Lipson The Co-operative Academy

Lipson Co-operative Academy

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Most Able Students 2015/16

This SIG will focus on how we can ensure that our most able students are suitably challenged within a mixed ability co-operative classroom across all Key Stages (3, 4 and 5). It will provide staff with an opportunity to reflect on what mastery for their subject looks like, sounds like and feels like and how this is made explicit within your classroom. It will develop strategies to ensure that no student gets left behind, through the use of effective differentiation and scaffolding.  It will consider how we ensure accelerated progression in literacy and numeracy from KS2 to KS3.

 

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April 12th 2016

Student lead Peer reviewed homework The concept is that the most able lead a review of a piece of homework. A more able student looks at the home work not just from a completion perspective but from a misconceptions view point too. For example: a piece of work is set, they complete the work and then work with the teacher to put a list or PowerPoint together to discuss with the class. It is in its early stages and needs more attempts before it can be tried more widely. Benefits already found are: greater thought over homework planing and planing a lesson around the review and misconceptions lead by the student/s.

 

April 12th 2016

Art and Design: In art we have been working on extending aspiration though expectation. We have been doing this by collecting banks of high quality exemplar materials and encouraging share time in lessons.

 

April 12th 2016

To challenge our more able students we will be looking at ways of grouping our year 9 classes for problem solving activities. (Problems will be sourced from www.nrich.maths.org) Is it better to group them according to ability or to mix up the different abilities together? Our hypothesis is that separating the abilities will allow the most able students to be stretched further.

 

April 12th 2016

We looked at the impact of seating plans on the learning of more able students. We opted to put to the test different types of seating (students' choice, heterogeneous grouping led by the teacher, random grouping and homogeneous grouping) and we measured the students' satisfaction and progress. We collected students' feedback through a questionnaire and through conversations at the end of the lesson. Initially, a majority of students opted for the seat preferred by the teacher on their normal seating plan. They also reported a greater satisfaction with seating where they chose. We are planning to analyse this impact on the same group of students across a range of subjects.

 

November 24th 2015
For GCSE coursework in IT I have been using an A3 paper sheet for target setting. Students keep a record of their targets and can also ask key questions if they are not sure how to achieve the target they have set. This has helped students focus on meeting deadlines and work more independently. This approach has also been used with BTEC classes in KS4. Students voice has been positive and progress has improved.

 

 

November 24th 2015
Year 8 students in D&T have looked at a range of techniques and skills prior to being given a design brief. They record their notes in their 'mastery booklet'. From their understanding of this, and using KS2 data, we differentiate the subsequent design task, asking for a different number of techniques to be used based on ability / level of understanding. The more able will be asked to demonstrate a higher number of techniques in their design work. This raises the level of challenge for the more able and forces them to give much greater consideration to material properties and skills, deepening their understanding as a result. The following design and making task has given students greater ownership of their work than in the past and encouraged greater independence.

 

November 24th 2015
I have been experimenting with using a slightly streamlined version of the diagnostic targeting with KS3 Art students. In both KS4 and 5 students have been using a system based on the four assessment objectives in Art. I have been trying to simplify the system but keep the format and feel at KS3. Students will now have a seamless journey in their Art lessons through all key stages.

 

November 24th 2015
History To encourage independent reading in the 6th form To succeed at A level, extra reading around the topic is essential to be able to extend knowledge ,encourage analytical writing and also use historians opinions and research in essay answers. Students often find it hard to take their own notes and read academic texts at A level as many have not done this before. Students were made to watch and listen to an academic lecture on the causes of the Wars of the Roses which was about 15/20 minutes long. The students were told to take notes on what the lecturer was saying to model how History is taught at Degree level. I also took the notes along side the students. Many of the students found this a real challenge some wrote a lot others, wrote very little. I then shared with the notes I had produced with the students. Many were surprised about how much I had done. This had the result of more students being able to take notes faster and in detail as they realised the standard necessary. The notes increased and developed the standard analytical writing.

 

November 24th 2015
My year 13 student was struggling with the structure of his written work, in particular timed essays. He was finding it difficult to pick out key ideas, relevant facts and figures and A2 appropriate structures. In order to resolve this we spent a lesson unpicking a model answer to a particular essay title. We focused on the A2 mark scheme and picked out the key positive elements of the essay (development of ideas, clear structure, use of complex structures, varied vocabulary etc). We also discussed areas where the model essay could have been improved. Having done this we discussed strategies for how he might tackle an exam timed essay and discussed the importance of planning. At this point we co-wrote a plan for the same essay title - highlighting both ideas, content and points to be developed and key phrases and structures to be included. The student then wrote his version of the essay under timed conditions. This has led to a noticeable improvement in terms of the quality of the student's writing - the register is much higher, there is more variety in the structures he has used, and the quality and accuracy of his French is better. Often one of the main problems he was facing was not knowing how to develop and express his ideas and avoid repetition of language. By showing him the model essay he was able to 'steal' lots of phrases that he could include in his own work. In order to improve this for another topic, it would be beneficial to fully close the loop. Having written his own version of the essay, rather than just focus on marking it, it would be useful to compare to the model and see where it could be further improved or see how it differs. in addition, it will be interesting to see the impact of having done this exercise on an essay title where we have not had an in-depth look at a model essay first - this will give a true reflection of the impact on the student's writing.

 

November 24th 2015

I have given the most able students a scaffolded task which builds their confidence in linking key words from various topic areas. This task is separated into three stages of challenge. The first is where students are given a list of key words from the same topic and they need to write a structured paragraph which makes links between words of the same topic. They are then given a selection of key words from two separate topics and are asked to make links between words from both topics. The last level of complexity is to give them specif key words, one from each topic and they need to link these in a paragraph which identifies their competency in linking concepts. The benefit of this task is that the students are more able to access longer answer questions. The proven success is their increased attainment in a mock exam question which specifically linked key ideas from two separate topic areas. This question was historically under-performed and the students were able to approach it without hesitation. The one area of this task which I feel could be adjusted is the highest level of challenge, where some students weren't able to make the appropriate link between terms. At this point I would give them some key questions which would prompt them into making the necessary links. Another angle which has been tried is to give students four topic areas with a list of differentiated key words and they have to make the links between the topics independently. This improved productivity of work and developed exam technique with regards to specific Scientific literacy.

 

November 24th 2015

Previously, higher order questions were just related to the topic, and we are now extending these to be more generic questions, linking to applications of Mathematics. More able students were encouraged not to just use algorithms, but to think about forming generalisations with a varied set of conditions. Impact has been that students have begun to relate their mathematical skills to real life scenarios in other topics. This can be seen in their willingness to attempt higher order questions and they are considering where Mathematics is used, rather than just applying a process. EBI: teachers can build up a more extensive library of model questions and answers. Sharing of good practice could really illustrate the strength in the Dept and encourage teachers to develop their own skills and creativity.

 

November 24th 2015

Challenge for the most able: English This term, the A Level teaching team (RPN, CJS and TGT) have been working on improving the challenge for the most able, with a focus on the new linear Year 12 A Level in Literature. Within English, the most able always need to focus on improving their wider critical awareness alongside their ability to analyse in a sophisticated manner using a critical line of argument. Our English trainee, Claire Rundell, worked with us to create an A*/A modeled essay focusing on Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help,' the class novel this term. Students were asked to identify the use of Assessment Objectives throughout the essay (highlighted) in order to understand the 'mechanics' of an essay. Whilst at first apprehensive, due to the sophisticated nature of the vocabulary, the group were asked to use the style of the model to rewrite an introduction and a conclusion. Approaching the text in this systematic, step by step manner allowed them to gain confidence in their own ability and see that they could indeed achieve a top level response. The impact was clear when marking their next extended essay. Students could now use the modeled vocabulary and line of argument to create their own with confidence.

November 24th 2015

This has been reinforced by a focus on enrichment within KS5 for the most able. The English team have created an online blog entitled, 'The Lipson Lyric' which will allow staff to share critical models and materials with students (based on university level material) in order to improve their access to cultural, authentic, challenging material which will help them to access the top grades. The impact for this can be measured through usage of the site alongside scrutiny of student work in Spring Term. Ostensibly, staff are working hard to improve the rigour and challenge for the most able through modelling and enrichment.

November 17th 2015

Hi all, Our next meeting is very soon and we should be thinking about how to present our findings. You can be as creative as you wish, so unleash your arty side! If you feel a bit short of ideas, do let me know and we can work together to Wow! Your audience.

 

November 5th 2015

Welcome to the Most Able Students Blog! Tuesday 8th December is the next SIG meeting when we will present to the group. You can do this via many media, so please think about being creative with your findings and entertain us!