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More on progress…

Thoroughly inspired by reading ‘Whole School progress‘ by Jim Smith (I read the book – highlighter in hand- in one weekend, not bad for a Dyslexic!) I sat down at my Mac to create a short presentation filled with my ideas based on the the book.

What struck me when reading the book was my constant thought of “Goodness this is mostly things all teachers know to do, but stop doing (consistently) because you can get lost in course work mode!”

“Sometimes it just takes a refresher (like this book) to refocus you on what made your teaching great! (and hopefully outstanding).”

So, 20 slides of a presentation later I shared my ideas (inspired by the book) with the department so that as a team we could agree on the ideas we wanted to adopt in every lesson and how we’d adapt them to suit our needs.

I must say here that I work with an amazing team; keen, dedicated, enthusiastic, inspirational teachers everyone of them! My ideas were eaten up and chewed over and eventually improved upon until we were all agreed upon our chosen progress plan for every single class we teach as a department.

The key agreements to focus on were;

  • Vocabulary banks for every lesson (Key vocab in a table with space for students to explain and use in a sentence)
  • Reflection diaries for all AS & A2 classes (online blogs)
  • Reflection boards for KS4 students (shared Google Docs -shared with teacher- to reflect one after feedback and grade updates)

As three points you look at them and think the “we do these” but what we’ve identified is we don’t do them consistently enough for students to gain full value from the routine of doing them.

“Routine for students is SO importent.”

If we want them to be independent we have to have built ‘scaffolding’ for them to get to that level of academic ability. We felt that making these three points our primary focus when planning and teaching EVERY lesson we’d build in that routine, to a point were student will grow in their independence.

So, as of last week we went for it.

And, in my first few lessons the students haven’t fought against it (not that I expected them to). They do however (for now at least) need me to either drop huge hints when they should be filling in a vocabulary list, or reflecting on their work. But that’s the start, when the routine is build up I can begin to take that overt scaffolding away and watch them demonstrate their independent progress to whomever is in the lesson 😉 

I’ll keep you all posted with our progress

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