The most common way to construct a work sample is for the coordinator to agree with the class teacher on a sample of pupils whose work will be looked at on a regular basis. The OFSTED system of looking at the work of a high, average and below average attainer is convenient and will provide useful evidence for the next inspection, when it can be used to demonstrate the school's approach to assessment as well as monitoring standards in particular subjects. Having chosen an able, an average and a below average child, the coordinator and the class teacher can agree on a longitudinal focus for sampling. It would be sensible to look at areas identified in the school development plan for the particular subject for example. The coordinator will need to have copies of the planning relating to the particular lesson, and will need to make a judgement about how well the teaching promoted the aims of the lesson as shown through the pupils' work. Due allowance will of course be made for different abilities, and looking at how the teacher differentiated work for each child and how successful this was will be key areas. (See Figure 7.1.)
An important part of the evaluation of a work sample is the observations relating to marking. It is important to make sure that teachers have a clear understanding that what is needed from marking is clear instruction for the pupil on how to improve in future. This is why it is important to consider the learning objectives and the assessment indicators. Were the children aware of what constituted success?