If you want to write a scheme of work ….. you have run out of ideas and your creative juices are as arid as the soil in the plant pot you left in your classroom over the Summer holidays …..
If your concentration is worse than a Year 10′s on a Friday afternoon …..
If your motivation is lower than a HMV assistant, well then I can give you some good news….
There are plenty of teachers willing to share their ideas with you and all you have to do is show proper gratitude and be prepared so share back. It really is that simple.
Here is how it worked for me. I had this Scheme of Work to write for Year 9 on flooding. I had a few ideas but not many. I was thinking causes of flooding,effects of flooding and management of flooding…. so i asked twitter and
@tonycassidy @janeyb222 @njpiercy helped me out. Then I googled some stuff and www.tes.co.uk/resources provided some ideas. Then I found a couple of bits from www.rgs.co.uk. Then I look at old scheme of work i had written and found 2 more ideas I had got from other teachers, so I dusted them down and added them in too. Finally we had used the Hurricane Sandy in Year 8 lessons earlier in the Year and it seemed a shame not to make the most of that hard work, so that was recycled too.
And hey presto! you have at least a 9 by 1 hour lesson Scheme of work written and here are the resources I have garnered and adapted for Year 9′s to learn from this term
Here are the credits:
Lesson 1 – the pop up drainage basin is pure
@tonycassidy I am late to this i think as many other people all over the internet seem to have used it. it is very easy to find.
Lesson 2 – A few ideas of my own using the Wider World David Waugh book to finish it off (well Waugh had to be there somewhere)
Lesson 3 –
@janeyb222 kindly sent me her lesson plan and i adapted it fit our school.
Lesson 4 and 5 – this is one of those I used when I taught this a few years ago. Its comes from Nuffield and can be found here
Lesson 6 and 7 – is a combination of the RGS website (link above) and me searching the TES. then when I re-discovered the stop disaster website, I checked on twitter to see if anyone else had used it and got some tips from
@tonycassidy and @dawnhallybone
Lesson 8 and 9 – Is just a few internet resources thrown together with a learning objective or two. We taught this to Y7 and y8 just after the disaster occurred
Pakistan ILT – ILT is an inschool term it stands for Independent Learning Task. But the actual task is amost a straight lift from the marvellous
And then you can also see an RMN folder. You see, I may have written, or rather compiled, a SoW but there are two of us teaching this and RMN has to teach things in her way, so not surprisingly, she adapts my plans. Since we have only just started to teach this topic, she has only altered the first lesson.
Please please feel free to use the resources in this unit. They are now yours to do with what you want. They were never mine in the first place. However, I would really like to hear of any ideas these plans give you. Do post below as a comment.
This really is simple. To be honest it is something I noticed rather than learnt.
My own 3 children are all at primary school. When they have a ‘mufti’ day it is called home clothes day.
I teach at a secondary school. When we have a mufti day it is called non school uniform day
Somewhere between year 6 and year 7 we have changed our language to make school seem a negative thing to be
Channel 4 have kindly uploaded to you tube Michael Gove’s 9 minute statement to parliament …..
Michael Gove has not got his way on curriculum change in school, or has he? Okay there will not be a single exam board for each subject (but this step down is only due to being told it wouldn’t pass EU regulations on procurement).
There will be linear exams only and internal assessments and exam aids will only be used in extremis (2 minutes in)
There will be no more higher and foundation tiers (about 2: 50 minutes ) so i am presuming there will be a one paper only for all approach. However it seems the more able will be able to sit ‘extension papers’. does this mean that AG&T students will be sitting longer and more exams than everyone else? (3:12)
There will be new GCSEs in English, Maths, Science ,History and Geography (called the core academic subjects) ready for teaching in 2015. these will bring about a ‘swift and significant rise in standards equipping young people with the knowledge they need”. This sounds ominously like his idea for a return to O’Levels by the backdoor.
He is going to get rid of the measuring schools by how many pupils get 5 A* – C passes (3:55). This, I must say, I completely agree with.It has always greatly irked me that pupils on the C/D borderline got more assistance from their school than those predicted either higher or lower grades. As Michael Gove says this should now mean that “the achievements of all pupils is now recognised equally.” (5:30). However I await to see how his point score system of “how pupils have progressed from KS2 to KS4″ (4:46) actually works. Again, this seems to be EBacc by the back door, as it will include “at least 3 of the 4 EBacc subjects” (4:57) So schools will still be making pupils choose certain subjects as a priority, even if 3 other subjects are now included in this new measure.
The new draft National Curriculum for the 21st century (6:02) is out today. Of course, it is too early to respond to this as a whole. All subjects have been retained, which I know is a relief to those who teach Citizenship as a separate subject in their school. also the idea that the statutory national curriculum should only form part of the whole school curriculum may seem somewhat ironic by history teachers when they see the long chronological list of events and people they have to cover. For a subject that currently has equal weighting with Geography in most schools, they now have 3 times as many pages to describe their curriculum.
He has stripped out any mentions of “how to teach” (7:25), yet has instructed teachers on a core of what to teach in each subject (capital cities in geography for instance).
But if you teach in an academy can you ignore all of these core topics and teach what you want anyway?
Also where are the national curriculum levels?
We recently took year 9 on a field trip to study clone town status and retail environments in Bournemouth and Southampton. Or as our pupils called it, ‘going shopping’. The first lesson I had with a year 9 group after the trip went really well. I explained the task, talked through the criteria, explained the level descriptors, handed out a writing frame and set them off. I told them they had the one lesson and a homework to complete the work. The class uniformly started the work promptly and eagerly. It was one of those lessons where I had only to answer perceptive questions and occasionally nudge a pupil to work not chat about x factor. Teaching appeared wonderful. With about ten minutes to go I had a great idea: “because you have worked so well on this I will allow you next lesson as well to complete the work. I have booked the computer room so you can do some extra research or produce some annotated maps and diagrams.” The class left the room and the warm buzz of a lesson well run and happily completed hung in the air.
S, full of my previous success and in the manner of a good reflective practitioner, I adjusted my plan for the next year 9 group I had on the following day. They were my favourite group; hard working yet fun, well behaved but not boring nor passively accepting of what was placed in front of them. Once more I explained the task, talked through the criteria, explained the level descriptors, handed out a writing frame and set them off. Only this time I told them they had two lessons and the homework. The second was to be in the computer room. They mooched around, idled a bit underlined the title and slowly swapped some data. There was no hum of industry, no sense of purpose and no perceptive questioning. What had gone wrong?
Of course I had told them they had twice as long as I had given the first group. The deadline was far enough in the future as to be unimaginable (it was next week) to a teenager. They had no need to push on and get the task completed. The lesson was more fluffy than focused.
I have re-learnt my lesson. Don’t give a y9 group a task that takes more than hour. Break it down into chunks. With the second group I should have said ” you have 30 minutes to write the introduction and method” or something similar. I certainly will with the next class. Or in fact I might just lie to them. Tell them have one lesson and then ‘change my mind’ with 10 minutes to go and give em an extra hour as a reward for their good work. If they work well that is, because you can never tell.
I am proud to be presenting one of the workshops on 3rd July.
IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS ON MY PRESENTATION I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT. it is the first I’ve I have done nothing like that.
i am attaching here the information sheet and the powerpoint presentation from my workshop should you wish to refer back to either of them
The instructions given to pupils on the day itself are on my other blog and can be found by clicking here
This new term has felt more like a new academic year and not just a new calendar one because our Y9s are beginning their GCSE subjects. Now I am not yet sure if this is a good thing.
I like the fact that I have extra time to teach my GCSE classes. I will have nearly 30% more lessons with them. The rush to fit everything in, especially around the 25 hours I have to give to controlled assessment will be a blessing. I will not miss the overriding necessity to get stuff completed which influences the way I have planned and delivered the content of the course over the last few years. The extra time can be used in so many positive ways; deeper learning could be happening. more investigations could occur and I could move the learning in new direction more led by what enthuses the pupils and me rather than just slavishly stick to the syllabus.
In many ways it will also improve my teaching quality of life to have only the y9s who chosen my subject in my classes. After all they should be more motivated because they went for my option. (should)
And for the school as a whole the move makes sense. KS3 SATS are no more and the one measurement that matters more than any other is of course the 5 A* – C grades including English and Maths so why should we swap over to a longer KS4?
But against these three points there is a nagging noise in the back of my mind. Will learning subject content in Y9 really help pupils answer questions on those topic later 2 and a half years later? Is there any point in doing anything except skills at this stage in their learning? And will my pupils lose momentum if there is less pace to my teaching? How can a 13 year old really envisage something happening so far in the future? (its about another 20% of their life so far)
One of the reasons the change was brought in was because of all the extra exams and the increasing modularity of most GCSEs. Now of course the wind has changed and terminal exams are all.
What about those who opted NOT to do my subject? They will have nearly a 1/4 less time doing a subject that is not separately taught at most primary schools. Where is there Geographical learning going to come from? Are we selling them short by focussing on exam courses earlier?
Of course the pragmatic answer to all these questions is that this is what I have been told is going to happen and so I should make the best of it for ALL my pupils whether they elect to study the subject at KS4 or not
The knock on effect for the whole school is that we have two timetables a year. Our poor assistant head has had to disappear twice in the last 6 months to work out the minutiae of who gets y9 on a Friday afternoon. No one deserves to have to do that. but the double change has other impacts too. A class I was just getting to know has been taken from me. That means there is an issue of continuity and pupil support. How can the parents evening be so well informed if the teacher doesn’t yet know the names of all their pupils?
Finally I had one of my new Year 9 GCSE groups today. They were lovely. They all wanted to be there. They felt special and that their work had a new impetus because it was GCSE. We took time over a couple of the questions, deliberated over the answers, I asked more than one pupil for their opinion and they felt (I think) more valued.
Every Saturday morning I take two of my children swimming. The local pool is stocked full of enthusiastic young swimming teachers who have given all of my children a fantastic start in life. They have shown them how to feel comfortable and safe in water and how to enjoy it. Ratios seem to be a maximum of 10:1 with a lifeguard on duty too. Lessons last half an hour and each child receives individual as well as group teaching and tutoring. The classes are differentiated by ability; when you are good enough you go up the next level regardless of age. When you look across the pool every single participant is enjoying themselves. For £5 the half hour session is an immense bargain.
However today was different. THERE WAS NO TEACHING AND LEARNING AT ALL. Instead it was a ‘recording how far you can swim’ day. The children were put into lanes up and down the pool and every time they swam the 50 meters there and back the teacher recorded it. All the teacher had to do was shout encouragement and tick a box. Then at the end, write in the gap on the slip of paper how far the child had managed.
Maybe I should demand my money back because my children could not have progressed this morning even if they wanted to. Swimming up and down didn’t seem to serve any purpose. After all I am paying for them to LEARN how to swim.
Then I watched what happened after the class. Normally parents pick up their children from the poolside, get them showered, changed and leave as soon as possible. This morning however, slips were being checked and congratulations given. Timidly at first comparisons between offspring were being made. No one was rushing to leave, even if it was only to queue at reception for a certificate and badge proving the distance that had been swum. All parents were hooked on this measurable outcome. ‘How good is my child?’ is what we all desperately wanted to know. In other words parents wanted to know the outcome and the sum of the summative assessment.
Not only that, but the children wanted their reward too. When my two realised that I wasn’t queuing for their certificates and badges they were upset. I didn’t have any money on me, but explaining that wasn’t satisfactory. Of course they were wanting to have what everyone else was getting, but equally they desired the proof of their success and their efforts.
All this made me think about assessment and parents involvement in their child’s learning and progress. My previous post on parents evenings was partly about how schools may try to involve parents in what their child is doing. Parents rarely understand the difference between one level or grade and the next. They want to know “How is my child doing? Are they working hard? Are they behaving themselves?” After all if they were excited by pedagogy they would be teaching too.
Now if parents do not understand levels and that is the summative assessment we used to report to them whist their is child between 5 and 14, then there is something seriously wrong in the way schools are communicating. Since there is confusion over what a level 4 may mean then reporting part levels is even more senseless. I can understand “Your child swam 400 meters” but I don’t know what “your son is a level 4″ in French means.
So we need to rid ourselves of National curriculum Levels
Only I don’t know what we could replace them with.