Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Constructing criteria for observing performance – third and fourth level

What is this?

This learning activity involves young people observing, reflecting on and analysing a sporting performance. This will enable them to construct specific criteria which can be used to analyse their own or others performance. It is intended to support teachers and practitioners to plan learning experiences for children/young people in their usual setting or while they are learning at home.

As well as taking account of national and local guidance relating to Covid-19, the activity should be used or adapted accordingly to consider the range of learners and their prior knowledge and individual circumstances in relation to this learning experience.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Experiences and Outcomes: third and fourth level

  • I am developing the skills to lead and recognise strengths of group members, including myself. I contribute to groups and teams through my knowledge of individual strengths, group tactics, and strategies. HWB 3-23a
  • I can analyse and discuss elements of my own and others’ work, recognising strengths and identifying areas where improvements can be made. HWB 3-24a
  • I can:
    • Observe closely, reflect, describe and analyse key aspects of my own and others’ performances
    • Make informed judgements, specific to an activity
    • Monitor and take responsibility for improving my own performance based on recognition of personal strengths and development needs. HWB 4-24a                                                                                   

Purpose of the activity

Young people will construct specific criteria on an individual sport which they will use to evaluate their own performance.

Learning activity

Introduce the activity by finding out what young people know about the kind of data collected on sports performance. Encourage them to research a sport of their choice. You could discuss their findings with them, or ask them to share with their peers. Some examples include collecting specific information on a skill used, number of successful passes or percentage scoring rate.

Ask them to watch a few minutes of one of the clips below and identify the areas of a badminton player’s performance that are important for success. For example, they could write down a list of the range of skills, types of movements and fitness requirements they see.

Scottish Badminton championships Under 15  Apiliga v Farnood - YouTube

Scottish Badminton Championships Under 15 Cameron v Sugden - YouTube

Next, using the list they made, ask them to create a list of criteria that they could use to help identify strengths and areas for development in their own performance. Encourage them to add their criteria to the first column of the table below called an observation schedule. The first two rows have been completed as an example.

When I play a game of badminton I can (tick):





Return to middle of court (base)




Serve accurately





























Invite young people to discus and compare their chosen criteria with you and/or each other. You could use the following reflective questions to support discussion:

  • When would be the best time to use the observation schedule you have created?
  • How often and for how long should you collect data?
  • What could you do to make the data you collect more accurate and reliable?
  • What could you do with the data you have gathered?

Extension activity

For young people who require additional challenge in their learning, you could ask them to create another observation schedule for an activity they play or are interested in.

National Benchmarks

  • Constructs and co-constructs criteria, knowledge of results and other types of feedback to evaluate and adapt personal and group performance.
  • Self-assesses and acts as a peer assessor to provide constructive feedback to modify/enhance performance.
  • Identifies the strengths of individuals/group to assign appropriate roles and tactics to maximise success.

Possible approach to assessing learning

Receiving examples of learning at home from young people will help you understand how they are managing the tasks you have set and provide some feedback.

Using whichever approaches your school uses to communicate with parents and young people, some of the following may be useful in supporting you to assess and celebrate young people’s progress:

  • Some young people may want to upload photos or a record of their work to an online learning journal, or other agreed online learning space. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and next steps.
  • In these activities, you could ask young people to show you the table they produced. Ask them to discuss with you their views on the performance and their ideas.

When planning your approach to assessing learning, please take account of the latest guidance on assessment approaches.