Post By:   John Kett, Year 3 Class Teacher and Achievement and Progress Leader (Assessment) at Junior School Vlaskamp

How can we involve students with the Learning Journey?

One really effective way I have found to engage students with the Learning Journey in Writing is to share the Learning Journey statements on editable islands which are glued into their books. This is what’s involved:

•   Identify one or two specific links with a unit of work
•   Teach these focus areas over the course of the unit and make the learning explicit to the students.
•   When it comes to an extended piece of writing at the end of the unit, print the Learning Journey statements on editable islands and glue into the exercise books.
•   Student’s have a chance to reflect on whether they think they are emerging, developing, secure or working a greater depth in this area/ these areas.
•   Prior to the extended piece, currently we have lots of class discussion about what these terms (E,D,S,GD) mean and how you would expect to see evidence of them in more than one piece of work.
•   When it comes to marking the work, I enter my teacher judgement in the box next to the student, along with a comment explaining why I gave that judgement.

Opportunities for developing this:

•   Students write their own comments to justify and evidence why they have given a particular judgement.
•   Students refer back to the islands and statements in later pieces of work and enter into dialogue about how they have improved in a particular area.

Example of ‘editable islands’

In our class, from the beginning of this year, we introduced a half hour ‘DIRT’ session.
The idea came from this book – Making Every Lesson Count, by Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby

…and stands for:
Improvement and

As well as a time to respond to teacher comments and next steps, it also gives students time to transfer teacher judgments into their learning journeys. Students can initial next to the judgement box or your comment to show they have seen it and entered it into their Learning Journey.

These posts are inspired by the Secret Teacher blog in the Guardian newspaper. The idea is that BSN staff write an article about their views on an educational topic. Our version has teachers posting under their own byline and writing about assessment successes, struggles and reflections. 

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