Learning Logs – Showing sustained and rapid progress

One thing that has always troubled me with the OFSTED 2012 guidance is the phrase that pupils need to make rapid and sustained progress in order for the teacher to be outstanding. In no way am I OFSTED trained, this blog is taken from my understanding and discussion with others- so take my comments as ideas- not gospel truth!  There has been a lot of blogs looking at what progress is recently, I know that @learningspy  has recently addressed this, so what I am wanting to do in this short reflection is how to show rapid and sustained progress for a short observation.  It appears to me that progress needs to be explicit for an observer in the 20 minutes of so that they are in.

To help with this I am defining rapid progress as the progress in 20 minute lessons (as evidenced by mini plenaries in the lesson) and sustained learning as being a learning over a period of time.  I know that books often show sustained progress, but I argue that they aren’t concise enough for a 20 minute observation.  Therefore, I started to work on the idea of Learning Logs to show sustained progress in a concise way.

A learning log (for this example was done is PSE) is a short way of showing both long- and short- term progress.  I ask pupils to do a mindmap for the unit, where each lesson they add information about each lesson they have just learnt – with them writing the lesson number next to the information they have added.  This shows immediate short term progress for each lesson, overlaid with each lesson of the course.



This shows excellent rapid, and sustained progress at a glance.

Additionally, each lesson pupils then write a short piece of reflective writing each lesson (possibly a short written reflective task, or a conversation they have had with people which they record).  This shows the deeper- more reflective learning which is often the embedded learning pupils remember as they have evaluated and reflected on the work at this point.

These examples show a different range of approaches for these.



So, hopefully, this method, combined with the use of data will give the observer a very quick overview of how your class is progressing, and show without fail both rapid and sustained learning in the classroom!

If you have any further thoughts about any of this of want to discuss it further, please feel free to tweet me @sheltont101.

While you are here, why not look at my post about raising progress through negiotiated learning outcomes with pupils?  Click here.

3 responses to “Learning Logs – Showing sustained and rapid progress

  1. Pingback: April 2013 #blogsync: Progress EDUTRONIC | #blogsync

  2. Brave try. And worth doing, but not to try to show progress in 20 minute slots to an external observer. I think there is a lot of difference between showing how they are progressing and progress. I’d define progress using the acronym of SLOT, secured learning over time. So one will not see progress over a short time. All that might be done is to use the activity, performance, that a student is showing over 20 minutes and use that as a proxy for what they might learn. If enough of that is seen across the school it might be possible to say that it was likely that progress as shown by the school data, student books etc was down to the teaching.

    • Thankyou for your comments, really interesting what is looked for by different observers, but your comment is definitely true re OFSTED, however it’s an essential rule of thumb that all activities most show clear progress

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