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Measuring progress and impact

Every lesson plan contains learning objectives and outcomes against which pupils’ progress in learning and skills development can be measured. The activities within the lesson plan are designed to meet the learning objectives, and give teachers an opportunity to evidence progress and achievement of the learning outcomes. Each lesson plan also contains an assessment section highlighting which activities in particular teachers (and pupils) can use to demonstrate and evidence that learning outcomes have been met.

Measuring and evidencing progress is important for the following reasons:
  • For pupils: it provides a chance to reflect on learning, increases motivation and raises awareness of their own personal development, knowledge and skills.
  • For teachers: it gives an understanding of what pupils know (or don’t know) already, and where they need to be, enabling them to feel confident that learning and understanding has taken place, that progress has been made, and in identifying and planning for future learning needs.
  • For schools: it provides evidence of ways in which they are meeting the statutory guidelines for Relationships and health education, and for requirements for whole-school outcomes such as safeguarding, British values, SMSC and preparation for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. It can also be used to provide evidence for Ofsted judgements on personal wellbeing and for ‘deep dives’ into Relationships and health education and/or PSHE. Without evidence, a school can only describe provision, not demonstrate impact.
Ways to measure progress:
  • Baseline assessment: a baseline assessment should be carried out before teaching anything new, to establish what pupils already know, think or can do. Baselines can also be used to recap on previous learning to establish if pupils have retained it (for example, between lessons, topics or year groups). Examples of useful baseline activities include questioning, discussion, ‘draw and write’, mind mapping, spider diagrams, graffiti walls and quizzes.
  • During learning: assessment for learning can take place formally or informally while pupils are doing activities as a way to gauge understanding and further develop thinking. Examples could include structured questioning, discussion, justification of choices during activities, observations, etc.
  • Measuring progress: the simplest way to measure progress at the end point of a teaching block is to revisit the original baseline activity. Some of these (e.g. mind maps, spider diagrams, draw and write) can be very effective if pupils revisit them by writing additional ideas and learning in a different coloured pen so that development of thinking is clearly shown. Alternatively, pupils might repeat the activity, or do something completely different that assesses the same knowledge and understanding. Other ways to demonstrate progression include using learning/knowledge journals; creating posters or presentations; giving information to a peer group or younger pupils; a report, blog, or similar; or an exhibition of work for display.

Opportunities for these forms of assessment and gathering evidence are given throughout the resource lesson plans.

Measuring impact

As a values-based scheme of work, Discovery Education Health and Relationships provides a structure for a school to deliver learning around its own ethos and values. In addition, implementing a whole-school progressive approach can also provide the following benefits:

  • raising the subject’s status among pupils, staff, governors and parents
  • unifying teaching, as each year group is teaching common vocabulary, messages, language, expectations, skills, routines, etc.
  • seeing a positive impact on Ofsted outcomes
  • seeing a positive impact on relationships, both between teachers and pupils, as well as between pupils themselves
  • enabling teachers to deliver what can be a challenging subject with increased confidence.

Is your school ready for the statutory curriculum change?

In a recent survey conducted by @TeacherTapp, 60% of the 5,000 teachers surveyed said they felt unprepared for teaching the new RSE Curriculum. Hear from Andrew Hammond, Senior Director of Learning at Discovery Education (and previous Head Teacher) as he shares his thoughts on the curriculum changes for primary schools.