Focused discussions

Teachers are constantly involved in discussions with pupils while they are engaged in an enquiry. Sometimes this is based around the practicalities of the investigation, but where discussions go further to explore children’s ideas, this provides useful information about their learning.  There is no need to record every interaction, but where a particularly pertinent or surprising comment is made, it can be helpful to jot these down on a post it, directly onto planning or in an informal floorbook.

For example, at Milton Primary School in Stoke on Trent, Year 2 (age 6-7) pupils were investigating the stickiness of different materials and the teacher noted down their observations such as: ‘Golden syrup takes ages to fall off because it is thick’ (see picture).

Other draft examples from different schools are attached below:

  • Y1 Seasonal change tree discussions and Dig & label plants
  • Y4 Local survey sorting and String phone conclusions.

Further examples can be found under the Focused Assessment examples tab on the PSTT TAPS website. This database of examples can be filtered by topic and age group to help you find an example relevant to your context.