Assessment – Balance

During my final placement I was given the opportunity to engage with Balance. It is an assessment tool which is interactive and promotes instant feedback for the children in class – a move away from distant marking!


When the Learning is set up and the lessons are being implemented the teacher will use the I-pad or an electronic device and balance the children 1-9. 

The numbers (1-9) are what the teachers use to assess the children and the children use to self assess. Each number will have a statement linked with it. Schools will have different statements for these but 9 will be ‘locked it’. This will mean the children feel secure with their learning or the teacher thinks the child is secure with the LO.  

It encourages children to instantly work on teacher feedback so they can progress from the assessment of the teacher in class– I took this on board and used this in sessions. The children where able to identify their misconceptions as soon as the teacher assessed and this meant they had an increased chance of learning. 

I used this within my planning and assessment with the children – asking them to balance and huddle their books at the end of lessons so I could decide who would need support the next session. I was also given the opportunity to attend Twilight sessions about Balance and these opened up the many ways the assessment tool can be used. 

It was a great opportunity which I thoroughly enjoyed learning and trying out. I believe this is an assessment tool which will help both children and teachers with their learning. As my final placement was only just starting to use the tool, I only got chance to use it in English and Maths but if the opportunity arose again it would be great to try this in other subjects. 


Oral Story telling


A teacher can hide behind a book and tell a story in an original way.


there are ways a teacher can tell a story
through memory and using prompts to engage children in the experience.

Everyone is a story teller and use prior experiences to do this. We tell stories on a daily basis and it will be beneficial for children to experience quality storytelling as it will support them in the future.

Oral story telling can support teachers in adding their own ideas/thoughts regarding characters/plot and also express their emotions about this. This can then lead to children questioning similar aspects which will support their comprehension skills.

The process could use puppets, the children as characters or objects that symbolise themes.



The teacher can use their voice to alter characteristics of the characters and this will engage the children as the teacher could add humour is necessary, which will engage the children.

Ability to tell a story using their imagination is a skill for children


Story telling is about sharing

  • not just a story but opinions, views, emotions and experiences.
  • There needs to be a connection between reader and listener – therefore is a teacher is reading a book directly this may be a barrier to the connection.
  • as well as, if the connection is apparent the children will then be developing listening skills.
  • children can also engage with call and response to engage them fully

Children could practice this with a traditional fairy tale or stories and morals, as well using their experiences or work they have written themselves. instead of children reading their work from their book in a plenary, why not let the children tell the class orally as they could expand their ideas and is a prime opportunity for assessment.

When children are telling a story from a book they need to make it their own, this is because it will develop their thoughts about the original and also imagination.

Children need support in how to tell a story from memory and a way to begin this process is good modelling.  Then resources such as story cards or jigsaws could be used to help children with storytelling.


I believe this style of teaching supports motivating children (TS1) as well as planning adapted sessions to meet the children’s needs (TS4 and TS5). For instance if a english reading session may begin to be tedious the teacher could alter this to meet the needs and motivate the children.

I would like to use this approach in the future as I believe it is an engaging approach and also interesting and fun. I also believe it can be used throughout the whole of the school as it can be used with a variety of books.

Science Family Day



Today I had the opportunity to attend a school who were having a science family afternoon. My role on this day was to help and engage in the activities and investigations the children were doing. It was based with a reception class and the “science ambassadors” from Year 6 were helping the children and running their activities. As this day was a family day, the children’s parents or carers where welcome to come and see what the children were doing, as well as work alongside them in accomplishing the activities.


The activities I observed and carried out are as follows.

Bubble activity – are bubbles always round? This was an activity were child had to use different shaped utensils to blow bubbles and see if they were still round.

Plant headband – The children had to explore the Field for different plants and flowers on a list then stick them to their head band.

Bug scavenger hunt – The children had a piece of paper and had to search the Field and environment for particular insect and create a tally of how many they found.

Leaf and Tree hunt – The children had a piece of paper and had to find the leaves and tress on their sheet and say where they were in the school.

Paper clips – do paper clips sink? This activity the children had to put a paper clip in different amounts of water and identify beforehand if they would sink or not.

Fairy cakes – What happens if we remove an ingredient? A teacher was creating fairy cakes and each time she would change or remove and ingredient. The children had to predict what would happen and then identify the different of a normal cake and one that has been altered. The teacher explained about the chemical reactions that took place such as the bicarbonate soda reacting with the bubbles to make the cake rise.

Pond – The children were given fishing nets and searched the pond for insects or plants. The children would put their finding in s bucket which would be put back in the pond at the end. There was an identifying sheet where the children could identify what they had found.


Due to the afternoon being busy there was not an opportunity to take images ourselves. However, a teacher was able take some images of the other trainees and myself engaging in the afternoon.

The afternoon was fun and engaging and offered children a vast amount of opportunities to be hands on with science. The skills the children used where: observing, predicting, choice, experiment, questioning, creativity, social and communication skills.

The benefits of having the family day, instead of a simple experiments afternoon, is it offers time for the children to work with their families and also offers parents time to identify if their children are having fun and learning. The afternoon would have had a lot of planning and organisation to ensure the day is a success for example, resources, risk assessments and safeguarding.

From this experience I have developed a tool kit of activities for science as well as incorporating the outdoor environment. It has also shown me how the early year’s foundation (EYFS) incorporates science/understanding the world, into their lessons. As I am a science and EYFS specialist, this afternoon has given me ideas and an opportunity to observe how science can be used in an EYFS setting. I enjoyed the experience and feel that it has supported me in my professional development as well as subject knowledge.

(Images from the teacher will be added to this post when received).