Thank you to Shareen Mayers for the following helpful summary of recent updates and changes in writing moderation. 

The following article includes useful information about:

  • Writing moderation changes
  • Using the Interim Assessment Frameworks to assess pupils’ writing 
  • KS1 and KS2 Writing Materials
  • Clarification of handwriting and joined up/cursive handwriting for KS1 and KS2
  • Gathering evidence – what does ‘independent writing’ mean?
  • Essential requirements for schools
  • Official STA Clarification of the frequency of evidence in each piece
  • STA Clarification on exclamations for KS1 and KS2

Every LA has the flexibility to carry out the moderation process according to local needs. However, it is statutory to use the Interim Assessment Framework as a checklist to check that pupils have met the ‘working towards’, ‘expected’ or ‘greater depth’ within the expected standard.

Moderation changes – STA update April 2016

KS1 moderation guidance – March 2016

School guidance

LA guidance

KS2 moderation guidance – March 2016

School guidance

LA guidance

LA external moderation is a supportive process with the LA moderator reviewing a sample of pupils’ work as representative of the cohort and then holding a professional dialogue with teachers to confirm that teacher assessment standards are being applied appropriately by the school.

LAs will only moderate the ‘working towards’, ‘expected’ and ‘greater depth’ standard. For pupils working below this, schools must use the pre-KS interim descriptors.

Pre-KS 1 descriptors

Pre-KS2 descriptors

  • Moderators must be assured that, through the review of evidence andprofessional dialogue, any preceding standards have also been met. There is no requirement for teachers to provide additional information on statements from any preceding standards.
  • It may be the case that there are some pupils the school believes will demonstrate additional evidence before the TA submission date (30 June 2016). This will be discussed as part of the moderation process. The school and LA can agree to re-moderate these pupils.
  • LAs must notify schools of the chosen pupils in the sample either on the day of the visit or, at the earliest, the day before. Please note there is no requirement from STA for schools to submit TA judgements to their LA in advance of any external moderation visit.
  • Schools will be informed if they are going to get a moderation visit on or after20 May 2016. LAs will carry out the visits from 23 May to 30 June 2016. 

Using the Interim Assessment Frameworks to assess pupils’ writing – STA Key Principles

  • At both KS1 and KS2, evidenceMUST include a range of writing (exemplification materials show 6 pieces but pupils will probably have more).
  • A range of writing could include:

KS1

  • Letter
  • Narrative
  • Book review
  • Information text
  • Description

KS2

  • Short story
  • Recount
  • Letter
  • Narrative
  • Balanced argument
  • Science investigation
  • Pupils MUST meet the spelling statements to be secure at a particular standard. If spelling is the only gap (e.g. the pupil has dyslexia) then the standard cannot be awarded. The only exception is handwriting at the ‘expected standard’ and below but not at the ‘greater depth’ standard.

 Spellings

  • Most– statement has been generally met with occasional errors (e.g. Morgan KS2 expected standard has about two/three errors per piece of work)
  • Some– skill is starting to be acquired, and is demonstrated correctly on occasion but is not frequent.
  • There are italicised examples, such as the two statements about suffixes (KS1 ‘expected standard’ and ‘greater depth’), where acceptable evidence might include any of the suffixes referenced in the NC KS1 programme of study. For example, where–ment, -ness, -ful, -less, -ly are in italics, these are examples of suffixes pupils may 
  • Pupils must be able to tick every ‘pupil can’ statement, with the exception of handwriting at the ‘expected standard’ but not at the ‘greater depth’ standard.

(The asterisks refer teachers to the NC programme of study and related appendices.) See the handy spelling rules overview sheet here.

KS1 Writing Materials – STA update March 2016

  • In the KS1 framework, if there is bracketed detail, such as the conjunctions specified in the statement about co-ordination and subordination (KS1 ‘expected standard’), where the use of a forward slash to separate the conjunctions indicates that evidence must include some – but not necessarily all – of those given, across a range of writing. For example, ‘using co-ordination (or / and / but) and some subordination (when / if / that / because).’
  • There is bracketed detail, such as in the statement about the use of sentences with different forms (KS1 ‘expected standard’), where the use of commas to separate the list of sentence forms indicates that evidencemust include all of those given, as appropriate, across a range of writing. For example, ‘using sentences with different forms in their writing (statements, questions, exclamations and commands).’
  • There are italicised examples, such as the two statements about suffixes (KS1 ‘expected standard’ and ‘greater depth’), where acceptable evidence might include any of the suffixes referenced in the NC KS1 programme of study. For example, where–ment, -ness, -ful, -less, -ly are in italics, these are examples of suffixes pupils may  (The asterisks refer teachers to the NC programme of study and related appendices.)

KS1 and 2 Exemplification Materials updated March 2016

STA Update March 2016

  • Schoolsmust use the interim TA frameworks to reach their TA judgements.
  • If teachers are confident in their judgements, they do not need to refer to the exemplification materials. The exemplification materials are there to help teachers make their judgements where they want additional guidance.
  • Local authorities (LAs) may find it useful to refer to exemplification materials to support external moderation visits.
  • If there is insufficient evidence to support teachers’ judgements, the LA external moderator will request to see other examples and potentially expand the sample.
  • There is no requirement to provide tick sheets for an LA external moderation visit.

Information below taken from the STA clarification document – March 2016

Clarification of handwriting and joined up/cursive handwriting for KS1 and KS2 – STA update March 2016

  • To be awarded ‘working towards’ or ‘working at expected’ standards, pupils do not need to demonstrate joined up handwriting.
  • To be awarded ‘working at greater depth’ at the end of key stage 1, pupils must demonstrate joined up handwriting, using the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters in most of their writing, as well as all of the statements relating to handwriting in the preceding standards.
  • To be awarded ‘working at greater depth’ at the end of key stage 2, pupils must meet all of the statements relating to handwriting in the preceding standards.

Gathering evidence – what does ‘independent writing’ mean? STA update March 2016

  • If writing evidence has been redrafted by the pupil, this is acceptable as independent work. The redrafted work may be in response to self, peer, or group evaluation, or after discussion with the teacher. Pupils can also independently use classroom resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses, word banks, classroom displays, books or websites. It would not be independent if the work was modelled or heavily scaffolded, copied or paraphrased orwhere the teacher has directed the pupil to change specific words or punctuation.

Essential requirements for schools – STA update March 2016

  • The LA external moderator will expect to see evidence produced during day-to-day teaching in year 2/year 6 to obtain a strong sense of pupils’ attainment and to validate the accuracy of TA judgements. This will avoid creating any additional workload for the year 2/6 teacher.
  • The evidence must show that the pupil demonstrates attainment of all the ‘pupil can’ statements within the standard they have been awarded.
  • The teacher must be confident the pupil meets the ‘pupil can’ statements in the preceding standards but there is no requirement to produce specific evidence for them. It is likely that the pupil’s work for the standard they have been awarded will also evidence the ‘pupil can’ statements of the preceding standard(s).
  • LA external moderators must be satisfied that the work was completed If the work was not independent, the school must ensure that the evidence clearly identifies the amount of support a pupil has received.

Official STA Clarification of the frequency of evidence in each piece – March 2016

IMPORTANT – pupils do not have to use all the statements within each bullet point in every single piece of writing as it is not always appropriate.

Morgan – KS2 Expected Standard for Writing

  • Each collection consists of a sample of evidence (typically 6 pieces) drawn from a wider range of one pupil’s writing. Teachers will draw from a broader range of evidence when making their judgments.
  • In the example, Morgan has only used the hyphen once but is still at the expected standard. However, if Morgan had no hyphens at all, then we would not be able to award him the expected standard.
  • The frequency of evidence for the statements may vary across individual pieces within a collection, e.g. evidence of a range of cohesive devices would be expected in every piece, whereas evidence of integration of dialogue to convey character and advance the action is unlikely to be appropriate in every piece (KS2 expected standard).The exemplification materials illustrate how the statements containing qualifiers (‘some’, ‘most’) may be applied to a particular collection of work.

Sam – KS1 Expected Standard for Writing

  • Each collection consists of a sample of evidence (typically 6 pieces) drawn from a wider range of one pupil’s writing. Teachers will draw from a broader range of evidence when making their judgments.
  • Again, key aspects are used in every piece but this demonstrates that some aspects are not inevery single 
  • The frequency of evidence for the statements may vary across individual pieces within a collection. The exemplification materials illustrate how the statements containing qualifiers (‘some’, ‘most’, and ‘many’) may be applied to a particular collection of work.

STA Clarification on exclamations for KS1 and KS2

  • The national curriculum states that an exclamation is one of the four forms of sentences. An exclamation must be introduced by a phrase with ‘what’ or ‘how’ and should be followed by a subject + verb + any other elements. It is typically demarcated by an exclamation mark, for example:

What big teeth you have, Grandma!

How beautiful Cinderella looks in that dress!

  • The definition of an exclamation should not be confused with the uses of the exclamation mark for punctuation. The exclamation mark can be used in a variety of sentence forms and not just in exclamations. Pupils at KS1 who are ‘working at the expected’ and/or ‘working at greater depth’ standards must use sentences with different forms in their writing. At KS1, pupilsmust have exclamations within their collection of writing to be awarded the ‘expected standard’.

STA Clarification on the use of an exclamation mark for KS1 and KS2

  • An exclamation mark is a punctuation mark that can end statements, commands and exclamations, or be placed after a phrase or single word (e.g. an interjection). An exclamation mark shows that the writer wants to indicate a certain effect, such as heightened emotion e.g. ‘Be my friend!’ [command]. The use of an exclamation mark does not change a sentence into an exclamation.

Did you find this information useful? Tweet us @risingstarsedu – we’d love to hear from you.

For further information on any of the above, visit the Department for Education website. 

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