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By Nicola Mitchell, Year 5/6 Class Teacher (Ravens), Year 5/6 Phase Leader and Writing Moderator

Two years ago, it was our turn at Nene Valley Primary School to be moderated. I had all the usual worries: the books would not be good enough; the writing tasks would not measure up or my guidance would not have enabled the children to reach the appropriate level. 

On the day, my experience could not have been more positive. Our moderation group enjoyed a very professional conversation during which we celebrated each child’s achievements and laid to rest my concerns. It was positive to feel that my opinions were valued and that the final grades were an agreement and not a judgement.

In fact, after too many years to count in the teaching profession (unless asked to place yourself in order according to "number of years of experience” on a Training Day!), I felt like writing moderation was something I would like to find out more about. I was inspired to become part of the process. So, I looked into it….

The last academic year was my first as an accredited moderator. Fascinating training took place across the Autumn and Spring terms, with an assessment in January. The assessment is annual, and I have just passed this year’s paper - phew! The government issues each moderator with a certificate to prove their accreditation. It is quite cool!

Over the year, I shadowed and supported my far more experienced colleagues at Moderation Training Events, learning how to encourage and guide Year 6 colleagues as they shared their children’s writing, celebrated emerging achievements, and considered next steps. 

In June, I was privileged to be part of the teams that moderated three schools in OWN Trust. 

Being the only moderator in the Trust, I was eager to help where I could but daunted by expectation. At Nene Valley, I worked with colleagues to agree on judgements before being asked to support colleagues in other Trust schools. 

As we near the end of Spring 1, I look forward to offering my support to colleagues at the same time as continuing to develop my skills as a moderator.

Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash