I can… Yes, but how well?
When we used National Curriculum levels ‘I can’ statements worked. That’s because the levels were a series of criteria that had to be met. If enough were met, a pupil would ‘best fit’ a level, and be so labeled.
The National Curriculum was re designed on a fundamental premise: Pupils should study fewer things, of a higher standard, in greater depth.
Depth is the crucial change. Instead of ticking off criteria, the new curriculum demands that pupils return to concepts to deepen their understanding rather than moving on to new content.
Depth doesn’t mean ‘how much’, it means ‘how fluent’ a pupil is becoming and ‘how imaginatively’ they use their knowledge and skills. This means quantity tracking doesn’t work. Instead, we need to assess and track understanding.
Imagine the statement ‘I can drive a car’. There’s a huge range of degrees of ‘I can’. Choose an ‘I can’ statement and it works for pretty much anything: I can dance, I can cook, I can teach!
So, to what degree are you mastering mastery?