Guidelines for 5 Sentence Challenge Commentators

Firstly, many thanks for offering to join the 5SC team!

 Please understand that this is not a one-off. It needs to be done for every 5SC prompt

These guidelines are to provide some help in trying to get some consistency in the comments we leave the children. However, the most important part is that you visit and leave a comment!

Do have a look at     to see the sort of thing that needs to be said.

Here are some of the things that came to mind when I thought about asking for help:

  • Always use the child’s name
  • Always check your spelling. If you make a mistake (I’ve done it a number of times!) go back in & use it as a teaching point. I always try to use some humour here but do own up!
  • I try to get ‘5SC’ into the comment but it is not always possible
  • Be yourself. The children love to develop relationships with their commentators. If you ask a question and really want to know what the answer was, do pop back. That may not be possible though
  • Be positive and complimentary. If you can see an obvious learning point (punctuation is a recurring theme) then mention it but this is not a test that you are marking. It is good to read the teacher’s comment if they have already visited. That will give you some idea of the level the child is working at.
  • We are lucky enough to get some SEN children writing on the 5SC. Treat them in the same way as you would if they were in your class / your child. They obviously need encouragement but can also have a little improvement comment too.
  • When putting your name to the comment, please add (Team 5SCC) as it helps to stop you going into spam!
  • If you can’t log your comment have a look above the comment box. If it says ‘change’ click it & write in your name. You will then have access to all those from the school


  •  Please see chart for your number and the entry numbers you should comment on.
  • These are minimum comments. If you are able to comment on any others that would be wonderful.
  • The prompt goes live at midnight on a Wednesday (every 2 weeks). I tweet it out throughout the evening. Entries will come in from Thursday but many wait until the following Mon /Tues. The link closes at 9pm on Wednesdays. Please check in when you can. Ideally it is good to have all comments in before the next prompt goes up but again, that may not be possible. I will let schools know that they may get comments into the next week.
  • Please let me know if you are unable to visit one week so that I can fill in any gaps!


For each prompt I show case entries from at least 3 children. They are not always ‘THE BEST’ but pieces that are different or are clearly exceptional work for that child. Do send me the number of the entry if you come across any that you feel could be showcased the next week. It is quite difficult at first because you will soon have quite a list but you will gradually see those that are different and stand out.

I keep a list of showcase entries to make sure it is not always the same child / class.

Do let me know if these guidelines are of any use! Feel free to tweet or email if you have any problems /questions. I will moderate your comments for a couple of weeks. I will definitely comeback to before the end of term for your thoughts on how it has gone for you.


Finally, enjoy it!

THANK  YOU again!

Julia ( @theheadsoffice)