There has been a lot of talk around assessing children’s writing for a long time now.
Anxiety has been caused as a result of what constitutes independent writing. People are talking about the merits and disadvantages of comparative judgement but I think we are missing the point here. My instinct is that, in all likelihood, we shouldn’t be marking individual writing at all. We should be assessing the development of the writer over time. I trialled this in my class last year.
To ensure children could produce writing topics independently, over the course of the year, I taught the children the following self-regulatory strategies:
- How to generate ideas for writing independently,
- How to plan independently,
- Once they had written a draft, how to revise their pieces independently (including looking for opportunities to insert certain linguistic features required by the writing framework – if they saw an appropriate opportunity to do so).
- How to proof-read and edit their work.
- How to publish their work, focusing on their handwriting.
By teaching these things, when children had finished working on their class-writing project for the day, they were given opportunity to undertake personal projects. This was writing undertaken largely independently (apart from pupil-conferences) using the self-regulating strategies taught above.