Tag Archives: progress

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A common language to discuss how to make progress and add detail …

I have been looking at this for a while, especially as the UK moves towards a period without a standard national scheme to identify progress. In my geography lessons, in between levelled assessment pieces I use solo stages to explain how to add more depth in extended writing pieces especially.

Pupils quote mantras from English lessons which I have no issue with until I find myself talking with classes where 4 different English teachers use 4 separate naming strategies and my role in a cross curricular literacy policy becomes much harder.

Why not a common language across all subjects where extended writing is used? My proposal would be to use solo stages, not surprisingly but I thought I’d ask the globalsolo network their views.

In 24 hours the following have favourited,  RT’d or answered – a great example of teacher collaboration across subject and international boundaries. The discussion continues:

@globalsolo          Essex, UK.                       Geography

@MartynReah.    Petersfield, UK.           Geography

@carljphillips.      Notts., UK.                      Geography

@rosmaceachern. Auckland, NZ.           ?

@Claire_Gillgogs.  Liverpool, UK.           English and Drama

@BgsDt.                     Bucks., UK.                   Design Technology

@mrjcassidy.           UK.                                     English

@AKeenReader.     Wellington, NZ.        .English

@historychappy.    South Asia.                    History

@DTcyoung.             Hants., UK.                   Design Technology

@DnTTaL.                  Yorks., UK.                   Design Technology


… Want to join in???













My marking at Key Stage 3 (11-14 years) and links to Solo Taxonomy

Since I started at my current school (in 8th year) I have often been criticised or told I mark in too much detail. To be fair at times I have been guilty of that. I am always seeking a balance between a method that allows me to keep up to date and gives detail to pupils on how to progress in my lessons. Recent policy updates means that on my 2 x 50 min. lessons a week and one homework every week I am expected to mark books at least once every four lessons or two weeks. 

My marking ideas were recently mentioned in a post I wrote on my personal blog (http://mishmashlearning.wordpress.com). My lessons are differentiated  around the 5 solo taxonomy stages. I cross reference the stages to levels in geography approximately as;

Level 3:   Unistructural to a list at Multistructural

Level 4:   Answering tasks using complete sentences at Multistructural

Level 5:   Explaining answers, providing supporting materials at Relational

Level 6:   Comparing / contrasting answers and linking the geography of their  answers to named case studies 

Level 7:    Evaluating answers, developing solutions to issues and showing independent learning skills through

                Use of their own case studies or localities

Our pupils’ individual targets are based on their Key Stage 2 APS (Average Points Score) plus two levels progress as a minimum. By the end of the key stage in year 9. Each term they are reminded of their upto date target for that half of the year and the corresponding solo stage their classwork should be at consistently. Work above target is scored as 1, work on target is scored as 2 and work below target is scored as 3. Two consecutive 3s triggers an after school recap where work from those lessons is reviewed and developed to at least the target standard. I am the only one in the department applying this against Solo but so far so good.

My comments are threefold:

FB     Feedback               This comments on that lesson’s work and aspects done well.

FF     Feed Forward.        This is about an aspect of their work or a repeated error or specific correction required.

         Task.                       This is a read and reflect, spelling corrections, redraft an answer – the aim is to prompt student

                                         Reflection and action.


The pupil response  time is allocated as Direct Independent Reflection Time (DIRT) either after the ‘mindfulness’ starter or in the teacher’s

stage of the lesson. To check comprehension of standards expected pupils are involved in:

SA.    Self assessment solo stage identification

PA.     Peer assessment solo stage identification

FF.      Feed forward in different combinations in individual lessons.


Thoughts / feedback is appreciated and thanks for reading.