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☰ Feedback to Feedforward!

Head's Blog

Feedback to Feedforward!

Posted on September 25 2018

I may be slightly biased, but in my opinion teaching is the most enjoyable profession there is. It is so rewarding to be involved in shaping the future lives of pupils and watching them adapt, change and evolve into young adults. I knew teaching was something I wanted to be part of from a very young age, something I wanted to try.

Once I started training I realised that I loved teaching: it's the contact with people, be it children, parents or other teachers that I enjoy most. When I teach, I'm not trying to just transmit knowledge to pupils: I'm trying to show them the enjoyment or passion that I get from subjects. If you don't have a good relationship with children, then you're missing something that is key.

At Forest Park, building positive relationships is at the heart of our ethos and something that we are extremely successful at. In a recent pupil survey 100% of our children felt that Forest Park is a happy place to learn and that they enjoy attending school. They also expressed a belonging to the school community and felt it was similar to a family. This is echoed by our parent body; during their recent survey 98% stated that their child enjoyed coming to school and that Forest Park was a welcoming and secure environment for learning.

Surveys are an excellent resource to gauge opinion and feedback, but at Forest Park we ensure that our pupils are questioned everyday as we ask for their opinion and their views about learning and engage in a healthy dialogue about improvement and progression. We have found that, when asked about the activities they undertake, our pupils give such intelligent responses, that we have initiated even more questions, more frequently, to be implemented by our staff.

Establishing a dialogue with pupils has allowed us to give them a voice and it is improving the relationships that we have forged and made them even stronger. It allows staff to build up pupils’ trust. Receiving feedback has reminded teachers that when they plan new activities they need to remember the initiatives that worked well and that the children enjoyed doing. Not just plan the same thing, lesson after lesson, year after year. We evolve our teaching and learning to closely match the needs of the individual pupil.

Providing feedback, through dialogue, is something we are actively targeting this year at Forest Park. We have successful learners who progress extremely well with their learning, but for this to improve; we need to focus on the quality of feedback given to children around learning. Providing less written feedback in books and increasing teacher to pupil dialogue, or pupil to pupil dialogue, has a huge effect upon a child’s learning.

That is why we are actively looking for more ways to incorporate this in our lessons. Learning and talking partners, reflection time, show and tell, magpie ideas are just some of the fun and exciting techniques we are currently working with to help foster a culture of feedback amongst our school community.

At Forest Park, we have found that when you open up in detailed dialogue, pupils rise to the opportunity, rise to the challenge and rise to produce the best that they can. It was the contact with people that first drew me to teaching; today, having dialogue with pupils is helping us use feedback to feedforward!

Best Wishes

Nick Tucker

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