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Assessment for learning applies to Media Studies as much as any other subject.  Below are some criteria to be thinking about when creating and executing a good to outstanding Media Studies lesson.  With OFSTED always lurking, and SLT performing learning walks instead of formal observations, a quick review of the following could keep your performance management record looking healthy.


Obviously, it's good to have a starter but that depends on what unit you're covering and at what stage in the SOW you are covering.  See STARTERS for ideas.  However, a learning walk is not particularly interested in what activity you do, but more:

  • Are there clear, valuable learning intentions for students that are clearly displayed?  If creating a PowerPoint, I suggest you have the Learning Objective present on every slide, to remind the students about what it is they're doing and so if someone did pop in, it is clear what the aim for the lesson is.
  • Is the success criteria written in plain English and understood by all students.  Go for the less is more approach, one or two lines outlining the outcome of the lesson for all students (think MUST, SHOULD, COULD).  If an inspector or SLT member of staff enters a lesson, they will not speak to you but talk to your students about WHAT it is that they are learning.
  • When you're asking for feedback, asking questions or looking for students to discuss their findings from a starter activity, then make sure that candidates are chosen at random.  Don't go for the brightest spark, keep students on their toes and you'll also get a more varied and diverse response which could create a more productive classroom.
  • Are the questions that you are asking making the students think?  Remember, you're trying to engage and connect at the start of a lesson.  If you're questions are very quick fire, are you're students really thinking or just responding to very simple questioning?


If you've set up clear expectations and the students understand the learning objective, then your role as teacher should now become more as a facilitator (context of lesson permitting) where student discussion should dominate.

  • At least 80% of students should be involved in answering questions (in a class of thirty, that's 24!)  So you need to look at ways of coaxing responses out of the least confident - again, be selective in how you address the questions (differentiated questioning).
  • An all student response system should be used or applied.  This could be through hands up system, traffic light system (some school journals have this) or use of whiteboards.
  • Thinking time...Again, this is important for the less confident.  Avoid hands up if you can, direct your questions specifically to students and if it really looks like they won't be able to give a response, allow a peer to suggest how they could answer it, or model the response that you are after and come back to that student with a similar question later.
  • Encourage students to support each others learning, either during the learning activity or through peer assessment.
  • Allow students to work independently and take responsibility for their own learning.  This is tough, but done right can demonstrate exemplary practice.


Pleanaries are handy and don't have to take much time, for a list of the best you can click here

  • It is important for the teacher to give formative oral feedback on the outcomes of the  main learning activity and the lesson overall.
  • Use comments that advance learning, that show that you are consolidating the objectives of the lesson and moving EVERY student forward.
  • Teacher finds out what the students have learned - don't be afraid to say it: "So, what have you learnt today?" or "What have WE learnt today?"
  • Based on the results of the lesson, there is recognition by yourself about how you will adjust your teaching and the content of future lessons.


tags: media studies and AFL



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