Mrs Humanities

teacher . blogger . friend

Need to Know Learning Matrix


learning matrixThis year grades 1-9 were  introduced into the tracking system for Key Stage 3. I struggled at first, in fact I still am, but the Need to Know Learning Matrix were my approach to tracking progress over the term for each of topics studied.


Not only does it allow me to track progress, outline Schemes of Work to the students and provide feedback, it encourages independent learning and reduces the time i spend marking and writing extensive feedback.

I started the year with simply listing need to know questions and success criteria but then realised that by coding the criteria I could provide quality feedback without the extensive write comments in the students books.

I simply use two different colour highlighters, fill in the key and highlight the coded success criteria. Firstly I highlight the criteria achieved in one colour, then highlight the criteria I would like the students to attempt in another; once this criteria has been achieved I simply tick it off.


I quickly l took to writing WWW and listing the criteria codes followed by the level up steps and the criteria codes I wanted the student to work on during DIRT. Sometimes I just write the criteria code with a tick to indicate it’s completion.


For lower ability students I may write questions to support them in achieving the coded criteria with a box to indicate the expected length of the answer.

level up2

If this has intrigued you can download my Need to Know Learning Matrix template here.

I’ve also uploaded a number of them on to TES, feel free to download and leave feedback.

Hope they’re of use.


Mrs Humanities



Author: MrsHumanities

Teacher. Blogger. Friend.

9 thoughts on “Need to Know Learning Matrix

  1. I was looking at your Bronze, Silver, Gold descriptors on the learning matrix template. Are these broad ability bands that the pupils are put into *before* starting the course?


    • All students in Humanities are going for gold through a sort of ‘mastery’ approach. In lessons they generally work their way up through Bronze to Silver to Gold (most able anyway).

      However broadly speaking you can say that particular bands of students will fall into particular bands of the success criteria for each topic.

      Hope that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was looking at this and was wondering how you track how much progress they make each term? I have to do a progress report each term and need to show how much progress they have made.


    • Its basd on a mastery/gcse grades 1-9 system. The BSG bands relate roughly to different grade bands for KS3 criteria. E.g for yr8 bronze = grades 1-2, Silver = 2-3 and gold = grades 3-4. Needs more explanation in line with other documents to truely understand it but I can’t share them I’m afraid.


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