The Scottish government paper ‘Assessment is for learning’ suggests that learners learn best, and attainment improves, when they ‘understand clearly what they are trying to learn, and what is expected of them; are given feedback about the quality of their work, and what they can do to make it better; are given advice about how to go about making improvements; are fully involved in deciding what needs to be done next, and who can give them help if they need it.’ (Scottish Government,2005). Taking this into consideration and the fact that competence and confidence in literacy, including in grammar, spelling and the spoken word, are essential for progress in all areas of the curriculum. For this reason all teachers have responsibility for promoting language and literacy development. (Scottish Government). For these reasons the subject area of literacy was identified the curricular area of focus for this practitioner enquiry, acknowledging that skills in literacy and numeracy are key to accessing all other learning, achievement and employment and with developing the young workforce a priority within North Lanarkshire. As well as the advice that schools should have a focus on high quality pedagogy to improve attainment in these areas (“Interventions for Equity | Self-evaluation | National Improvement Hub”, 2020) the area of literacy was further narrowed down into the element of writing and the correct implementation of basic ‘core targets’ which are required at all levels to achieve both academically and for successful communication in the workplace. Resulting in the question ‘What happens when core targets are regularly referred to, prior to literacy lessons in class?’ being investigated. This enquiry, also ties in with the school improvement plan of the practitioner, which identifies writing as a focus and aims to ‘enable children to progress further in their learning by being involved in the assessment and moderation process.’
The aim of the enquiry was to measure;
- the impact if any on children’s application of specified core targets within written work.
- What affect emphasising the need to check for these core target has on self-assessment.
- if one method of prompting self-assessing of the core targets is more effective.