However, if they are regrouped, they begin to create an interesting developmental narrative.
In the first group, there are descriptors of the individual and the personal and professional strengths that are likely to have been evidenced at interview. An articulate, open and honest colleague, prepared to use their strengths to support and enhance the efforts of the group, who develops status with the pupils in the school and establishes good working relations with parents.
They have good subject knowledge; in Primary, across the wide range of subjects that make up the broad and balanced curriculum that should be an aspiration.
Progress, outcomes and expectations are the stuff of planning. The short term planning of a lesson, or short series of lessons will have an appropriate short-term series of expectations, with a clear description of anticipated progress, across the range of abilities. These expectations will be embedded within tasks that should provide an appropriate level of developmental challenge to each learner.
Once the lesson is planned, and in the teacher and TA minds, there is often little reference made to the plan as the lesson gets under way. The expectations are articulated through a variety of means, the Learning Objective or WALT (We Are Learning To), supported by Success Criteria, or WILF (What I'm Looking For) or sometimes Steps To Success, as well as within the task challenge.
It is interesting to consider where the steps come from. Good subject knowledge will include the steps in a naturalistic way. They were described, in the last National Curriculum, as level descriptors. Schools now need to develop or select an appropriate scheme that supports decision making in classrooms.
This set of decisions informs the teacher-child discussion, unpicking areas of concern, providing the basis for feedback, guidance and coaching.
Where learners are not achieving as expected, or greater than expected, the teacher needs to tweak the demand up or down, dependent on the need, if the intervention suggests this.
In lesson judgements need to be a source of reflection by the teacher, to ensure that the task demand was appropriate, too challenging, or not sufficiently stretching.
Teaching is a judgement call, throughout the process.
The quality of teacher judgement is paramount. At the outset, and especially in ITT, there is a clear need to understand the process of learning across a range of subjects, with mental exemplars as reference points, the alternative being to see the child’s exercise books as developmental portfolios, where the interactions, including the marking and feedback enable the learning journey to be visible, but also capable of articulation, as to achievement and next steps. Without the steps being clear, understandable and capable of being enacted by the child, progress may not occur.