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Assessment task 1 (formative): Student reflective journal

The assessment task takes the form of a student journal, in which students reflect on each learning sequence using a series of guided questions that are linked to the lesson content (and consequently the corresponding English and History content descriptions). Each journal page consists of learning intentions and success criteria for the sequence (linked to the sequence’s identified content descriptors), the reflective questions and a short tick-box style rubric that can be used to record student progress.

As a formative assessment, the journal should be used to both monitor student progress and guide teacher instruction. The assessment is designed to be flexible, and as such student responses to the questions do not need to be recorded in written form. Responses could take the form of group-based oral discussions, students working in pairs to discuss, record and mark, and students independently writing their responses.

To ensure that this ongoing formative assessment is manageable, it is expected that a combination of the students themselves, their peers and the teacher will use the success criteria rubrics to record progress. In practical terms, student progress against the success criteria would mainly be recorded independently by students and/or through peer marking. Teacher support could be provided in the form of small group-based student-conferencing sessions that rotate around so the teacher monitors progress with the same students once every three or four weeks. Students who require more support may need to conference one-on-one with the teacher on a more regular basis.

Student reflective journal instructions

Over the course of this unit of work, students will have the opportunity to reflect on each learning sequence and their understanding of the key concepts explored in it. This is not a final ‘test’ or ‘assessment’. Instead, students should use this journal as a way to reflect on their learning and check their progress against clear success criteria. It is also a way for them to talk to their classmates and teacher about their understanding of what they are learning throughout the unit. At the end of each lesson or sequence, students will be given 5–10 minutes to either write in their journal, discuss the reflective questions with their classmates or use their journals to conference with the teacher. Then individual students and their classmates or the teacher (or all three) will use the simple rubric at the bottom of each page to monitor their progress against the lesson’s success criteria. This information will help the students and the teacher to effectively monitor student progress and provide extra support or extension where necessary. Access the Student journal here if you haven’t already downloaded it.