An introduction to the Teacher’s PAL - a new online Planning and Assessment for Learning Toolkit
The Teacher’s PAL is unique: it is a comprehensive toolkit which supports planning, teaching and assessing writing. It is designed to improve children’s writing and make teachers’ lives easier! The PAL makes planning faster, on-going assessment quicker and teaching more effective. Schools using the Teacher’s PAL report that it also improves teacher subject knowledge, supports differentiation/challenge and raises attainment in writing.
What is unique about the Teacher’s PAL?
The Teacher’s PAL Toolkit is an online planning, teaching and assessment system, supplemented by a teacher’s file. It provides:
- A set of unique objectives which simplify the challenge of differentiation and accelerate progress
- Small steps in teaching and learning so that pupils and teachers experience success
- An online system which saves time and makes planning and on-going assessment meaningful
- An opportunity to see progress throughout the year towards end-of-year/Key Stage expectations
- Exemplar texts (WAGOLLs) which save time, support subject knowledge and demonstrate progression
- A teacher’s file which supports subject knowledge and provides alternative ways to plan and assess
What is unique about the Teacher’s PAL objectives?
The Teacher’s PAL objectives were written by experienced English consultants who work with teachers every day and understand the challenges faced in today’s classrooms. The objectives are unique in that they:
- Cover teaching and learning from Reception to Y7
- Break down the combined statutory requirements for Y3/4 and for Y5/6 into year-specific objectives
- Combine the requirements for the Programmes of Study for Writing and Appendix 2
- Link to age-related expectations and/or end of key stage standards
- Break down the statutory requirements into smaller steps for teaching and learning in each year group
- Cover the full range of writing skills – vocabulary, sentence and composition
- Support differentiation and challenge
- Provide clear expectations to ensure progression from year to year
- Fill in the gaps for aspects of writing that are not explicitly referenced in some year groups
- Ensure that skills are revisited and built upon, year after year
- Provide effective examples to support subject knowledge and progression
- Include requirements for the application of spelling and handwriting skills
- Support transition from EYFS into Year One
- Support transition from Key Stage Two into Key Stage Three
What do you get?
An easy to use online system which allows teachers to:
- Quickly select objectives from any year group to generate a plan with differentiated learning outcomes
- Electronically plan using the ‘tried and trusted’ route map method to produce a clear teaching sequence
- Use or adapt either an exemplar unit or a unit from previous term/year
- Easily share planned units with year group partners
- Quickly make on-going assessments at the end of a unit for a pupil or ability group
- Access a computer-generated pupil record of attainment
- See progress over time towards end of year expectations
- A high-quality, hard-backed file that gives:
- The flexibility of paper-based planning or assessment
- Supplementary resources to develop subject knowledge including text type guidance
What is unique about the on-going assessment tools in the Teacher’s PAL?
The Teacher’s PAL can be used as an Assessment for Learning tool. It is unique because it:
- Informs next steps for teaching
- Allows teachers to record on-going assessments for a child or for an ability group, making assessment quick and easy
- Creates a pupil record of attainment which shows progress in small steps of learning over time
- Shows progress towards age-related expectations
- Supports summative judgements as the objectives explicitly feed into the skills needed to achieve:
- Early Learning Goal descriptor for writing (ELG 10) at the end of EYFS
- Statutory requirements for the end of year/phase in Y1, Y3, Y4 and Y5
- ‘Expected’ Standards in the Interim Assessment Frameworks for the end of KS1 and KS2
- Statutory requirements at the end of KS3
What is unique about the Teacher’s PAL writing exemplars?
The Teacher’s PAL writing exemplars are unique because they demonstrate what ‘mastery’ would look like in year-appropriate non-fiction text types. The exemplars are designed to:
- Support teachers’ subject knowledge
- Inform differentiation and understanding of progression
- Encourage breadth within each year group’s statutory requirements
- Demonstrate ‘mastery’ of skills across an appropriate range of text types for each year group
- Demonstrate What A Good One Looks Like (WAGOLL)
- Inform effective modelling of writing
- Support children’s understanding of key language and structural features
- Act as a model for teachers to create similar exemplars of their own.
How much will the Teacher’s PAL Toolkit cost?
The Teacher’s PAL is priced competitively so that schools receive good value for money. The Toolkit is only sold as a whole school system (access to the Online PAL and one file per class). Introductory prices for the Teacher’s PAL toolkit are available for schools ordering before the end of October 2017. Please contact us for more information.
Will there be any support provided to introduce the Teacher’s PAL in school?
Cluster training can be provided for networks of English Subject Leads/members of SMT to equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge and training materials to introduce the Teacher’s PAL toolkit (Online PAL and teacher’s files) to staff. We are pleased to provide this type of training free of charge if enough schools are involved. However, we will also provide a training PowerPoint and video to help introduce the Teacher’s PAL to staff and explain how it can be used for planning, teaching and assessment for learning.
We hope that this information is helpful but if you have any questions or would simply like to discuss these resources in more detail, please contact us by phone, email or through the website.