Visit Pobble

The Pobble blog

Moderating writing online with Pobble

  • by: Jon Smith - CEO of Pobble
  • On: 13, Nov 2020
28 min read

Online moderation is the way forward

Our vision was always to have a platform that supported the teaching of writing at every step of the process. We’re proud to now provide everything teachers need to teach, improve, and assess writing.

We’ve spent recent months developing Pobble into an innovative online moderation platform. Extensive trials involved inviting teachers to read collections of writing, discuss online and then receive expert feedback. We’ve since added improvements to enable teachers to upload their children’s writing and take part in an online moderation workshop with a leading literacy expert, the Pobble team and other teachers.

The trial showed us that online moderation is the way forward! No more hauling books across town to moderation workshops, all teachers discussing a wide range of writing with an expert for the whole session, and teachers from different parts of the world coming together. A true removal of barriers and a step into the future. 

How to use Pobble’s online tool to facilitate remote moderation 

Our tools take the stress out of setting up and running a moderation meeting. They allow others easy access to pupils’ writing and rubber stamping for your own teacher assessment.

Pobble online moderation


1. Create a moderation file - Pobble is a teaching and learning tool, so during the course of the school year pupils and teachers upload work to the platform. This work is saved into an online evidence bank for individual pupils. Teachers or moderators can then select a collection of writing to create a moderation file.

2. Invite colleagues to collaborate - It’s simple to share moderation files within schools to support internal moderation. Even better, you can also invite Local Authority (LA) moderators or teachers from any school internationally to review an assessment judgement - removing all geographic boundaries and supporting cross-school and statutory moderation. 

3. Make a final judgement - Comments about the writing are captured in a discussion window and where required, supporting materials or extra evidence can be uploaded. You can then record final judgements as a marked conclusion for the moderation file. 

You can also:

  • make robust assessment judgements for each child based on a whole collection of writing (supporting the DfEs assessment methodology for making judgements at the end of KS1 & KS2).
  • easily create individual assessment portfolios for each child by simply selecting their best pieces from their Pobble writing folder within seconds.

What next?

Given the additional challenges faced by educators in recent times and the need to adopt different ways of approaching traditional tasks, we’re developing our innovative, virtual solution to moderation. Supported by a successful grant application from Innovate UK, Pobble are now working with North Yorkshire’s School Improvement and Early Years’ Service and North Yorkshire Education Services (NYES) to develop and explore the efficacy of virtual moderation, with North Yorkshire adopting this method across the LA to meet statutory requirements in the current academic year. 

“We’re an ambitious authority, providing a diverse range of services to the education sector in and outside North Yorkshire and are always looking ahead, asking ‘What next?’. In an environment where innovation and Edtech is more important than ever, we’re really excited to be working in partnership with Pobble on this fantastic project and be trailblazers for virtual moderation services. In addition to this being a solution to statutory moderation, our intention is also to develop expert training and moderation support for schools, which once trialled and proved successful, would be available to schools nationally and internationally.” 
NYES Director, Claire Preston.

How to get involved

Find out more about Pobble’s moderation tool here. Or get in touch to arrange a live demo for your school.

The moderation team

Alison Philipson 
Alison was responsible for KS1 and KS2 writing moderation across Bradford Local Authority for several years. She is currently a KS1 and KS2 moderator for the Local Authority and a Deputy Team Standardisation Leader for The Standards & Testing Agency. Alison’s internationally recognised writing exemplification materials for Years 1-6 are now available in Pobble's online moderation tool. 

Laura Bailey
Laura is Pobble’s assessment and moderation expert. Laura works with schools to develop effective assessment processes and is passionate about ensuring moderation is a meaningful and positive experience. Laura has worked as a teacher, senior leader, an assessment lead for a Local Authority and as a teaching and learning consultant.

Simon Blower
Simon is one of Pobble’s founders. Simon is a former North Yorkshire deputy head with 16 years teaching experience and experience managing a 55+ team. Simon has created and shaped the product vision for the Pobble platform, starting from its origins in his own classroom. 

Have you discovered Pobble yet?

We help teachers inspire their young writers, foster a love for writing across schools, and reach accurate assessment judgments. 

Visit Pobble