"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching."
Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene II.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Workshop #3 - Alison Cleary: The Whole Shebang... an integrated approach to Level 2

Programme rationale: disliked a 'piecemeal' approach around a series of assessments, wanted a more connected approach and an programme which could be run across two years. Alison is in a google school where they are using teacher dashboard.

Learners first: know the learner. Her class was a high achieving class who had all got Merit endorsements or above in Level 1. Half had been in extension classes since Year 9, the other half were selected on the basis of good results in Year 11. They do class profiles for all classes in all subjects, covering pastoral/health etc information as well as academic.

Focus at the start of the year on Analysis - what does analyse mean, look at the AOs from the curriculum. Introduction to Analysis - what, how and why?

Introduce the 'big theme' - Fate: is life predetermined or are we in control?

Run, Lola, Run!
Choice (from a small selection)
Independent study of an extended text.

Journal writing. Gave everyone an exercise book on first day for journal writing/writing portfolio. [She lets them take it home. Apparently they bring it back - novel concept for me!] Using writing as 'do now' twice a week, puts three topics on the board, usually one suggested from listening to student issues, one arising from textual study and one is always 'own choice'.

Once a fortnight the class is in a computer room for either connections or writing, and students can also work on their writing at home (on google docs).

One the aims is moving year 12s off the TEX/SEX essay model onto proposing a thesis statement and arguing it.

English has not been compulsory at year 12 for them for 2 years, but it has had little impact on numbers. Students are still choosing to take English, but they don't have to deal with those who really don't want to and are only doing it because the school makes them.

Literary models: Alison showed us a great poem a student wrote based on a trigger which was a paragraph from Tim O'Brien's story The Things They Carried, as an example of writing using a textual trigger.

Close reading tasks are all broken down into the 4 AOs (the aspects) so they have questions about ideas, structure, purpose and audience and style.

The question was asked as to which standards they assess: close viewing with film in term 1, writing portfolio and connections. Speech is optional. A couple have asked to do the reading instead of the writing portfolio. Students do two or three of the externals, they encourage them to do only two but some students want to do three.

Overall this was a very interesting programme although, as another participant commented, it was perhaps giving me more ideas for my level 3 programme than my level 2, given the fact that it was pitched at a high ability year 12 class.

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