Profiling - the process and the product
Annual reporting and P7/S3 Profile – the product
Following the article ‘Assessment the Big Picture’ in the previous edition of Head to Head, there was positive feedback on the content and a plea for more information in areas relating to assessment. At National Council we decided that the most prevalent area to address currently was profiling and the production of the Primary 7 profile in June this year. This article aims to clarify and outline the process and the end products, stating clear differences in the structure, purpose, creator and audience.
Assessment and profiling are integral to the planning and delivery of learning and teaching. There are a number of components in the wheel of assessment as referred to in the previous article. No one component sits in isolation and all are required to provide a full and informed picture of progress and next steps for learners. The components are
* Evidence – Formative/Summative
* Teacher’s judgements
* Baseline Assessment
* Profiling & the Profile P7/S3
* CfE Planning, Tracking, Coverage
What is Profiling?
Profiling is simply the gathering of all relevant assessment evidence. It ensures there is a wide range of evidence in all curricular areas, often across areas as well. Profiling takes many forms and teachers, when asked the question, will generally be able to articulate many types of assessment evidence they gather. This evidence is then used to identify next steps in learning and to support professional judgements in relation to progress and achievement. Here are a range of methods for profiling 3-18:
* Learning logs/journeys
* Assessment folios
* Self & peer assessment
* Notes of wider achievement in and out of school
Profiling evidence should include a range of types of evidence including formative and summative assessment, baseline assessments, diagnostic assessments, teacher judgements as well as peer and self-assessment.
The purpose of profiling is to ensure learners are reflecting on their own learning and it is crucial that dialogue is at the centre of the process. This dialogue should result in quality discussions between teacher and learner and allow for effective engagement of the learner. It is also essential that profiling celebrates success and achievement as well as identifying next steps.
Children need to build skills in reflection and critical analysis of their work. BTC4 is the key to supporting this skills development and will facilitate much of the profiling process.
What is a profile?
The profile is a snapshot summary of a child or young person’s best achievements at a given point in time. It is a positive statement to date and is written by the learner, then shared with the teacher and the parent.
The purpose of the profile is for the learner to provide a reflective summary, which is publicly recognised by teaching staff and parents. It should motivate and support achievement and build skills to reflect on learning. Its other purpose is to support and inform transition.
What is a report?
Reporting provides clear, positive and constructive feedback about children’s learning and progress. It also provides an agenda for discussions between learners, teachers and parents about supporting next steps in learning. It is a statement of attainment and achievement providing clear, constructive feedback about learning and progress. It should provide an agenda for discussions about next steps in learning and is written by the teacher, then shared with the parent and learner.
Implementation of Profiles – a health warning!
This is a work in progress! Due to external expectations, the introduction of these has been set as June 2012, but there have been clear messages that this is an area to be developed over the years. The end product is not the be all and end all, it is the process, the engagement, the reflection and the dialogue that are important. This must be kept in perspective and we need to be careful it doesn’t become an all singing, all dancing affair. Education Scotland have produced clear criteria for quality assuring the profiles and these should give a framework for authorities and schools to devise a manageable profile document. It is also important that the Profile is not seen as an end in itself but as an information tool that should have a positive impact on transition. Dialogue with our Secondary colleagues is crucial in ensuring that these documents will be useful and shared to ensure continued positive learning experiences for our young people.
There is also a need to manage this with our teachers and to ensure that this does not become an onerous workload issue. The key is in the message that the Profile is written by the pupil – not the teacher or the parent, whose role it is to support and engage in discussion with the pupil as the process is being completed.
Work with your Local Authorities to ensure that this does not become a ‘competition’ for the most ‘dazzling’, teacher-devised product but is based on the principle of celebrating success and achievement by our young people.
I am happy to give further advice and help in this area and our forthcoming TTT events will tease out further the implications for delivery of Profiling, Profiles and Reports.
Again your feedback is essential, share with staff and then let us know what else you need