Is there a better way to moderate writing?

Moderation of writing in Y2 and Y6 has become a mindfield of interpretation of the criteria or frameworks, administration of the task and uncertainty of descriptor boundaries.

In our school, even with several supportive moderation events, the differences between our teacher judgements can sometimes be as wide as those we see when moderating externally. 

During external moderation events rarely do our teachers get to see several pieces of work from the moderating / visiting schools, it's more likely those pieces will be carefully selected.  With that, a large part of the additional learning for teachers (what the quality of work is like across the entire range in other schools) is lost or not explored in it fullest.

In addition, the opportunities for teachers to see work and externally moderate outside of Y2 and Y6 is often unfortunately limited due to time and organisational pressures. 

The issues are compounded further for teachers moderating in schools across geographic partnerships, MATs, Academy chains, or Local Authorities. 

How does a leader understand what the quality of writing looks like across their schools?

We have developed COMPARE to offer moderation opportunities across MATs or similar. We can also anonymously COMPARE schools within school groups separately alongside the whole session.

We hope that you are able to use the system to support the development of teaching and learning in your school, supportively with other local schools and across geographic areas.  We've blogged about some of the ways we've trialled this in our school.