Sunday, 31 August 2014

Contract for my new currently underachieving Year 11 classes

On Tuesday I will be meeting my two new Year 11 classes - the majority of whom I haven't taught before as I am still relatively new to the school.

Out of all these students only 3 are currently on target to achieve 3 levels of progress by the end of KS4, even though 93% of them achieved a Level 4 or 5 at the end of KS2.

The predictions for their actual GCSE Grades based on Year 10 are all Ds and Es.

There is a lot to be done.  It will be hard work, but not impossible, and I thrive on challenge!

What I do need though, is for them to buy into both me and themselves right from the first lesson.

So how am I planning to do it?

I feel very lucky to have had a varied career where I have previously working in an inner-city school in Special Measures, was then a Head of Maths in a very successful faculty for 5 years, delivered specialist intervention teaching of small groups at an Outstanding School and I am currently working as a Lead Practitioner (previously AST) and expert examiner for Edexcel.

I always tell Year 11 all of the above - it's a start towards them having confidence in my ability to teach them.  ....and I also tell them I've been in teaching for longer than they they've been alive!

In addition I also let them know that I have worked with many students in their position at the beginning of Year 11 and that we can definitely turn it around so that they achieve their potential.

Last year for the first time I gave students the opportunity to pick their own GCSE Grade based on the amount of effort they were prepared to put in through opening only one of 3 personalised envelopes.

Full details of this can be read by clicking here.

In addition this year I am going to try something new alongside it in terms of a contract, of sorts, to stick in their books, entitled:

It starts with a moment of reflection on their predicted grade from the beginning of Year 10 to the end of Year 10.  I've included this because many of them dropped grades between the start and end of the year.

I must just make clear at this point that in no way am I attributing any blame for this either now or during the lesson.  Nor will I be allowing the students to do so!

I do however, think that it's important that they reflect on this in light of the quote which I included next  (attributed to Einstein, but whoever said it is a genius!):

What I am really going to concentrate with them upon is the next part.  What are they going to do differently this year?  It's at this point that they will be committing to the amount of effort they are prepared to put in and then choose an envelope and target grade. (As seen in the picture earlier)

Finally they will decide what they are going to do differently this year so that they can expect different results:

 This is how the whole page looks.  I'll let you know how it goes .........