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Six Tips for Moderation

Our moderation team put our heads together to create our wishlist for a smooth moderation, so we thought we'd share them with you in the form of our six top tips!

Tell us about the child. We don't know them so it's great to hear about how they loved certain aspects of your teaching this year and maybe what they have found a struggle but have now conquered. This helps to immediately build a picture of the child.

Have all the writing available. Some pieces won't be relevant as they won't provide independent evidence but they help a moderator to see how a child has had the teaching to become independent. It also helps a moderator see the child as a writer, rather than what they did one Tuesday morning at 9.30.

Know the TAF (for this year!) Ticksheets are entirely optional but it is expected that a judgment has been made against the statements in the Teacher Assessment Framework. Highlighters and short dates on a photocopied TAF work well as do ticks against statements but you can moderate with just your books if you feel confident to do that. Any system developed needs to help you - not get in your way.

Identify independence. This is is a crucial part of moderation - looking to see how the teaching has been applied. Be honest and point out pieces or paragraphs that were part of modelled or shared writing as moderators are aware these are useful tools to get children to write independently later but don't want to make judgements using them and then see that everyone has the same pieces in their books.

Have back-up. Make sure someone from the leadership team can be there (even if you are in the leadership team). Y6 and Y2 serve as snapshots for how a whole school moderates internally and there might be recommendations that go beyond the year group. It is the school being moderated, rather than the teachers.

Offer a cup of tea (and maybe some biscuits!) The experience is often less daunting for the teachers if it can feel like a chat over a cup of tea. Also it can be a long morning/afternoon for everyone involved so try to make it as pleasant as possible. Ours is a tea with no sugar and a hobnob please.

The hobnob-loving team that wrote this are all KS1 and KS2 moderators and run writing moderation for a London Local authority as well as support moderation for teaching alliances and federations across London. 


Posted in: Curriculum

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