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Writing Moderation

Explore how you can arrange a successful moderation meeting to accurately assess pupil progress and identify their next steps.

Most popular resource

Primary English Writing Moderation Pack

Tailored specifically for English subject leaders and curriculum leaders, this primary English writing moderation pack offers invaluable guidance, practical tips, and easy-to-use templates. With all the steps you need to plan the moderation meeting plus editable moderation templates for each primary year group, this pack will help you to promote collaboration, ensure consistent assessment practices and support your staff effectively.

Your key moderation questions answered

What is writing moderation?

Moderation refers to the collaborative process where teachers evaluate, discuss and ensure consistency in assessing pupils’ written work. It involves comparing and sharing samples of children’s writing to establish a shared understanding of standards, benchmarks and expectations. 

Through moderation, teachers validate their assessment judgments, refine their practices, and promote fairness and equity in evaluating children’s writing abilities. This process has several benefits. For teaching staff, it supports their ongoing development through professional dialogue with colleagues and seeing examples of children’s writing in other classes, year groups and/or settings. Ultimately, this can lead to improved planning, teaching and assessment in English. For school leaders, moderation means they can be more assured that assessments in writing are accurate,

allowing them to plan more effectively from school data and provide support and resources to improve outcomes in writing, if required.

This form of moderation is known as internal moderation and is a highly valuable process. There is also an external moderation process where local authorities work with schools to validate assessment judgements.

What role do subject or curriculum leaders play in moderation?

The subject or curriculum leader plays a crucial role in the moderation of writing. Firstly, they tend to be responsible for organising and facilitating moderation meetings. In addition, they’re likely to do the background preparation, which includes setting up any forms or supplies needed.

During the meeting, they’re responsible for introducing the session, including the purpose, expectations and process of the moderation meeting. They should help to create a supportive and collaborative environment that encourages open dialogue, sharing of ideas and the exchange of best practice. As teachers begin to work together,

the leader can circulate around the various groups, encouraging professional dialogue about the pieces and giving input on any questions raised.

The leader may also want to keep some notes on which staff members may need some extra support following the meeting. This could include listening to professional dialogue and analysing outcomes, such as where a teacher has assessed a piece of work as being at a certain level when their peers have disagreed. This can feed into any future staff training.

Lastly, the leader may want to take a broader look at the trends, patterns, and areas for improvement identified from the moderation. For example, you may identify that across a certain group of teachers/classes/year groups, there are inconsistencies in applying spelling patterns, or if you’re moderating across schools, you might notice that children in your school aren’t using a wide range of sentence types. These can feed into any school or subject improvement priorities and subsequent staff training.

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