Action Research by Teachers – Upper Junior

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Mr Dodson

Highfield CE Primary School

Getting Ready

1. Stimulus

What could go better? What do you want to improve?

What interests you?

(eg ‘My students give up too easily’)

Children are not always aware of their targets in Literacy, or what is expected of Year 5 children at a national level. Where these expectations are known, motivation to show them in independent written work is not always high.

2. Hypothesis

What are you thoughts about the issue you are focusing on?

(eg ‘Maybe I am doing too much for my students’)

I believe that if children are made aware of specific age-related expectations and are given the opportunity to prove they can apply them in their writing, with the chance to earn a reward for doing so, writing attainment will improve.

3. Research

What does the research say? What do others in my school know about this?

(Books, articles, Google Scholar, libraries)

As an SLT team, we have discussed the importance of children knowing what is expected of their year group when writing, and have all had experience of seeing the motivation that stickers in school and badges in e.g. cubs / brownies.

My Focus

4. Research question

(eg ‘If I make it easier for students to help themselves and each other will their resilience improve?’

Does a sticker-based reward system increase children’s understanding of age-related expectations in writing, and their motivation to make progress?


5. Priorities

How does my question sit within my school’s current priorities? Have I checked with key team members/senior staff?


The idea was initially touted by Deputy Head Lisa Warren, who was interested in implementing a badge system similar to those found in Cubs or Brownies, to reward children who have mastered certain areas of writing / mathematics.

It fits in with the school’s need to find an assessment system for the new curriclum, in which traditional levels have been abandoned in favour of age related expectations.




My Enquiry

6. The Intervention

What you will do? When? Who? How?

For example

I will create a guide book for children explaining some ways in which stickers can be earned, including example sentences that show specific features. I will link learning in Literacy lessons to these stickers, and provide time for children to gather evidence to prove that they have mastered an objective. Children will know that if the system proves successful, there is the potential  for their stickers to be converted into Scout-like ‘badges’ at a future date.

7. Evaluation Methods

How will you notice, measure and describe what happens?


Termly ‘Prove It’ days will give children a chance to show their Literacy books to myself, other SLT members and governors, in order to prove that they have a suitable mastery of an area to earn a sticker for it.

A survey on Literacy targets and attitudes towards writing will be given to children in the Autumn term, then again after the trial of the system has ended in the Spring term.




October: Decide on the Literacy objectives that children will need to be able to prove they have mastered. Create a booklet that explains this to them in childspeak.  Introduce thet idea to children and carry out the survey mentioned above.

November: Buy ‘Prove It’ stamps for children to use to indicate where they have met an objective in their Literacy books. Provide opportunities for them to use them.  Teach a sequence of lessons in which children will learn to recite a poem from memory to go towards their Speaking and Listening sticker.

December: First ‘Prove It Day’ in which children show evidence in their books that goes towards earning badges.

January-February: Continue to give children the chance to find evidence in their books; hold a second ‘Prove It Day’ and evaluate the process with SLT members and by getting children to compete a second survey.



Comments are closed