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Soham Village College

Illumination Research Lesson Study: An Enlightened Enquiry


Table of Contents Introduction

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Findings

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How does a student’s view of their own intelligence / ability affect their overall academic achievement?

How can self-regulated learning enable Y11 students (entering SVC on a 4b) to make 4 levels of progress?

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How can writing frames/rubrics be used to improve KS3 students‘ abilities to self-assess their literacy skills?

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How do different approaches to structuring group work activities affect student resilience and progress in 


mathematical problem solving?

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To what extent do lower ability students achieve their target grade(s) with the implementation of sustained 


intervention strategies?

Which styles of teaching and activities results in higher levels of participation amongst the ‘silent middle‘ Y8s?

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How to teach British Values in an objective way to students in PSHE and curriculum subjects.

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To explore how a range of differentiation strategies impact on students in low ability year 7 classes.

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39


41


47


To what extent does the use of music technology allow more-able students to make as much progress 


as other students?

To what extent can the gender gap within year 7 Design & Technology be addressed by creating gender 


neutral worksheets?

To what extent does improving the engagement of practicals (in Science) and theory (in PE) increase the


achievement of lower ability/less motivated students?

To what extent does improving student growth mind-set improve the achievement and engagement of lower


ability maths and FLT students?

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56


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60


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How can we develop effective strategies to improve mathematical skill for year 11 students in the lower 


attainment band so that they have more confidence and are better able to answer numerical 


GCSE questions?

To what extent does explicitly teaching problem solving skills to high ability Year 9 students improve 


students‘ abilities to answer AO3 questions?

Does the integration of more ICT based solutions result in better engagement within lessons and on 


homework tasks?

To what extent does offering out-of-lesson opportunities to reach higher levels increase the progress of 


high-ability students make in Design & Technology?

How to change the mind set of student’s written response to exam questions from factual statements


to analytical and evaluative responses.

Does breaking questions into sub-questions improve the attainment of low ability year 10s in 6 mark


literacy tasks?

To what extent does modeling and scaffolding raise the attainment of underachieving most-able


students in English Language?

To what extent does varying strategies for grouping students in 7A have upon their achievement, 


Resilience and perceptions of themselves as learners?

To what extent does explicitly teaching problem solving skills to low ability year 9 students improve


Students‘ abilities to answer AO3 questions?

To what extent does independent learning and research increase achievement of higher ability 


students in KS3?


 


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1 Introduction

“...researching practice is about challenging beliefs and values through encountering new ideas...which ultimately increases the well-being and attainment of every student in each class.’

- Elaine Wilson


‘Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.’ 
 - Dylan William As teachers we do one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs in the world. It is so challenging that no one in history can ever claim to have mastered it. Societal expectations increase each year as the profound impact of education on the lives of young people becomes increasingly obvious. The young people in our care will have to solve problems which do not yet exist, using technology that has yet to be invented. As professionals we relish this challenge and recognise that to stand still is to fall behind. This booklet describes the professional learning of the teachers of Soham Village College during three rounds of research lesson study (RLS). At SVC we have engaged in RLS for three years; each year finding new ways to hone the process to help us further improve our practice. Research clearly shows that the CPD most likely to change teachers’ practice has three main aspects in common: it is classroom-based, it involves teachers working collaboratively and it is focused on enquiry. These aspects are at the heart of RLS and explain, I believe, why it is such a powerful form of CPD. Aside from the essential goal of improving our practice, the engagement in action research is a laudable pursuit in itself. One of the great criticisms of our profession in this country, exacerbated by incessant curriculum and assessment

reform, is that we don’t know what works. Does that Year 11 intervention programme actually work? This lack of knowewldge renders us powerless to refute direction from outside the profession; direction that often has little or no evidence base. It also means we could devote time and effort, each and every year, to activities which are at best useless and at worst harmful. By engaging in action research and by sharing our findings we can challenge practices and policies which are unlikely to benefit children and put out precious and finite energy into activities most likely to have a positive impact. This move towards a more evidence-informed profession can only be a good thing for students and teachers. I hope you find the shared learning in this booklet interesting and useful. I’d like to thank all the staff at SVC for their continued enthusiasm and professionalism; I believe we are a community which truly embraces the concept of life-long learning. I would also like to share my deep appreciation for the work of our Pedagogy Leaders who oversaw all the work of the various triads: Sarah Anson, Brian Barham, Peter Dreuitt, Sam Morrey and Krista Carson. I am particularly indebted to the latter for her efforts and skill in bringing this booklet to publication. - Kev Geall

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2 Findings

“Change in practice occurs through deliberate learning.� - Elaine Wilson


How does a 
 Student's view of their own intelligence/ ability affect their overall academic achievement?

We chose this question after considering some of the current educational thinking regarding fixed/growth mind-sets and the work of Carol Dweck in her book ‘Self-theories’. As GCSE history at Soham Village College contains a large and broad/mixed cohort we felt well placed to carry out research into this area with our classes of 2016 year 11 students. Our group contained 5 teachers so we decided that a slightly different approach to lesson study would work best. Rather than focusing on 3 lessons within the cycle we decided to carry out ongoing research, running from the first lesson study cycle to the last. With this in mind, we wanted a research question where we could use multiple classes as the research subjects, rather than focussing on one class and teacher. After an initial discussion, we decided that an area of interest for all of us was to explore the link between a student’s view of their own intelligence and ability in history and achievement, educational choices and outcomes. Action taken and rationale We broke our research down into three phases, loosely timed around the three cycles of lesson study: Phase i – Exploring and defining student attitudes to their own ability/ intelligence Phase ii – Determining whether there is a link between ‘self-theories’ and the academic choices students make. Phase iii – Using different teaching methodologies to alter student mind-set and outcomes.

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox


We decided to use Option E history students as our subject groups. We decided to focus on this set of students for two reasons. Firstly, this group contains the broadest cross section of students with regard to ability. Secondly, J Wale and M Wilcox do not teach in this group, meaning they would both be available to carry out student interviews as and when we needed. The sample contains 74 students, taught across 4 teaching groups.

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The student below has scored highly on the view of intelligence questionnaire. You will notice that some of the questions indicate a fixed view of intelligence and some a growth view. For the fixed statements (Q1, Q3, Q4, Q6) you simply add up the number of the statement picked. For the growth statements (Q2, Q5) you reverse the score, so a ‘strongly agree becomes a 4 rather than a 1, and a ‘Strongly dis-

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

agree’ would become a 1 rather than a 4. The higher the score the more of a ‘growth’ view the student has of intelligence. You can see the student below has a definite tendency towards a growth view of intelligence from the statements they have selected. The maximum available is 24.

‘The higher the score the more of a ‘growth’ view the student has of intelligence.’

Below is an example of student with a low score, and therefore a tendency towards a ‘fixed’ view of intelligence. This student has scored 9 out of a possible 24.

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A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

Below is an example of the learning goals side of the questionnaire. This student scored 15 out of a possible 24.

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We decided that we would class students will a score of 16 or below as having tendencies towards a fixed mind-set, and those with a score of 18 or above as having tendencies toward a growth mind-set. In reality, it is of course a scale and we would be most interested in looking at those students at the extremes, with the highest and the lowest scores. Findings of Phase i

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

Score of 16 or lower on attitudes towards intelligence (tendency towards fixed mind-set):
 34% of option E cohort
 
 Score of 18 or higher on attitudes towards intelligence (tendency towards growth mind-set):
 54% of option E cohort One of the questions we were interested in during this first phase was whether there is a link between mind-set and ability. Of the 34% of those students with a tendency toward fixed mind-set:
 17% have FFT predictions of As (No A*s)
 57% have FFT predictions of B/Cs
 26% have FFT predictions of D/Es Of the 54% of those students with a tendency toward a growth mindset: 8% have FFT predictions of A*/As
 53% have FFT predictions of B/Cs
 39% have FFT predictions of D/Es This would suggest that there is no clear link between ability and mind-set. Different ability students can be found at both ends of the scale. The second question that the research team were interested in from phase i was whether there is a link between mind-set attitudes and performance in the subject.

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Of the 34% of those students with a tendency toward fixed mind-set: 48% below FFT target grade 
 39% on FFT target grade
 13% above FFT target grade Of the 54% of those students with a tendency toward a growth mindset:

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

11% below FFT target grade
 33% on FFT target grade
 56% above FFT target grade

the students who are

This suggests a far stronger correlation. It would appear that the students who are achieving in the subject are more likely to have growth mind-set tendencies. We discussed this in detail and thought this was an interesting discovery, with whole-school implications. If students are more likely to exhibit the much desired growth mind-set attitude when they feel they are achieving well in a subject, then what role can teaching and assessment play in contributing to this and challenging the converse? This set us up nicely for phase ii of the research study: would the mind-set that students have a tendency toward affecting their educational choices in the classroom?

achieving in the sub-

Phase ii – Determining whether there is a link between ‘self-

ject are more likely to

theories’ and the academic choices students make.

‘It would appear that

have growth mind-set tendencies.’

For this phase of the study we decided that we wanted to see if the choices students make might be linked to their mind-set. Dweck’s research suggests that students with a fixed mind-set have a preference for performance goals. Sometimes performance goals involve playing it safe and avoiding mistakes. Other times, performance goals involve taking on a harder job, but one where students think they will do well whilst not taking a risk. In contrast, learning goals are about learning something new, making mistakes on the way. Learning goals are usually more challenging and do not offer instant feedback in the form of a mark/grade. We decided to ‘set-up’ three tasks within a year 11 lesson where the students had completely free choice over which task they wanted to do. We decided it was very important, if we were go-

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ing to get a genuine choice, that the classroom teacher made it very clear that all 3 options were equally valid and we really did not mind which one they picked. We also had to make it clear that all 3 options would take roughly the same amount of time. We did this to avoid students thinking there was an easy. Below is a screen shot of what the students were presented with:

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

We purposely pointed out to the students, through these brief summaries, that the first two options (performance goals) were much lower risk or gave an opportunity to demonstrate intelligence/ability to their peers. If Dweck’s research was to be supported, then the students with a growth mind-set tendency were more likely to choose option 3. Once students had selected their options, they got on with completing them. For the lesson study research it was the selection that was the relevant issue and not the outcome of the task. The classroom teachers subtly noted down what each student in their group had opted for whilst they were working. I shall not go into detail about the tasks themselves, but for those interested: Option 1 was a factual Q and A test
 Option 2 was an extended exam question 
 Option 3 was a ‘Write your own exam question’ activity Clearly only option 1 and 2 would give the students a clear outcome in terms of marks/grades. However, in the past we have found option 3

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to be a very powerful learning technique for students. It is a tried and tested high value approach used by the history department at SVC. Once the students had completed the lesson, we collated the data for analysis. We also decided that interviewing some of the students regarding their choice would be valuable at the end of phase ii. Findings of phase ii Whole option E cohort (74 students):

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

32% selected Option 1
 37% selected Option 2
 31% selected Option 3 It is interesting to note that there was a fairly equal split between the options which the students went for. Of the 34% of those students with a tendency toward fixed mind-set:

‘The statistics ...

50% choose option 1
 23% choose option 2
 27% choose option 3

would appear to support the idea that students with a tendency

The statistics above would appear to support the idea that students with a tendency toward fixed mind-sets are more likely to opt for per-

toward fixed mindsets are more likely to opt for performance goals when presented with the choice’

formance goals when presented with the choice. 73% selected either option 1 or 2, which were the performance goal tasks.
 
 Of the 54% of those students with a tendency toward a growth mindset: 17% choose option 1
 51% choose option 2
 32% choose option 3 The correlation for those with a growth mind-set tendency is less strong, although there appears to be a clear avoidance of option 1, with 83% opting for 2 or 3. This then led us to considering if perform-

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ance against FFT in the subject had any role to play in their selection of task. Links to performance in the subject: The following stats are from the entire option E cohort (74 students):
 56% of those who selected option 1 are below target
 22% of those who selected option 1 are above target
 22% of those who selected option 1 are on target
 


A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

8% of those who selected option 2 are below target
 23% of those who selected option 2 are on target
 69% of those who selected option 2 are above target 10% of those who selected Option 3 are below target
 70% of those who selected Option 3 are above target
 20% of those who selected Option 3 are on target These statistics are interesting as there appears to be a stronger correlation to perceived success in the subject determining option choice. 90% of those who selected option 3 are on or above their FFT target grade. As mentioned in the findings of phase i, there appears to be interconnection between mind-set, performance in subject and the choices students are making. The final area we needed to explore within the data created from their choices was the links to their ability.

‘...there appears to be a stronger correlation to perceived success in the subject determining option choice.’

Links to overall ability (FFT target grade): Option 1 – 44% of those who selected this option have a FFT target grade of a D or below
 Option 1 – 56% of those who selected this option have a FFT target grade of a B or C
 Nobody with an A*/A target selected option 1 Option 2 – 54% of those who selected this option have a FFT target grade of a D or below
 Option 2 – 46% of those who selected this option have a FFT target

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grade of a B or C
 Nobody with an A*/A target selected option 2 Option 3 – 25% of those who selected this option have a FFT target grade of an A*/A
 Option 3 – 60% of those who selected this option have a FFT target grade of a B or C
 Option 3 – 15% of those who selected this option have a FFT target grade of a D or below

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

‘...students who are achieving well in the subject but are middle/lower ability are more likely to choose a performance

Students who are higher ability are more likely to select option 3 (85% FFT C or above). This is not necessarily surprising, as this task clearly presented the greatest challenge. However, as we have already established, students who picked option 3 are generally working above FFT. When examining the results by individual student, some of those who picked option 3 have target grades of Ds and Es, but are performing well beyond this. Similarly, the majority of those who picked option A are underachieving but are not necessarily the lowest ability. The students with FFT target of Cs and Bs who selected option 1 are all under target. Option 2 is an interesting group. The vast majority (92%) are on or above target and many have a tendency towards a growth mindset, but are coming from a middle to lower ability range. We may be able to conclude that students who are achieving well in the subject, but are middle/lower ability, are more likely to choose a performance goal, but one which is perceived as more challenging and provides them with an opportunity to demonstrate/reinforce their ability.

goal, but one which is perceived as more challenging and provides them with an opportunity to demonstrate/reinforce their ability. ‘

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The final part of phase ii was to conduct interviews with some of the students about their choices. We selected a range of students based on their data and their choices. We wanted to speak to some of the students who clearly reinforced the trends above, e.g. students who are fixed mind-set, underperforming and chose option 1, and students who are growth mind-set, performing above target and selected option 3. However, we also wanted to speak to some of the students who did not fit the trend. For example, students who scored very low on the mind-set questionnaire but selected option 3.

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

An example of the interview questions can be seen below:

Question 1 was to ascertain why the student went for the task they did. Question 2 was to determine how confident they feel in the subject. The third question was to find out how they feel about history, do they enjoy it? The final question was to establish what value they at-

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tached to the task after they had completed it. There were some clear patterns/views which emerged from the interviews. 1) Most of the students who selected option 1 (named A on the sheet above) felt that it was not especially valuable (when answering Q4). 2) All of the students who selected option 3 rated it very highly (on Q4). They could clearly see the value in completing a learning task.

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

3) In answer to question 1, those who selected option 1 all stated that they did this as they felt it would be the easiest and they didn’t feel confident enough to do the others. ‘The others were too hard and there was more chance of going wrong’. Conversely, all of the students who selected option 3 stated that they wanted a challenge: ‘Because I wanted a challenge and something I hadn’t done before. I was confident I could complete it.’ 4) Nearly all students rated history highly in Q3, regardless of their option choice. 5) Many of those who selected option 2 stated that they felt confident in the subject but thought that option 3 would be ‘out of my comfort zone’.

‘It is the student’s perception of their own ability/confidence in a subject that is having an effect on their mind-set and their educational choices.’

Conclusions on phase ii This was a very interesting part of the study and although many of the results were not revelations (higher ability students were more likely to choose the harder learning task), there were some interesting patterns/ trends which emerged. In many ways, phase ii reinforces the findings of phase i. It is the student’s perception of their own ability/confidence in a subject that is having an effect on their mind-set and their educational choices. Although as teachers we need students to engage with performance goals as well as learning goals, indeed both have educational value, we don’t want students to avoid the more challenging aspects of their learning because they either feel that they lack the confidence or they need the constant reinforcement of a mark/grade that a performance goal provides them with.

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For the final phase we wanted to explore if there was anything we could do to influence the perception students have of their own ability/ progress in a subject. Could the overuse of performance goals and reporting of marks/grades against targets by teachers be influencing the mind-sets of students and ultimately their view of the learning tasks presented to them in class? Phase iii

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

‘...giving students regular marks and grades against their FFT target grade could be creating a problem for students who were not performing as well in history.’

For the final phase we wanted to look at how the teacher might have an influence over the student’s mind-set and view of their ability in the subject. After discussion we decided to focus on the way we feedback to students. From phases i and ii it seemed to be clear to us that giving students regular marks and grades against their FFT target grade could be creating a problem for students who were not performing as well in history. For some students, might we be creating a selffulfilling prophecy where students were becoming more negative and developing a fixed mind-set regarding their own abilities? If this is the case, then could it also be fair to assume that the knock on effect of poor confidence in the subject is a lack of willingness to engage with the more challenging learning in the classroom (for fear of failure)? We decided for phase iii to teach the final unit of the GCSE course in a slightly different way than usual. Rather than giving students regular progress grades and marks for work, we decided to only provide the students with written feedback. We agreed that this written feedback would need to be high quality and clearly help students see what they needed to do to move on. Only at the end of the entire unit would we give the students a mark and grade against their FFT target. This would take the form of a mock exam covering all of the question styles, which the feedback should have helped them to improve on. We would then analyse the data to see if this approach had any impact on outcomes. We also decided that interviewing some of the students about the approach we had taken would be important at the end. Throughout the course of phase iii, students received regular high quality feedback, both verbal and written, for all of the question types that

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would appear in the exam. Some examples of the feedback given can be seen below:

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

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The students had already been told that they were not going to be getting any marks or grades until the end of the unit, so they knew not to expect them. We did ask the students to engage with their targets by doing things such as highlighting their use of OK (Own Knowledge) and source quotes (as in the examples above). Findings of phase iii

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

After the students had completed their Unit 3 Protest mock we analysed the data. We decided the best comparison would be to compare their results to one of the mock exam units carried out in Nov 2015. We chose Unit 1 – Crime and Punishment as the paper to compare performance in. 36% performed better in their protest paper than in their crime paper
 29% performed better in their crime paper than the protest paper 35% achieved the same grade for both papers An initial look at these figures would suggest that the improved performance in the protest paper was minimal with only a 7% gain. However, it is important to note that the Unit 3 protest paper is generally perceived by history teachers to be the hardest of the three history exams. This is certainly supported by examining Edexcel ResultsPlus national data; unit 3 is usually the one which students score the lowest in out of the 4 examined units. Taking this into consideration, the statistic of 71% of students achieving the same or a higher grade between Unit 1 and 3 is very pleasing. The final stage of phase iii of our lesson study was to interview some of the students to investigate if the lack of grades within the marking had made a difference to their understanding of exam technique and targets for improvement. We also wanted to explore some of their views, with regard to grades versus written feedback. On the next page is an example of the questions that we asked the students:

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A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

‘From the twelve students interviewed, nine out of the twelve

The purpose of Q1 – 3 was to establish if the students had a clearer understanding of how to answer questions where they had received feedback only. Q4 – 8 were devised to gauge student views of grades and written feedback. The final question 9 was there to give students the opportunity to share their thoughts regarding the approach we took for phase iii of lesson study. We decided to interview the students in pairs so a sense of dialogue could form. Conclusions on phase iii

were far clearer on

As a research group, we acknowledge that it would involve far greater investigation to be able to state that there is a clear link between the

how to answer the Pro-

assessment approach we took and the improved performance. There

test questions and

are far too many variables outside of our control, such as the time difference between the two papers and the different content and exam technique. However, it does provide food for thought when considered with the rest of our lesson study findings.

what they needed to do to improve.’

The interviews also proved to be interesting. From the twelve students interviewed, nine out of the twelve were far clearer on how to answer the Protest questions and what they needed to do to improve. Again, it should be noted that this is unscientific and could be as much down to the fact that they had studied this element more recently. However,

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if we consider that these are usually questions that the students struggle on, the results were pleasing. The questions exploring student attitudes to feedback also proved interesting. Some of the recurring views were: 1) Students felt that they like to receive a grade and feedback at the same time.

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

‘Most students acknowledged that they focus more on the written feedback when there was no mark/ grade but they desire the grade at the same time.’

2) Students agreed that they were more likely to focus on the written feedback if there was no grade. 3) There was a big mix between the value students put on the grade versus the written feedback. Some valued the grade more; some valued the written feedback. 4) The vast majority of students did not like receiving the grade at the end of the Unit and would have preferred more marks/grades throughout. There are perhaps some interesting contradictions here. Most students acknowledged that they focus more on the written feedback when there was no mark/grade, but they desire the grade at the same time. When we gave the students the chance to discuss the approach some interesting points were raised. One student said that they thought that a mark was important to be able to see how close they were to a grade boundary. Several students said that marks were useful, but the constant reference to an FFT target grade could be very demoralising if you were under target. One student said that he liked the idea of having more good quality written feedback and fewer marks/ grades, but said that only having a mark/grade at the end of an entire unit was too infrequent. Final conclusions/next steps This research project has proved to be very interesting and we certainly think it would be worth other subjects looking into, as the implications of some of the issues raised affect the whole school. If we can help students change their theories of self and their abilities within our subjects, it can only lead to improved engagement with more challeng-

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ing learning and ultimately performance/attainment. The conclusions from our study are as follows: 1) There seems to be a link between student’s attitudes towards intelligence and ability and their sense of achievement in a subject.

A Aiken
 K Donaldson
 S Pollard
 J Wale
 M Wilcox

Whole school implications
 Do we need to ensure that the early stages of GCSE courses are achievable for all abilities? Does early perceived failure in a subject create a fixed mind-set and therefore send some students on a downward spiral of underachievement? 2) Students who believe that they are not achieving in a subject are more likely to focus on performance goals and avoid the more challenging learning goals when given a choice. Whole school implications
 Do we need to incorporate more learning goal activities into our lessons and ‘train’ students to become less focused on grades and targets and more focused on risk taking and working outside their comfort zone? 3) Although students themselves like to receive regular grades/ marks, they actually perform better when high quality written feedback is provided without a mark/grade. Whole school implications
 Are we over using grades/marks against target data? Our study suggests that we would be better providing regular good quality written feedback and then assessing in a summative way against target grades at key points in their learning – perhaps half-termly or at the end of key units.

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How can selfregulated 
 learning enable

This question was chosen as it was a faculty priority after last year’s results. As a group, we read through the article pictured below to help give us some background knowledge into self-regulated learning in the classroom.

Y11 students 
 (entering SVC on a 4b) to make 4 levels of 


Actions taken with rationale

progress?

Students on a level 4b were identified (faculty priority)

• A range of progressive lesson activities were planned that offered students choice about level of challenge. For example, see images below:

J Almond
 J MacIntyre
 W Bucktrout

This was done because ‘Considerable research indicates that use of self-regulated learning strategies (metacognitive and deep cognitive) is highly related to quality of learning, performance, and positive academic outcomes’ (Ainley 1993; Das, Naglieri, and Murphy 1995; Hwang and Vrongistinos 2002; Pintrich and DeGroot 1990; Pintrich and Garcia 1991; Weinstein and Mayer 1986; Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons 1986).

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Students were observed and then questioned to determine the effectiveness of the activities. Our rationale was linked to how Harter (1981) ‘reported that children who perceive themselves as academically competent generally develop an intrinsic motivation orientation, compared with children with low perceived competence who exhibit an extrinsic motivation orientation. Perceived competence was also found to be positively related to the use of cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, and persistency in completing academic tasks’ (Pintrich and De Groot 1990). Findings

J Almond
 J MacIntyre
 W Bucktrout

• Students appeared to have greater self-confidence when starting writing tasks. • All of the targeted students chose the B grade task. This was despite all students having C grade targets. • The majority of the other students also opted for the task that was one grade higher than their target. • Students appeared to enjoy the lesson and appreciated the opportunity aim for aspirational targets. • The level of the students’ motivation was higher than in other lessons with a different format. Next steps • Develop approaches for other units of study that allow students to demonstrate self-regulated learning. •

Share the lesson and findings with the rest of the faculty.

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How can writing frames/rubrics be used to 
 improve KS3 
 students’ 
 abilities to self-

We chose this question as making better use of assessment for learning, particularly students’ abilities to peer and self-assess their work, is one of the priorities in the department this year. As part of her Master’s Thesis, Krista found that students were often uncomfortable with selfassessing their own work; however, research suggests that better selfassessment skills will enable students to make better progress. Research suggests that ‘rubrics are useful instructional tools that can be used to clarify teacher expectations and guide students to learn to assess their own work against established criteria’ (Li & Lindsey, 2015).

assess their 


Actions taken with rationale

literacy skills?

1) A draft rubric was created and used to teach a middle ability Y8 class. Observations of how students used the rubric, alongside questioning students, was used to evaluate the success of the ru-

K Carson
 B Owen
 R Roberti


bric. Students were asked to assess exemplar pieces of work before moving on to assessing their own work. This was done in order to ensure the rubrics were used consistently by students; studies have shown that rubrics are sometimes flawed because they include ‘discrepancies among different raters applying the same rubric’ (Li & Lindsey, 2015) 2) Based on feedback from first round, a second rubric was created. This rubric included very specific grade criteria and examples. This

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was done because Wilson (2007; cited in Li & Lindsey, 2015) stated that rubrics were often ‘overly generic, making them ...incapable of ….ultimately helpful responses’. Both rubrics were used in comparison to teach a different middle ability Y8 class. Students were asked which rubric they preferred when marking their own work, and why. 


K Carson
 B Owen
 R Roberti

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3) Acting upon the feedback from the previous two rounds, and work with the HoD, a third rubric was created. This was used to teach a Y9 class.

K Carson
 B Owen
 R Roberti

‘...precise language is helpful, alongside examples of what those criteria look like in practice.’

Findings Most students, in two separate lower ability Year 8 groups, were able to correctly peer and self-assess with little input from the teacher. A majority of students were able to correctly level exemplar pieces of work before going on to self-assess their own work. This suggests that familiarising students with rubrics before asking them to self-assess their own work is helpful in avoiding discrepancies among raters. When comparing rubrics, students seemed to focus on bolded sections of longer criteria. This supports Li and Lindsey’s (2015) findings, as they stated that students in their study ‘seemed to focus on individual words rather than an entire phrase’. This was taken into account when producing the third, and final, rubric for the project. It was also found that students were keen to know specific levels alongside relevant success criteria. For example, when given the option of using Rubric 1 and Rubric 2, a majority of students wanted to

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be able to use both. This suggests that precise language is helpful, alongside examples of what those criteria look like in practice. Students themselves described how the rubrics helped make the teachers expectations clearer, something which was echoed in Li and Lindsey’s 2015 paper. The rubrics were used with other, non-lesson study groups, of high and middle abilities; success rates with the rubrics were consistent across ability groups, with students of all abilities assessing exemplar work and their own accurately when using the rubrics.

K Carson
 B Owen
 R Roberti

Students especially liked the colours, which corresponded to Go 4 Schools colours. It was clear to students that purple and blue were higher level skills; as a result, many students chose to focus on higher level criteria, even when working at lower ability starting points. Once again, this echoes findings by Li and Lindsey (2015) who found that students ‘felt that rubrics may have positive effects on writing because they motivate students to ‘always strive for higher standards’. Since using the rubrics, students have repeatedly asked to use the sheets, without the prompt of the teacher. Again, this supports findings from Li and Lindsey (2015), who said that students where ‘more likely than the instructors to perceive the rubric as an instructional tool.’ Like their study, students in our teaching groups were able to mention ‘quite a few benefits of the rubric to their learning’. Students will now request to use the rubrics when creating pieces of work, not just to self-assess after the fact. Next steps Some questions and consideration for future use include: - How can the rubrics be modified for use at a whole school level? - How can/will the rubrics be used with ‘life after levels’? - Creating more ‘class specific’ versions, which focus on two or three specific levels or sets of skills/success criteria.

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How do different

activities affect

We chose this question because one of the development targets for the maths faculty this year is developing growth mind-sets. In maths, we often find that students struggle with more open ended ‘problem solving’ tasks where their first reaction is often to say they ‘can’t do it’ or to ask teachers to ‘tell them what to do’. We were keen to support students in being more resilient and less teacher reliant. Specifically, we wanted to see what teaching strategies might help to promote greater resilience in pupils when attempting group work.

student 


Actions taken with rationale

approaches to structuring group work 


resilience and progress in mathematical problem solving?

We tested three different strategies for delivering group problem solving lessons. We worked with the same higher ability year 7 class each time and used similar extended ‘card sort’ problem solving activities. 1) In the first session, we explained the purpose of our study and explained the ‘growth mind-set’ idea to students, focusing on its importance in successful maths problem solving. We then gave students the first task without providing any further structure so that we could see how successful they were tackling a task without any supporting structure. 2) In the second session, we gave group roles to the students to encourage participation and help them organise a systematic and inclusive approach. These roles were the organiser, the recorder, the ‘spy’ and the presenter. 3) In the third session, we used an ‘expert group’ activity before the main task. This allowed each student to bring a specific skill to the group problem solving task. This supported peer reliance and independence from the teacher as students worked on the task.

A Hall
 M Lewis
 C Reay

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Findings Student feedback: 1. In terms of task completion, students reported a much higher success rate in the structured sessions compared to the first session. This suggested that structuring the task helped more groups to follow the task through to a conclusion.

A Hall
 M Lewis
 C Reay

2.

Students felt most able to make progress ‘on their own’ when they had done the expert groups.


 3. Just giving students a role (rather than an area of expertise) appeared less beneficial in helping individuals to complete the task.

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Teacher observations:

A Hall
 M Lewis
 C Reay

We saw benefits of all 3 approaches with different approaches benefiting different students. The most confident were of course happy to work in less structured ways but we saw clear examples of improved resilience for some less confident students from the introduction of roles. For example student B had almost given up before she went ‘spying’. This brought her back in to the activity and allowed her to make a significant contribution to her group. The expert group approach was the most inclusive giving those with least resilience a specific mathematical responsibility which made them invaluable to the group solution. Next steps Students find group problem solving quite challenging and need a framework to help structure and develop their thinking and resilience.

‘... we saw clear examples of improved resil-

We conclude that since we have seen different methodologies benefit different students, we need to continue to provide a range of approaches in structuring problem solving lessons, so that students experience successful strategies and can use these to support and develop their own resilience.

ience for some less confident students from the introduction of roles.’

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To what extent

Focus group: 8D

do lower ability 
 students achieve

8D are a special group of students (nine in total) with below average prior attainment and a high degree of SEN; eight students have statements.

their target

Action taken and rationale

grade(s) with the implementation of sustained 
 intervention strategies?

We decided to use a series of different practical strategies to improve concentration, engagement and potential. One lesson used coloured stickers, another focused on the use of “play dough” while the third lesson was based around a carousel structure using artefacts, chalk and drama. Our study took place across three different humanities lessons. These included: 1: History: power of monarchs 1500-1900 2: Geography: Should I be worried about global food production 3: RE: Buddhism: 3 way carousel bringing in history, geography and RE. Prior to lesson study, all the students in the group were interviewed to assess what they liked and disliked in school/lessons. An example of the questionnaire used can be seen below: Name:

How do you like to learn?

J Blunt
 A G Heaney
 P Heffer


Circle the correct response for each question that applies to you. 1: Do you enjoy class discussion? Always

Sometimes

Not so often

Never

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2: Do you like working in groups/groupwork? Always

Sometimes

Not so often

Never

Not so often

Never

Not so often

Never

3: Do you enjoy writing in your notebook? Always

Sometimes

4: Are you confident working on your own? Always

J Blunt
 A G Heaney
 P Heffer


Sometimes

Findings Student feedback:

Alex L: “I like the artifacts” Aaron: “It made it more interesting” Connor L: “I liked seeing what the different things were we were doing; it was like a surprise”.

Stickers: Liked the visual aspect of using the 3 stickers to highlight power/no power. Play Dough: The students found this helped them to link it to the focus of the lesson (Matthew: “A good way to start off the lesson- helped me to think about food”). Impact of strategies on levels/target grades:

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Carousel: All the students really enjoyed this activity and commented that if helped to keep their focus having to travel to different areas. The carousel lesson was very enjoyable for both teachers and students; helped to improve engagement

J Blunt
 A G Heaney
 P Heffer


Short practical tasks using a stimulus (e.g. play dough) was effective in maintaining focus; we were also surprised that this stimulus didn’t become a distraction. The cross-curricular element was really effective.

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Which styles of teaching and 


We chose this question as we all had middle ability year 8 groups with

activities result

individuals who don’t participate very much.

in a higher level

Actions taken with rationale

of participation

Before each round, the class filled in a questionnaire which aimed to find out their views on participation and how it could be increased for them. This was then used to feed into how we planned the lesson.

amongst the 
 ‘silent middle’ year 8’s?

Round 1: Lesson was designed to incorporate lots of different activities. There was independent, pair and whole class work; there were games, speaking tasks and listenings and there were lots of different ways of choosing who answered a question- at random (names in a hat), volunteers, pupils picking the next person to have a go etc. Round 2: Lesson planned with emphasis on specific activities that research had shown to increase participation (pods, group teaching & anonymous listening) Round 3: Lesson was designed to increase participation by seating students in groups at all times and rewards were also introduced for increased target language participation. Findings

M Talbott
 J Upward
 K Wright

Round 1: The teacher observations and student feedback showed that use of technology (slate) increased participation. Two of the three students were very similar in that they liked observing other students complete a new activity first before plucking up the courage to participate themselves. They also liked the security of checking their partner’s answer to build their own confidence. One student was unaffected by these changes. Round 2: The teacher observations and student feedback showed again that use of technology increased participation, this time in the form of Activ Inspire Voting Pods. Group teach was also well received by all three students, which increased confidence and therefore partici-

34


pation. The anonymous listening didn’t affect student participation.

M Talbott
 J Upward
 K Wright

Round 3: The teacher observations and student feedback showed that one student was very positively affected by the tables being moved to groups and also felt motivated by the use of reward for Target Language. One student was unaffected by these changes. Here are examples of a student questionnaire, student feedback after the lesson, Reflection of the lesson and notes taken during observation:

‘...[students] liked the

Next steps

security of checking

1.

their partner’s answer to build their own confidence.’

Feedback to department about:

- use of rewards in the form of stamping when target language is used to increase participation -

Use of technology (Activ Slate and Pods) increased participation

-

Group teach was well received amongst students.

2. Develop activities which incorporate use of technology more regularly into lessons 3. 4.

Develop and expand use of Group Teach amongst classes Use rewards more often to increase participation in the form of Target Language.

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How to teach British Values in an objective way to students in

This topic was chosen because OFSTED will check the school’s compliance in the delivery of British values. It also reflects a current political development which has highlighted British values as a core subject to be taught explicitly in all maintained schools. The topic is a difficult and challenging one that requires both considerable knowledge and sensitivities.

PSHE and 


Actions taken with rationale

curriculum 


We accessed the government website on delivering British values to check the scope of the topics and the raison d’etre. The Channel General Awareness Module was completed to link into the delivery of values.

subjects.

Lessons were prepared by each teacher – one was Yr9 PSHE, the other Yr 10 Media Studies; both lessons were delivered and assessed by the observer, followed by a plenary discussion and written observations entered into the CPD log booklets. Findings We deduced from the first observation that it is vital to focus pedagogy on each key value, rather than deliver a generic approach with all four values delivered at the same time. Many students showed limited awareness of British Values with implications for curriculum planning. Next steps All staff need to be made more aware of BV and strategies for delivering lessons on them – we discovered a paucity of knowledge and confidence amongst staff – this suggests some deep coaching is required.

J Stenner
 R Burgess

There is the potential for staff CPD to improve delivery of BV education. BV could be incorporated into the current work around curriculum reform. A survey monkey questionnaire could be developed to find out where and how BV already exists within discrete subject areas.

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To explore how a range of 
 differentiation strategies impact

This question was chosen because we teach 7R, T and S. Each group contains students with a range of abilities and needs. We chose to focus on writing as this is the skill low ability students generally find the most challenging and also often struggle to engage with.

on students in

Actions taken with rationale

low ability year 7

• Lesson 1 (7S) focused on writing words. A range of different activities were planned with the focus being on how out chosen students reacted and engaged with them.

classes.

• Lesson 2 (7R) focused on developing confidence and resilience with writing. A range of activities were planned to build students confidence, taking them from word level through to sentence level. • Lesson 3 (7T) focused on better scaffolding students when moving from word to extended sentences in writing, with a focus on the function of verbs. Findings

L Darch
 C Humphries
 L Jenkins

Lesson 1 – Lesson observation and student feedback indicated that use of cards with a range of graded / differentiated activities for students to work through at their own pace was a successful strategy. Good scope for extension for more able and for motivation and consolidation for less able. We were surprised that lower ability students responded so well to being given different work sheets; they did not seem to mind, as this enabled them to complete the task more independently. Lesson 2- Observation and student response indicated that use of the Activ Inspire voting Pods enabled less able students to gain confidence moving from multi-choice to texting one-word answers. The observers felt that the anonymity of the pods meant that students were responsive to error correction. The more able student used a range of strategies such as practising the words in her book before texting them to check her spelling. Students then selected their own level of challenge for the reading and writing tasks. Both the more and less 37


able students showed some resilience by referring to their class notes when they encountered difficulties in order to complete the tasks successfully at sentence level.

L Darch
 C Humphries
 L Jenkins

‘The more able student used her book to deduce the meanings of the sequencers while the less able stu-

Lesson 3- Students again responded well to the use of the voting pods to identify the missing verbs in a sentence. As it was multiple choice, the observers noted that the less able students participated fully due to narrow options. The less able student didn’t get disheartened when he got them wrong and continued to fully participate in the task, whereas for the more able student it was a consolidation and confidence boosting task. The cards consisted of a sequencing words, verb and noun and students were instructed to build sentences. Observers noted a variety of strategies students used, such as spotting patterns (e.g. all verbs starting with ‘je’ and). The more able student used her book to deduce the meanings of the sequencers, while the less able student focused on the verb and noun combinations, with a sense of achievement at completing the task. The word grid activity consolidated and recorded the students’ knowledge of the parts of the sentence, with the more able applying this to generate complex sentences.

dent focused on the

Next steps

verb and noun combi-

- We will feed back the findings of the more successful strategies to the faculty

nations, with a sense of achievement at completing the task.’

- We will schedule time to co-plan lessons for differentiation and sharing of resources, particularly with less able groups. - Continue to use pods to promote accurate application of grammar points (writing without the usual literacy barriers) - Explore ways to move from sentence to paragraph level with lower-ability students. - Making the strategies used by more able students explicit so they can be adopted by the less able students and promote resilience.

38


To what extent does the use of music 
 technology allow more-able 
 students to make

This is related to a department target of narrowing the gap between more-able students and other students in every year group from years 7 to 11. We have found that more able students, especially in maths, will undoubtedly have a very high FFT grade for the end of key stage 3. This was not always possible to achieve for these students, when such a high emphasis was placed on practical performance skills, so we decided to investigate ways that we could help these able students to achieve, but in other ways (e.g. composition or listening – technology was out first step).

as much 


Actions taken with rationale

progress as

We decided to focus on a year 8 class that we both share, working on a Reggae Music project. We decided to focus on three able boys who were all below, or significantly below, their FFT grade. We realised this was largely due to the fact that they were weaker performers on an instrument/voice. We wanted to give them the chance to complete the same Reggae song-writing task as the rest of the class, but by using Garageband (or similar) to compose, rather than having to perform on instruments (which they struggled with). We planned to trial certain amounts of scaffolding (giving pre-prepared music parts for them to use) but then also allowing them the freedom to start from scratch. We wanted to see how much further they could take their composition work when not having to worry about their own performance weaknesses, instead using the MIDI keyboard or computer keyboard to input then edit notes.

other students?

Findings

L Field
 G Perry

It was not a surprise that these students relished the opportunity to use Garageband or other technology to produce their reggae song. Alex was able to show his musical understanding and communicated more with his partner, perhaps with less requirement from them to use specific musical terms of show performance skills at this point. Collaborative composition could happen through the use of this ‘cool’ software and did not always require strong practical or performance skills to achieve more of a lead role, using software that they were all starting at the same level of knowledge on. Charlie was open to ideas and had more confidence to trial music and play parts in, although

39


Alex did try too.

L Field
 G Perry

Students seemed to prefer playing the music using the keyboard (musical input) rather than inputting MIDI data, which was really interesting because this required more performance skills from the boys – this helped them to realise that their musical ability was now useful and actually easier to do than inputting data by hand, in a less musical way. They were able to develop a simple sequenced track. Providing students with a pre-prepared or ‘scaffolded learning’ file helped them to make decisions without having to play technically tricky parts to start with. Next time, we could provide more options and tracks, scaffolding at different levels. We have found that the use of music technology has shown the potential to enable students to achieve higher levels in music by reducing the amount of performance skills required, whilst still asking them to think musically and construct music that sounds stylish. They can edit their music and correct parts, post-performance. They can write music for instruments that they are not able to actual play themselves. Next steps Prepare scaffolded and differentiated resources for schemes of work across the department, to allow more-able students complete the class work using technology to compose.

40


To what extent can the gender gap within Year 7 Design and 
 Technology be addressed by 
 creating gender neutral 
 worksheets?

This question came about through examination of data from the class of 2019 in their first academic year within a large rural secondary school in Cambridgeshire. The lesson study group involved 4 female Design and Technology teachers from across the Faculty. The group chosen for the study was from the current year 7 (2020 year group), and held a mixed demographic. The sample participants, aged between 11 and 12 at the time of the study, included 3 EAL, 7 PP and 6 SEN students, including one with a full statement of educational need. The groups’ gender make up was 12 male and 12 female. The sample group was indicative of other groups within Year 7 and was considered to be representative (Creswell, 2002). The group was taught over the course of the year by 2 members of staff within the lesson study group and a female ITT student. The subjects covered (Food, Textiles and Resistant Materials) are traditionally seen to have a gender bias. Actions taken with rationale The lesson study group used an action research methodology to enable them to study the gender issues within the identified group. Action Research as described by Elliot (1991) and Taber (2007) should be seen as a form of practitioner research. This idea was taken further by Springer (2008) when he suggested that action research is a part of everyday life in a classroom. He suggested teachers engage in a process of systemic inquiry with many of our classes when we decide what works well with our groups and what does not. This evaluative process of changing and development of our practices was at the heart of our lesson study group.

E Harrison
 (L Howliston)
 J Knight
 C Simon
 A-M Warren

The idea of practitioner research offered by Stringer gave the lesson study group four questions within which to plan out our research. The example prompts below show the questions proposed by Springer and the subsequent questions raised and discussed throughout meetings over the planning stages. Q1. What is to be taught (to these children, at this level)? Answer: student are required to write a production plan

41


Q2. How can it be taught? Answer: through development of work sheets to explain and record on Q3. Which teaching strategies will be appropriate? Answer: Teacher modelling examples and helping students complete the task.

E Harrison
 (L Howliston)
 J Knight
 C Simon
 A-M Warren

‘... it became apparent that there was an issue with our assumption that the girls would outperform the boys in their work.’

Q4. Which learning activities will be effective? Answer: students to devise plan during the practical stages. Stringer (2008) did not take into account the collaborative nature of lesson study or the way in which knowledge is created by working as a group. This collaboration did raise questions about the nature of our subjects and the differences and similarities in the way we teach. As a group of teachers, this collaboration offered us differing perceptive and a number of ideas that required refining and developing before the first round of observations took place. The group worked together in a constructivist way (Crotty, 1998), developing our skills through social interaction and discussion (Knight, 2015). For our research to be successful, we began to plan a series of lessons that would allow us to set up, observe and evaluate the work of a group of 3 students. In order to make our research more robust and to enable others within our school to recreate our work (Field & Hole, 2003), we picked participant’s across the genders with similar levels. This was achieved by looking at students with the same end of year targets. It was the plan to compare these students to each other as a way of comparing the results of both boys and girls to the lesson delivery and the resources which we produced. The process was repeated at the end of each lesson and the outcomes of the boys and girls checked to see if they had achieved commensurate with their end of year targets and that of the pairing.

42


E Harrison
 (L Howliston)
 J Knight
 C Simon
 A-M Warren

As action research suggests (Elliot, 1991), at the end of each lesson we used the review of the work planned to see if we had achieved the results we expected. At the end of our first round of lesson study it became apparent that there was an issue with our assumption that the girls would outperform the boys in their work. From first inspection of the work, it appeared a gender gap did not exist within the students we picked. At this stage we examined a number of students not within the original 6 student sub-sample to enable us to see what other factors we had not considered. From examination of a further sub-sample, it became clear that gender was not the only deciding factor within Design & Technology. This assumption from the data was too broad. At the end of Round 1, we decided to test the gender bias within this group to establish if we could create a gender bias with the resources we produced. This idea was a notion the group explored at length. Could we, as a group of teachers, understand the gender bias within our classroom better if we reversed our efforts into creating one? Round 2 of lesson study was about creating a situation in the classroom where we used the traditional gender stereotypes of colour, the use of writing frames and even how much space left to write within. The lesson that followed set out to create a gender gap. We allowed students to pick their own style sheet in the colour they wished. Instruction, as in round one, were detailed and examples were given. The results, discussed later, did not give us what we expected. In Round 3 of lesson study, a more primary based approach to the work was taken. Students were asked to develop story boards to encourage students to use both pictures and words from the onset. The data in the study used only one method, that of a visual comparison that had been assessed by the faculty criteria. Using only one method of gathering information does give rise to the reliability, as we should have built in a method of triangulating our data from 3 points (Creswell, 2002). At the onset, having 4 members of staff should have provided us with differing viewpoints, however, the group was in agreement. Hammersely, (1998) in his study into gender bias research,

43


stated that by only using one method of gathering data and looking at only gender can result in more questions being posed at the end of the study. Findings The findings from the first round showed no clear difference in the genders and students achieved similar results from the worksheets designed. Had we found the answer, or just been lucky? See photographs below:

E Harrison
 (L Howliston)
 J Knight
 C Simon
 A-M Warren

‘Staff required more understanding in the methodology behind educational research and how to carry it out.’

Round 2 - Lower and higher achieving student same result. Mid-ability some difference The problem we encountered may have been due to using existing data from the current year 8 being applied to the current year 7. Also, targets in 7X3 came from the 2015 baselining test and those for the class of 2019 came from standard FFT D make-up. Due consideration of this was not taken at the onset of our research and does raise issues as to how accurate our assumptions and conclusions are. The gender difference currently in Year 7 is -0.16 in favour of girls. Currently in year 8 -0.21 in favour of girls. Further study of the gender bias needed consideration before we started the study. The data at the

44


start of our study should have been analysed against the demographic structure and national figures.

E Harrison
 (L Howliston)
 J Knight
 C Simon
 A-M Warren

‘Gender should be considered against other factors at the start and the end of the interventions.’

Our research did not taken into account the role of a male teacher. Did an all-female team affect the results? Next steps In order to develop our work on gender issues within Design & Technology, a move through the school with the group 7x3 into Year 8 would provide us with more reliable data in which to base our conclusions from. Gender should be considered against other factors at the start and the end of the interventions. Is the issue a jump from primary school to secondary school and the differences in methods used? Further development of the storyboards for new year 7 intake may be needed. Should we consider the students skills when they arrive, and their perceptions from primary school? Is the issue more complex than one of just gender? Is the demographic a factor? Also, a sample below 30 does not offer a reliable sample. Should we have looked at two different TK groups? Data measurements should have been taken before the intervention started and at the end to measure the effectiveness of the work. National data should have been used to ensure we looked at trends. Is a time factor involved, not allowing enough time for students to complete work?

45


Consideration of a male role model within the group. Training into educational research methods for staff. The study should have been mixed methods, not just visual to make the research more reliable and robust.

E Harrison
 (L Howliston)
 J Knight
 C Simon
 A-M Warren

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To what extent does improving

We selected this area as it was one of our faculty priorities and links in with whole school targets of narrowing the gap.

the engagement

Actions taken with rationale

of practicals (in

We looked at cross curricular links with regards to both contents and students taught.

Science) and 
 theory (in PE) 
 increase the achievement of lower ability / less motivated

1) Chose a practical PE lesson to deliver the fitness components definitions and relevant tests associated with them. 2) Used competition and pairing (high and low ability put together) in order to increase motivation and engagement of all students. The students worked for a reward- in this instance it was immunity from one piece of homework (a non-essential piece-but they didn’t know this!)

students?

The results were recorded after each challenge so that students could monitor their progress regularly.

M Daybell 
 K Hardwick, 
 C Le Roy.

An example of a challenge from the lesson can be seen here:

47


3) Devised 3 different rotations and activities to enable students to access the higher grade boundaries in extended answer questions. We used ‘Player of the Lesson’ and ‘most motivated group’ to award prizes. A number of our students struggle to access analysis and evaluation questions in the written paper. 25% of the paper is recall so a large % requires the students to go in to extra detail.
 


M Daybell 
 K Hardwick, 
 C Le Roy.

A common teacher comment- "Add more detail!" Do the students know what this means? We focused on the 6 mark questions in detail to link in with both subjects.


Station 1

‘A number of our students struggle to access analysis and evaluation questions in the written paper.’

Station 1 got the students to build on each other’s answers (groups of 3). They had 5 minutes to say 'what' the key terms were. They then passed their answer to the next person who said 'why' the key terms were important. After this they rotated their answer for the last time and built on the previous answers by adding 'how' this helped. This was a great way of students breaking down the answer in to sections and making sure they have provided the detail required.


Station 2 Station 2 was based around the idea of trying to work out what makes up a successful answer to a 6 mark question. The students were given a completed answer to a circuit training question, which perfectly mod-

48


M Daybell 
 K Hardwick, 
 C Le Roy.

elled a 6 mark answer. They were also given the acronym PEE – point, evidence, explanation, around which to base their thoughts, the idea being that just making a number of relevant points would get them 1-2 marks; giving evidence to back up the point would take them to 3-4 marks; further explaining this would lead to 5-6 marks. The first task was to turn the given example answer into a 4 mark answer, by deleting certain sections – they then checked this against the mark scheme to see if they had successfully chosen the correct bits to leave out. The second part of the task was to then alter their modified answer even further, to leave them with what they thought would be a 2 mark answer, again finishing with a comparison to the mark scheme. They worked independently at first, then compared their ideas with their partner to ensure they were both on the same track. In conclusion, the students seemed to find this task quite easy when they broke it down in these simple terms, and they made definite progress and seemed more confident in being able to see what they would have to do to improve their answers in the future. Station 3 Station 3 involved the students spending 5 minutes reading through three different answers of a 6 mark question which came from their mock paper. They had to identify how many marks they think each was awarded and highlight what the key information was that got them the marks.

49


They then worked together to discuss how to improve the answers to 6 marks and added these to them.

M Daybell 
 K Hardwick, 
 C Le Roy.

During the three activities each group were awarded with points for engagement and knowledge. The winning group and ‘player of the lesson’ were given sweets as a prize.

‘...the students’ biggest reward was at an intrinsic level and seen in the confidence they gained from the activities enabling them to have more ownership of their improved achievement...’ Findings We found that all of the students were interested in competition regardless of previous engagement or ability level. With the last session, involving the work with the 6 mark questions, it was evident that the students’ biggest reward was at an intrinsic level and seen in the confi-

50


dence they gained from the activities enabling them to have more ownership of their improved achievement as also found in other studies (Ryan and Grolnick, 1986). Research has also shown that although extrinsic rewards such as sweets may be necessary to get students started with an activity, the majority of the focus should centred around skills that promote intrinsic motivation and lead to the mastery of key skills (Schultz and Switzky, 1990). Pairing of students (high with low) was also very beneficial and worked well moving the students away from their normal working groups.

M Daybell 
 K Hardwick, 
 C Le Roy.

The behaviour and engagement significantly improved across all groups. The students were very positive about the experience and activities set up and were very keen to keep the player of the lesson going throughout the rest of the year. Next steps Use competition more throughout the lessons. More careful planning with regards to grouping and pairing of students. Deliver the various ways of tackling 6 mark answer questions. Disseminate work and approach to the rest of our faculties in department meetings.

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To what extent

achievement and

A concept that we’ve long held is that the growth mind-set of lower ability students is often not as positive or as well developed as other students. This can be due to their previous experiences in a school setting, or from issues that impact upon their education from outside the classroom. The ethos of the Foundation Learning Tier (FLT) is to create an environment which allows all of its students to flourish, to build confidence in themselves and to ensure independence at the end of KS4. By observing how students are in certain classroom settings, it is hoped that we will discover what types of activities and situations students can improve their achievement and engagement in.

engagement of

Actions taken with rationale

does improving student growth mind-set 
 improve the

lower ability maths and FLT students?

A Bocking
 T Summers
 B Thompson

1) Students were identified from both their responses to an initial survey, which detailed their mind-set at the time and from our own knowledge of the students from our classroom experiences. This academic year has seen an FLT teacher taking over the teaching of the low ability maths classes, this move was an ideal opportunity to observe how some of the most needy, least confident and least engaged students reacted to maths questions. We decided to devise 3 different problems that would test students’ abilities to react to real life situations. The students were given a brief to shop for a charity event at school, a school version of Come Dine With Me and a school rugby team BBQ . The decision was taken to use real life maths situations, as this is the type of thing students will be using once they’ve left school and the problems are ones they will need to be able to cope with. 2) The same students who were identified in the first round were again observed in the second rationale. The students are required for their BTEC course to work on timed situations. One of the findings from the first round was that students were not particularly good at working through things when they had a fixed amount of time to achieve a task, or in the case of the second round, tasks! Students were required to design and then make an Easter card. Students were told of the brief and were told what equipment and resources they were allowed, the collection of which was only allowed for a certain amount of time. The students were required to design their card then collect what they needed to be able to produce it. The aim was to ob-

52


serve how the students reacted to the time limit and how closely they stuck to their original design. Once they had collected all of their materials, the “shop” was shut and they couldn’t return for anything and had to make do with what they had.

A Bocking
 T Summers
 B Thompson

3) Because of timetable restrictions and students in exams it was necessary to switch to a year 10 group. Students who exhibited similar behaviours and traits were chosen, and the same survey was conducted with them as with the year 11s. The students were put into groups that they would not normally work in and the students identified above were made the group leaders. The class had an initial discussion and then students were sent away to produce a presentation about a business destination, without any additional support from staff. Findings

‘All of the students were in need of developing their leadership skills and confidence.’

1) 3 out of the 4 students did exceed the outcome that we had anticipated, once they had developed their confidence they were feeling better about what they had to do. One other student sharpened pencils! One student did struggle to give direction to others and said that he would prefer to work as part of the team, rather than leading the group. All of the students were in need of developing their leadership skills and confidence. The mind-set of the students was improved by being given 2 points to monitor their success, with the before and after survey. Examples of work:

2) The second phase allowed for students to achieve a target that they had set themselves. One student did not do a complex design

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because he was afraid of failing, but as the time went on he grew in confidence, especially when he had completed the task. The student who wasn’t good at independent work and not good at relying on his own abilities. By the end of the session he was working independently and much better able to cope when things didn’t quite go his way! The student with the least confidence really like the copying aspect of the task, as she knew she was able to succeed.

rather than us being at

3) The year 10 task demonstrated that we have a lot of work to do with them on mind-set and leadership skills! The student we thought would reply upon staff for his organisation, only checked a couple of times with us to make certain that he had interpreted the instructions correctly. The entire group that this student was responsible for, worked as a team, with quiet and strong leadership. The students in this group were some of the most needy students of the cohort. One student who we thought would be the most confident was actually very happy taking a back seat and did very little to organise his group, in fact he hindered them more than he did help! The other student who normally works well when she is part of the group, focused on her own work more than the group and was just interested in making sure that her part was done!

the centre of it all.’

Next steps

A Bocking
 T Summers
 B Thompson

‘We have all taken risks in our teaching as well and moved away from our comfort zone, but allowing the students to get to the goal themselves,

The final phase came out with some outstanding leadership and growth mind-set from a surprising source. The key point will be to harness this new found sense of confidence and self-worth and bring it into other areas of the curriculum and school life. Using his success

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and allowing others in the cohort to learn from it. The idea is to continue with the same type of activities into the next academic year, and to see how much better student mind-set can be improved. We have all taken risks in our teaching as well and moved away from our comfort zone, but allowing the students to get to the goal themselves, rather than us being at the centre of it all.

A Bocking
 T Summers
 B Thompson

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strategies to 


This question was chosen because many lower attainment students will not even try to answer mathematical questions because of poor confidence, not necessarily due to a lack of knowledge or ability. Increasing this confidence will hopefully lead to better exam performance.

improve 


Actions taken with rationale

How can we
 develop effective

mathematical skills for year 11 students in the lower attainment band so that they have more confidence and are better able to answer 
 numerical GCSE questions?

We focused on teaching a class to make more use of formula triangles to re-arrange equations that are provided in exams. Although this method is less mathematically rigorous than using algebra to rearrange equations, the methodology is far more accessible for the lower attainment band and simple rules can be applied to help. In conjunction with this another lesson was taught teaching pupils to identify the relevant information (knowing the unit that belongs with a variable is also a common difficulty) that is provided in the exam question such that the correct equation can be found and used from the provided equation list.

J Burton
 D Poyser
 J Bain

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Findings There was observed improvement in the willingness of pupils to attempt questions that require the use of formulas. During the starter activity students rated how confident they were to attempt the 4 GCSE Physics questions. The average score was 2.75/5. This increased by 32 % to 3.62/5 at the end of the lesson. Looking at the starter questions 6 of the 8 (75%) students attempted them. This increased to 100% in the plenary. Only 2 (25%) students attempted all 4 questions in the starter activity. This increased to 5 (62.5%) students in the plenary activity. Next steps

J Burton
 D Poyser
 J Bain

We can now go ahead and use these techniques for the current year 10 cohort as they will have the same equations available for them to use. Further to this different strategies will need to be used as equations will not be made available for pupils in the 2018 exams.

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To what extent does explicitly teaching 
 problem solving skills to high 
 ability year 9 
 students improve students’ ability to answer AO3 questions?

This question was chosen as the new GCSE specification in maths calls for students to be able to problem solve much more than they have been used to in the past. This has become a real focus in the department and we thought it would be important for those skills to be embedded early in year 9. Actions taken with rationale Round 1 – Students find it difficult to know where to start or what to do if things go wrong or how to communicate their answer, so we introduced them to a scaffold they could use to tackle multi-step problems. Students then practiced applying this to some problems. Round 2 – Students needed more guidance in how to approach problems, so we looked at some research. As maths teachers, we often demonstrate a solution, rather than the process of getting to the answer and thinking through the problem. So, we decided to show students what we would do to tackle an unfamiliar problem. We wanted to get students to improve their thinking skills by saying out loud what they were doing at each stage of the problem. If they stopped at any time, it was the job of their partner to ask probing questions to get them back on track. This was exhibited by us at the start with one teacher solving an unseen problem and the other one asking questions about what they were doing. Round 3 – The students needed more scaffolding for when they were the ‘listener’ as they found this role difficult, so questions were differentiated with varying levels of scaffolding for students to choose the right level of support. Findings

R Afford
 R Hollingworth

The students told us that they really liked this way of working. For the more able, it helped to get them used to answering questions in which their written communication in maths was tested and to explore different strategies. For the lower ability in the class, it helped them develop their thinking skills and some were then able to do both parts of talk-

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ing through the problems and asking themselves questions to get unstuck if needed. Students were tested before and after the lesson study lesson with the following results: Before: only 57% attempted the question and scored on average 9.8% After: 100% attempted the question and scored on average 61.0%

R Afford
 R Hollingworth

Next steps We would look to develop these kinds of lessons to help our year 9 students be prepared for the new challenges in year 10. We would need to look through our scheme of work to see where is the best place for these types of lessons to go and find that it is particularly useful after all the skills have been taught in order to bring everything together. We need to think about how we can do the demonstration with only 1 teacher (perhaps a video!).

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Does the 


homework

Given that Art & Design GCSE has been heavily dominated by female students for a number of years, as a department we have decided to investigate ways in which we can make the subject appeal more to male students. In line with our department improvement plan, we have decided to focus on boys deemed as high ability in other subject areas, with the view of increasing motivation and engagement in an art & design context. We are investigating whether the integration of more ICT based solutions will result in better engagement within lessons and will result in the target pupils spending more time on homework tasks than they have done previously. We would also expect to see an overall increase in attainment as a result of this. To measure the effectiveness of the strategies, the individuals overall progress in the current project will be compared to the progress they made in a similar project in year 8. Student opinions will also be considered as evidence of successful intervention.

tasks?

Actions taken with rationale

integration of more ICT based solutions result in better 
 engagement within lessons and on 


Questionnaires were filled in by students before and after the lesson study lessons, enquiring about their knowledge of potential careers for artists and specifically questioning the students desire to opt for GCSE as an option. Comparisons were also made in the length of time spent on previous homework where the use of ICT was limited and this piece of homework, where ICT use was encouraged. We then measured whether increased engagement has increased attainment by measuring in progress gap between their 1st and 2nd artist research this year, comparing it to the same gap from their 1st and 2nd research in year 8.

A Harvey
 F Lyons
 J Cockerton


A lesson was created which lesson aimed at improving students understanding of the range of careers available to art students.

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A Harvey
 F Lyons
 J Cockerton Findings

‘ [Students] were amazed by the range of careers opportunities and higher education courses with an art and design element.’

The students were very engaged throughout the lesson and by the end of the lesson were able to identify far more careers from the visual arts sector. They were amazed by the range of careers opportunities and higher education courses with an art and design element. It was an eye opening experience for them which hopefully elevated some of their aspirations too. This lesson has been rolled out across all year 9 classes with some excellent innovative and high quality presentations such as the production of a TV show and live performances produced by some groups.

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Has this lesson increased engagement in the artist research project and has this had a positive impact on their progress.

A Harvey
 F Lyons
 J Cockerton

‘One factor which could have hindered their progress this year which was not a factor last year is that half way through this project, the class were taken over by a trainee teacher.’

This shows that while the introduction of a wider use of ICT probably did increase engagement among the boys as more of them completed the homework tasks, it has not directly impacted on their progress. One factor which could have hindered their progress this year which was not a factor last year is that half way through this project, the class were taken over by a trainee teacher. This change in teacher could explain why not all of the boys had made progress by the end of the project this year. Also, due to the fact that the students had learnt how to produce a really successful artist research in year 8, they already started at a higher level in year 9. While some students struggled with this lesson and many had commented on how they would have preferred to produce their designs by hand. This method of working clearly played to the strengths of these students. The aims for Alex and Dom were to be able to work independently to establish how to improve their own work and to be able to execute it without too much teacher support and for the quality of their outcomes to be higher than they would be if produced by hand. Josh’s desired outcome was for him to improve the quality of his work and to maintain focus on the task for longer.

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The outcomes we observed when watching the lesson were that these three boys really did thrived. Jack worked independently throughout and produced a very successful outcome using a technique he had worked out rather than one that was taught by the teacher. Josh was more focussed but the ICT room booking did mean that he ended up sitting near a somewhat distracting friend. Alex was also visibly more confident, he can often be hesitant to start drawing tasks without support as he finds it very difficult. All three boys produced work of a higher quality than they usually do.

A Harvey
 F Lyons
 J Cockerton

‘...it would perhaps of been beneficial to stay

The impact on the rest of the class however, we not as positive. This is an able group in art and many of them have developed confident drawing skills and found the use of photoshop somewhat restrictive. Many of them produced work that was of a lower standard than usual and many of them ran out of time. In conclusion, we agreed that it would perhaps of been beneficial to stay within the art room so that the majority of students could work in the traditional way and the three computers at the back of the room could be used for the less able boys (the only difficulty would be how to select them and how to justify it to the class).

within the art room so that the majority of students could work in the traditional way and the three computers at the back of the room could be used for the less able boys.’

Next steps It seems that while the use of ICT does improve engagement, it does not necessarily improve the quality of the students work and therefore their attainment. It seems that it would be valuable to allow particular students (high ability boys who struggle in art) to have more opportunities to use ICT to develop their work while still giving others the opportunity to work using more traditional method to avoid negivitively affecting their work. If used more consistently and over a longer period of time we may see more evidence of it improving students attainment but this is not always possible within out subject.

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To what extent does offering out-of-lesson 
 opportunities to reach higher 
 attainment levels increase the 
 progress highability Year 9 
 students make in Design & 
 Technology?

We chose this question as it had been highlighted as an area that D&T needed to improve on in the D&T SEF contribution Sep 2015. Year 9 was chosen as a particular focus due to it being the first year where some students had end of KS3 level 8 targets – which would not be accessible using our existing assessment framework. We chose RM as the subject to pilot our intervention with due our personal skill sets and knowledge. Actions taken with rationale 1) 8 High-ability students were identified and invited to join an afterschool club where they would be encouraged and supported to attain higher levels than would be taught to the main cohort during lesson times. 2) The current assessment framework was developed to include level 8 descriptors which focussed on attributes rather than skills and knowledge; •

8c – Commitment to subject

8b – Resilience, solving problems independently

• 8a – Self-taught, identify areas of weakness and learn skills independently 3) Liaise with Head of Art to discuss progress of High-Ability students in other areas to triangulate strategy 4) Once students had completed the research and design elements of the Upcycling (Sustainability) project they were rigorously interviewed to allow them to demonstrate level 8 characteristics.

A Roberts
 T Mason
 R Pearce

5) Shared findings from the pilot study with D&T posse during Faculty hot tub time. Issues were discussed and allowed teachers to think how similar opportunities could be offered in other D&T disciplines.

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Findings

A Roberts
 T Mason
 R Pearce

All students initially embraced the after-school opportunity and project. However, the brutal interview stage had 2 of them running for the hills. 6 stayed… level 8c’s granted – the first in D&T KS3 History. 8b’s proved much harder to come by, but the students vowed to keep trying. Interestingly, we found that the interview process provided a much more challenging thinking process to the students than school would normally offer, and was therefore an excellent way of pushing our most able and really separated the wheat from the chaff. This process of interviewing potential level 8 students is perfect and should be adopted by education globally (or at least Year 9 D&T classes at SVC in the Y band). Next steps • CPD session to train other teachers how to give a Level 8 interview. • Level 8 ‘Bolt-ons’ to be developed that can be added by students to their existing learning ladders that go up to Level 7 – encourages students to self-regulate and promotes metacognition.

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How to change the mind set of

1. To discuss and devise strategies to improve techniques of answering 6 mark questions – explore options available

student’s written

2. To identify classes to pilot. CDM andf RB – Yr 11 GCSE class and TW Yr 10 GCSE class

response to

3.

exam questions from factual statements to analytical and evaluative 


Having identified the Resource of CUSTARD (Circle command words, Underline key words, Scribble notes and useful ideas, Take time to plan your answer, Answer all parts of the question, Read your answer carefully, Do not rush or panic) with Sarah Anson’s intervention – we set about adapting this to use within GCSE PE.

Findings We logged data before the pilot test and after to see if any of the 3 classes showed improvement.

responses.

Next steps To develop within Faculty and share the CUSTARD resource for use with the new OCR specification and also with the current Yr 10 GCSE EDEXCEL class into Yr 11 classes.

R Bannister
 C Muir
 T White

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Does breaking questions into

This question was chosen as students in KS4 struggle with 6 mark questions. Improving attainment on these tasks would have a large impact on residuals.

sub-questions 


Actions taken with rationale

improve the 
 attainment of low ability year 10s in 6 mark 
 literacy tasks?

1. Discussion based session on how to break questions down into sub-questions. Students completed a literacy task before and after the intervention. 2.

Structured worksheet provided to guide students through the process of breaking questions down into sub-questions. Students completed the tasks before and after the intervention.

Findings Students needed a lot of prompting during the discussion based intervention and individual questioning. This led us to conduct the next wave of intervention with a structured worksheet. Most students were able to improve their marks from 0-1 marks to 3-4 marks. Our target students reported that they felt that they could implement this technique in their exams. This was reflected by an increase in attainment and attempts of 6 mark questions in the Chemistry end of unit test. Student motivation was also increased, as students realised that it was technique, rather than knowledge, that they were lacking. Next steps

L Denis
 P Churchman

Consider sharing strategies in the department as part of creating the new KS4 scheme of work. We also plan to work with the PE department and use their CUSTARD strategy for improving attainment in 6 mark questions. We have discussed using the CUSTARD strategy to start the intervention process and then move onto breaking the questions down.

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To what extent does modeling and scaffolding

This question was chosen as all three teachers have most able Y11 groups and, as part of our faculty priorities, it is the most able students who achieved less well in 2015 in their English Language exam, in comparison to 2014.

raise the 


Actions taken with rationale

attainment of


1) Tackling the ‘how’ question: creation of A* exemplar material

underachieving

To model the A* criteria in action, we created an exemplar, showing the students precisely how to embed language, stylistic and structural analysis (as seen below).

most able 
 students in 
 English 
 Language?

J Fletcher
 B Morson
 R Redman

2) Achieving the highest band in writing: flair, creativity and imagination. Again, we modeled A* writing and had differentiated learning objectives for all students to access the material and take away an aspect that would improve their response.

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J Fletcher
 B Morson
 R Redman

‘We firmly believe in ‘a rising tide lifts all the boats’ and are proud of what the students achieve.’

Findings Students responded very well to being challenged and appreciate the benefits that modeling of A* criteria can show. Our underachieving students, when observed in the two lessons that took place, were engaged and on task. We firmly believe in ‘a rising tide lifts all the boats’ and are proud of what the students achieve. Fingers crossed for the exam! We have certainly all embedded these practices in examination teaching. Next steps Share across faculty for most able students in Y10 who will face the challenges of the new GCSE. Embed across KS3 curriculum to continue to raise standards and expectations. 69


To what extent

students in 7A

Given the nature of 7A (a group we both teach) who are a boy-heavy middle ability group, we were interested in the relative achievement of boys and girls in this class as well as students with EAL, SEN and pupil premium. We were particularly interested in investigating the impact that students can have upon each other in group work in terms of their achievement, interpersonal skills and engagement with their learning. We were also interested to discover how these areas might compare in the very different subjects of Maths and Drama.

have upon their

Actions taken with rationale

does varying strategies for grouping 


achievement, 
 resilience and perceptions of themselves as learners?

Student surveys were taken at the start and the end of the research period, asking students to state preferences between student, teacher and randomised groupings and to reflect upon how these groupings affected their achievement and engagement in both subjects. Students were grouped based on friendship/student choice, random selection and teacher selection – using a range of indicators such as behaviour, leadership, compatibility and prior attainment. Students completed a variety of group tasks such as compiling a test for another group and creating a group performance in response to an image. Students were marked for their achievement (maths and drama) as well as for their collaboration (drama). Some of the group tasks were also followed up by a questionnaire about the effectiveness of the group and the students’ perception of how successfully they had completed the task. During the research lessons, a small number of students were observed and their achievement and engagement recorded. A selection of students was interviewed about the grouping strategies at the end of the research period. Findings

J Bullock
 J Schmidt

We were surprised and pleased by the high levels of collaboration between students in self-selected groups. In observed lessons, there was a strong sense of trust and confidence between the students as well as a clear sense of enjoyment and collaboration. Students en-

70


joyed working with friends in both subjects as they knew what their skills and strengths were.

J Bullock
 J Schmidt

In Drama in particular, students commented that it was easier to work with people they got on well with as it made them feel more confident. It was also true that in some groups, the level of achievement in Drama is sometimes higher, especially with the girls, due to the fact that they used more challenging techniques and developed their piece to a more polished performance.

In Maths, the relationships between some of the boys meant that they saw the task as a challenge and were motivated to do better than other groups. Natural leadership also emerged within friendship groups with students able to identify strengths of each other. A problem that arose during self-selected group work was that, at times, students found themselves working in a group that was not particularly based on friendship. On such occasions, poor communication took place and there were a rare number of clashes between group members who had perhaps wished to work with others in the class. It is of course true to say that teacher selected groups can also result in groups that do not ‘gel’. However, the knowledge that all groups are working in teacher selected groups might ease the situation slightly as everyone has been treated equally and the groupings are often presented with a clear rationale for the members of the group.

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J Bullock
 J Schmidt

‘...teacher selected groupings can have a detrimental effect upon the creativity of some students in Drama, due partly to the imbalance in the gender makeup of the class.’

In observed lessons where teacher selected groups were used, there was a very strong response from most groups. The groups had been created around 10 key students who were considered by both teachers as being strong role models and natural leaders/mediators. Behaviour and prior attainment were also considered when creating the groups, ensuring that each student has someone to ‘feed off’ or feel comfortable with. Due to the imbalance between boys and girls in the group, it was also desirable to have a gender balance within groups. 90% of the groups in the observed Maths lesson worked very successfully and, in the follow up questionnaire, commented upon the success of the group as well as the enjoyment of the collaboration. Similar groups were used for a Drama lesson on the same day but the results were not as impressive. Some groups who had previously worked very well in Maths did not work as successfully in Drama. For example, a group consisting of one girl and two boys had tackled the task in Maths with excellent collaboration and achieved high outcomes, commenting positively upon the dynamics and success of the group. However, in the Drama lesson, the creativity of the group was not as high as with some of the other groups and the collaboration was not as good. After the lesson, the girl in the group reflected upon the differences between the two subjects, saying that it was not as easy to work in the teacher selected group in Drama as they had very different interests and ideas so it had been difficult to come up with ideas and approaches to the task that they all agreed with. See appendix 1.2

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Conversely, the group who had worked least well in Maths (with one student openly complaining that his group members were arguing), performed much better in Drama. In particular, the group member who had been the least engaged in the Maths task and had contributed very little, was animated, energised and fully collaborating in the Drama lesson, with good outcomes to the lesson.

J Bullock
 J Schmidt

‘Teacher selected groups in Maths work better than selfselected groups; Student selected groups work better in Drama than teacher selected groups.’

The follow up interview with 5 of the identified students produced the following conclusion: Teacher selected groups in Maths work better than self-selected groups; Student selected groups work better in Drama than teacher selected groups. Whilst this is not necessarily the conclusion that I would have expected (nor is it one that I fully agree with), it is certainly true from the observations of lessons that for 7A, teacher selected groupings can have a detrimental effect upon the creativity of some students in Drama, due partly to the imbalance in the gender makeup of the class. Our data shows that over the course of the study, some students changed their preference of group types. Next steps How can teacher selected groupings have a more positive impact upon the creativity and achievement in Drama lessons, particularly where there is an imbalance in the gender makeup of the class? Do we need to use teacher selected groups and random groupings more frequently to enable students more opportunity to work in mixed groups so that they become more comfortable in working this way?

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To what extent teaching 


This was chosen as we all have middle/ low ability Year 9 groups and there is a greater emphasis on the AO3 questions within the new Maths GCSE that these students will encounter. We wanted to use this opportunity to see what methods we found worked best at teaching these topics.

problem solving

Actions taken with rationale

does explicitly

skills to low 
 ability Year 9 
 students improve students’ ability to answer AO3 questions?

We chose to teach our 3 lessons very differently. With our first lesson study, Angela gave her students a past exam question with focuses on problem solving skills and had them complete this in silence before our lesson. She then taught the lesson on problem solving skills and gave the kids the same question at the end to measure their progress. Glenn used a technique he had seen from a CPD session ran by Rachel Hollingworth in which the students perform a carousel of problem solving activities and teach other pupils how to tackle the problem in front of them. Kirstie got the pupils to identify steps they ned to use in order to break the problems down before solving them. Findings We found with Angela’s group that they were able to get much more marks once they had been shown how to break the problems down. With Glenn’s group we found that they were able to communicate their ideas well and worked well as a group when explaining how to solve the tasks they had been set. With Kirstie’s group, we found that they were able to identify the correct order of the steps you could use to break the problem down in to and used them effectively when given questions to answer. Next steps

K Cranidge
 A Platt
 G Redman

Work collaboratively to develop a sequence of problem solving lessons aimed at improving students ability to answer AO3 questions.

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To what extent does 
 independent learning and 
 research 
 increase 
 achievement of higher ability 
 students in KS3?

We chose this question because we wanted to increase the independency of students and not to rely solely on the teacher. If students can try and figure out the answer themselves or at least attempt to find out then the process of them doing this independent research will only increase their ability to solve problems, think for themselves and independently research. Actions taken with rationale The lessons we identified for lesson study were year 7 and 8 – combination of high and middle ability students. The lessons were based about teaching the basic skills of for example python but then giving the students the option to extend their learning by providing differentiated worksheets that they could use. The students were then required to independently ‘research’ how to improve their basic program with some of the steps provided. Findings Students are reliant on teacher input if they are stuck and do not have the confidence or the skills to solve problems through their own research. Often trial and error is the best method of learning software skills. We need to build the skills and confidence in students to share their knowledge with their peers and to research effectively and independently find solutions. For future lessons we need to make the task students should be researching explicit and provide some research resources to start them off.

J West
 E Young
 H Zainon 


Next steps Incorporate into schemes of work for next year the following: - Problem solving skills
 Research skills
 Independent thinking skills
 Confidence skills (giving students the confidence to use trial and error – if don’t succeed then try again)

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This booklet was produced using iBooks Author. Light bulb images were taken from free, online sources and are (c) their original owner. All other images and figures were produced by the sta members associated with each study. For further details on works cited, please contact the relevant sta members involved. K Carson

2016

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Illumination: An Enlightened Enquiry  

Illumination: An Enlightened Enquiry  

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