Monday, 17 June 2013

Lesson logs - Sharing objectives and prompting reflection for KS5

For me KS5 lessons always feel like they need a slightly different approach to sharing learning objectives compare to those lower down the school. Maybe it's just my perception but the students seem to want a different approach to signify that they are more mature. Taking the same approach as used for KS3 and 4 always felt a bit patronising. Similarly getting them to reflect on their learning in a meaningful way was always a bit of a challenge.

Anyway I was struggling on with this for a while and then I remembered a sheet that had been shown by a chap called Jonathan Briggs from the school I taught at in my NQT year. I dusted off a copy of his sheet, and tweaked/adjusted it until I was happy with it.

Learning log document
The result is a "Learning log" and it looks like this...

How I use it
At the start of each section of work (usually 2-3weeks worth) I fill in the top "What we're working towards" section with a brief description of the main topic, the goals and the assessment that will be used.

At the start of each week I then fill in the "Objectives" and "Outcomes" section of the "What I am doing this week" bit. This breaks down the bigger picture into a one week set of learning objectives. The students get a printed copy handed to them at the start of the week.

At the end of some lessons and at the week I ask the students to do a final rating of their progress, complete the reflection section at the bottom and also fill in the "What I still need to do" bit. To be completely honest I don't police this bit heavily - it is mainly for them to use to structure their work outside of lessons, but the fact I ask them to do it means they're at least thinking about it.

The "Progress" bit can be completed by the student - I've rarely insisted on detailed completion of this as on a week by week basis this doesn't really change drastically, however I don't really feel comfortable just deleting it yet - not sure why. Guess If I wanted to get flash with it I could set up a mailmerge of student targets and latest assessment data to personalise the sheets, but I've never got that far.

As well as tracking objectives and reflection the students are encouraged to use these sheets as page dividers for their work. I also use them with students that are absent for lessons as they can see the learning objectives that they need to review & study to catch up for the missed lessons.

I tried it with my Year 13 group last year and they said they found them useful. They even asked where they were when I didn't hand them over at the start of the lesson one Monday due to a problem with the school printers.

I also found them useful as part of my planning as it caused me to have a much more detailed think about how each chunk of work breaks down into learning objectives on a week by week basis.

I have no real way to measure whether they were effective in terms of grades or understanding, but the fact that the students said they liked them and I found them useful for planning is enough to make me carry on. I also take the view that even if they have no tangible benefit they are very unlikely to actually do harm to progress!

I am now asking my department to run with this across all KS5 lessons for the coming academic year

Get a copy
If you would like a copy of this sheet then you can get one here.

Feedback welcome
Is this useful? Do you do something similar? Have you got an alternative that's better? All thoughts appreciated.


  1. Hi, love this idea and would like to use if with my KS5 students. I have been struggling to find an way to share objectives with them. Is there any chance you might have a completed one you could share please?
    Many thanks for a fab blog! Keep up the good work!

    1. Happy to share. Ideally drop me a line on Twitter to remind me and I'll point you in the direction of a dropbox link.
      Thanks for the kind comments :-)