) has done well (stars) and one specific suggestion for improvement (wish /rocket).  This form of feedback has been particularly useful for writing, and oral presentations.

Before implementing this strategy, students must be trained and understand the process of providing appropriate and effective feedback to their peers. Teachers can use this as formative assessment by walking around the classroom and listening to the conversations that are occurring between students.

Exit slips and reflective practice

Exit slips and reflections are being used at Engadine Public School so that teachers can quickly assess the students' current levels of understanding. At the end of a lesson the teacher poses a question to the students and they write it on the 'exit slip' and stick it to the door as they exit the room. Teachers review the exit slips and alter their instruction to better meet the needs of the students. Questions may include:

  • Write one thing you learnt today.
  • I felt ______________ when ________________ because
  • The character /item I am most like is ___________  because
  •  How might today's lesson be used in the real world?
  •  I don't quite understand ........
  •  Write one question you have about today's lesson.
  •  I would like to learn more about ........
  •  I still need to learn about . . . . .
  • If I could change one thing to make this better it would be . . . .
  •  The thing that surprised me most today ........
  •  The most important thing I learnt today is ........

At Engadine Public School teachers have been a cohesive group for many years and have been able to collaborate on many aspects of learning. Staff have continually developed their knowledge, understanding and applications of current best practice.  Since 2016, our emphasis has been on Visible Learning and Formative Feedback, based on the current research of John Hattie and Dylan Wiliams.

As a result staff have further enhanced the collaborative professional learning culture, already in place at the school. Through whole school, stage, team and staff meetings, together with professional learning, staff have been to jointly expand their knowledge of:

  • Assessment for, of and as learning
  • Differentiated programming, learning strategies and targetting individual point of need activities
  • Practical implementation of visible learning and formative assessment such as learning goals, success criteria and formative feedback

Collectively we know an effective teacher:

  • Establishes where the students are in their learning
  • Identifies the learning destination
  • Carefully plans a route
  • Begins the learning journey
  • Makes regular checks on progress on the way

Makes adjustments to the program/ unit of work /study / lesson as conditions dictate.

Staff have developed sound knowledge of these evidence informed strategies, trialling and implementing them, particularly in our target area of writing, an identified student need and a targeted goal upon which to focus.

Through individual designs, staff have created data walls, with key learning markers to inform student progress. Students remain anonymous and record their progress. Our students are becoming more articulate in their ability to explain what and how they are learning, and have made steps towards becoming increasingly self – regulated learners.

Our future directions will be to continuously focus on being the best versions of ourselves, as a school, as a staff, and with our students, and in our community.  In turn, we aim to achieve increasingly higher standards of both:- professionalism of staff and outcomes for students, in an environment that welcomes community engagement.

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