Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Assessment for learning (AfL) activities

We have included AfL activities to support independence and skills development.

As you work through the website, there are links back to this page, so that you can choose the most appropriate form of AFL for the way you have chosen to use the activity and for your own pupils.

AFL icon

Effective feedback is the most useful and cost effective way to improve pupil learning. AfL is a teaching strategy to maximise pupil engagement with their own learning processes.

For effective AfL practices in Key Stage 3 classrooms in Northern Ireland, you might use:

  • Green Pen for Growth (areas to work on) and Pink Pen for High Quality Features (tickled pink);
  • What Went Well (WWW) / Even Better If (EBI);
  • Two Stars and a Wish;
  • Yellow Box – highlight one paragraph or section of a piece of work that you would like the pupil to revise in response to the feedback they have received;
  • the Faults and Fixes table (see pupil resource below);
  • sticky notes for your pupils to make their own record of their understanding or the depth of their learning – you can designate an area in the classroom for pupils to post specific details of what they are finding difficult (metacognition);
  • passport out of class plenary activity – give pupils opportunities to write down the most important thing they have learned from the lesson;
  • task-specific checklists for pupils to self-assess and then work with a partner to plan their next steps;
  • an earlier piece of their own work written for character or setting and ask them to rewrite the piece so that they can apply their subsequent learning;
  • PELT sheets (see pupil resource below); and
  • opportunities to ask pupils to tweet feedback or learning points (feedback key learning from a lesson, activity or homework in 280 characters);

Pupil AfL resources

Critical friend questions by level

Assessment for Learning, peer assessment and self-evaluation are central to many of the activities in this resource. Pupils often have difficulty being critical in a constructive and impassionate way. The Critical friend questions by level resource includes suggested questions that your pupils can ask about their own and each other’s work. These question will stimulate quality responses, leading to sustained metacognition, critical thinking skills development, working with others, communication and self-management. You can tailor the questions to suit particular activities or teaching focuses, differentiating them further for your own pupils.

Task specific checklists

These checklists can be edited to help direct pupil self and peer evaluation, helping pupils to look for the correct features in their own and each other’s work. You can edit the documents for other types of tasks:

Faults and fixes

This Fault and Fixes worksheet could be used for peer/self-assessment of individual pieces of work or could be used as a follow up on whole class feedback on a set of work.

Individual feedback: Pupils can write advice for themselves or others and it could be displayed in the classroom.

Whole class feedback: The teacher makes a composite list of errors from a set of work giving feedback on all the mistakes to the whole class. Pupils then review their own work and choose five of the issues teacher has highlighted and complete the worksheet, identifying possible approaches to address their own areas for improvement.

PELT template

The PELT template is a tool to measure progress against specific identified targets. It is especially useful for developing self-management skills.

Upcycle your writing!

Classroom Activity

As an AfL activity, ask your pupils to identify the words they could upgrade in their own and each other’s work.

Using a piece of writing your pupils have done recently, ask them to re-read their own work or the work of one of their classmates. Pupils should underline the words that could possibly be upgraded to either be more precise, or have more impact on the reader. Pupils should use a dictionary or thesaurus to help find suitable alternatives.

Remember that too many impact words makes the wrong sort of impact!