Wyvern College • Mixed comprehensive with 1300 students • Broad spectrum social demographic, but predominantly suburban catchment • Previously Technology and Humanities specialism, now an Academy • 2012 62% EAM
What problems did I face? • Experienced, but at times divided, department. department. • Inconsistency - lesson observations ranged from Outstanding to Unsatisfactory. Behaviour issues in some groups. • Pupil progress – GCSE results varied, passivity of students in some lessons • Student satisfaction – GCSE option numbers ok, but results varied, behaviour inconsistent. Parental complaints.
What did I do about it? 1) Teaching and Learning – consistency, student enjoyment 2) Pupil progress / GCSE results / assessment 3) Team approach – sharing of good practice – belief that you are only as strong as your weakest link. How do you get the best out of the staff in your department?
Effective planning Engaging enquiry-led lessons Improving Teaching and Learning ‘Can do’ classroom culture Collaboration
Staff shared area to share resources to build consistency and a bank of outstanding resources
Creating a ‘can do’ culture • Differentiation – We want every student to enjoy and achieve in History • Teacher talk / positive language • Modelling / support for assessments and exam questions • High expectations of behaviour and work • Intervention/ ‘winning ways’
Planning AFL Consistency Pupil Progress Use of data Revision Intervention
How do we track progress at KS4? There are fixed assessment points for all KS4 groups. Every student takes the same assessment. The assessments are all based around the exam question format and range from individual questions to whole section, to a whole exam paper. Data is entered into SIMs every half term. We use SISRA to track student progress and compare progress against other subjects. We support students in planning and writing some assessment questions. This is designed to model to them how they should be approaching questions. We refer to the mark schemes regularly and use model answers so that they become increasingly confident in approaching the different type of questions. We have found that this creates a climate of success, where students achieve and are thus willing to work harder to achieve more. As we assess each unit as we go along students are able to achieve the top grades, even in Year 9.
How is GCSE revision organised at Wyvern? • Planning – Students are given a revision plan where every lesson is mapped out. They also have a revision folderas a ‘fresh start’ and to help them get organised. We start revision just after the February half term. • Resources - Department revision guideswhich are provided free of charge. Revision website which contains all the notes they need, video clips, links to other revision websites, copies of past papers and model answers. • Motivating lessons – we try to make the lessons creative and fresh. • Silent exam practice ‘against the clock’ & quick turnaround in marking. • Consistencyas a department / high expectations of all students. It is more about them wanting to workthan forcing them. • Building independenceby giving them the tools to be independent. This has enabled them to establish good study habits which they can take with them to college.
History knowledge • Exam criteria • Ability to deviate from curriculum and be creative • Recruitment Subject specialists Passion & Enthusiasm Team approach Going the ‘extra mile’ • Intervention • Extra curricular • Trips and visits • History Club • Enthusiasm for History from students Consistency
High expectations Planning Intervention • Differentiation • Marking • Creativity • You’re only as strong as your weakest link • Tracking progress • Behaviour • Support for struggling staff Leadership Lead by example Team Spirit Trouble shooting
Has there been any impact? GCSE Option numbers – Up by 50% / from 4 groups to 7 groups in 9,10 and 11. By far the most popular option in the school. GCSE Results – A*-C 83% / A*/A 45% – we enter all students whatever their ability. Positive residuals when compared within college, county or national. RAISE data significantly positive. Teaching and Learning – All lessons graded Good or Outstanding in QA lesson observations. Positive feedback from students and parents. Buzz in lessons and department. Students want to be part of Wyvern History Department. Knock on effect on student performance in other areas? Wider impact? Student given subjects. Work with other schools / departments within the college
Where next? • Contribution to whole school literacy. • The challenge of the new National Curriculum – planning, resourcing, differentiation, lack of knowledge, work with our feeder primary schools? • G & T – Finding creative ways to challenge our most able students, especially those taught in mixed ability groups.