I met again with the team, this time with the slightly added pressure of Ofsted being in for a full inspection. Initially, I was a bit wary of holding the meeting, but after some consideration I realised that if Ofsted were to walk into our meeting it could only be a good thing; after all, it would show the students working in partnership with a teacher, discussing an issue which is highly relevant!
Anyways, this time we watched a Year 8 interview back and considered key themes and ideas that arose. I will briefly outline their thoughts below:
- Year 8s appear to really like the 2 star and wish policy, especially the praise element it contains. However, the student researchers suggested that it could be suggested that Year 8 students run the risk of becoming 'too reliant' on the stars. One of the student researchers suggested that Year 11s are less likely to focus on the stars and more on the wish, because of the critical element it implies. He said that in his opinion, he felt 'disappointed if [they] don't get criticism'. He went further to suggest that, in his opinion, 'Year 11 want the criticism'. However, he did suggest that if they receive 2 stars and a wish and one of the stars is blank, this can be negative, because it makes them think that they haven't done enough to warrant praise.
The student researchers also suggested that the Year 8s are happy with 2 star and a wish because it is 'the only method they know'. This is quite true, because the policy has only been used in my school since our last Ofsted inspection, two years ago.
- They too are less comfortable with self assessment, due to 'bias' (which we discussed could mean both positive and negative bias)
- I brought up the idea of verbal feedback, as I felt it hadn't come up much in the interviews. As such, I asked the team what they thought about verbal feedback; they felt that subjects like music and drama make the most consistent use of verbal feedback. However, the team of students did suggest that verbal feedback is highly valued, and often the most effective form of feedback, though it doesn't get used as much as they'd like, or sometimes it can be forgotten.
- The best way to improve feedback is to ensure that it is consistent across subjects and teachers; if the whole school follows and enforces a consistent policy, then feedback can be used well to help students improve