Saturday, 23 February 2013

Writing New Schemes of Work

The new national curriculum gives us the opportunity to review our schemes of work. I have been reviewing what we deliver and the considering the purpose of our curriculum over the past few months, but now I need to act ready for September.

I have asked myself a few questions that I need to consider and allow for in the writing of schemes of work. The appear below in no particular order.

  1. What resources, techniques and lesson styles will support students with low level literacy or slow processing skills?
  2. What resources do we need to incorporate into lessons to help EAL students develop their level of English and understand the science being covered while their specialist vocabulary is low.
  3. At key stage 3 are we using the interests of the students to engage them and help understand the relevance of what is being taught?
  4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of our students and how do our schemes of work use that?
  5. How are the skills needed at GCSE being developed at Key Stage 3?
  6. How does the curriculum prepare the students for the science they will need in their everyday lives?
  7. Does what we do at GCSE prepare students for A-level? Does it encourage students to continue with science to A-level?
  8. What methods can we use to differentiate work and what will this look like in a scheme of work?
  9. What contexts will engage students (especially girls)?
  10. How are G&T students identified and then stretched and challenged?
  11. How do the schemes of work support intervention methods?
  12. How are lessons and series of lessons structured to allow marking to support progression?
  13. What does a good science lesson "look" like?
  14. How will scheme of work help to promote independent learning?

In terms of things that I feel I would like to include in the scheme of work:
  1. lesson activities
    1. questions
    2. resources
    3. presentations
    4. worksheets
    5. support resources
    6. practical requisitions and risk assessments
    7. descriptions of activities
  2. learning objectives
    1. differentiated
    2. including skills
    3. knowledge
    4. linked to prior and future learning
  3. learning outside the classroom
    1. field work
    2. homework/prep
    3. competitions
    4. trips
    5. ICT resources to support optional extra curricular work
    6. revision resources
  4. overview of the scheme and the progression of ideas throughout it

Other things to consider:
  1. time scale of rewrite
  2. review of the schemes
  3. how to store, share and organise resources
  4. where should assessment fit into the scheme?
  5. what life skills should we be delivering?
Lastly, is it possible to collaborate with other heads of science in the GSA or Allied Schools?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Exit ticket AfL

My year 10 and 11 students have files instead of books. I don't really like it, but it is what they expect to have and I don't want to argue over it. (Year 11 kicked up such a fuss when another teacher suggested going back to books, and I was always told "pick your battles").

There are advantages to having files (hole punches don't run out in the same way that glue sticks do). However, this means I don't really get to "mark their books". I mark their homework/prep, but don't take in what they do in class. There are pluses and minuses to this. I have to plan for time to look at their work in class as they do it, and I incorporate more self-assessment into the lesson as there is no other way to feedback on the work they have done, which does mean they get more immediate feedback. It also means that I have less marking.

However, I am not satisfied. I feel that I don't give enough longer answer questions of feedback because I need to have simple work. It doesn't help my student prepare for the 6 mark questions or develop literacy in general.

So I am going to plan to include an opportunity for the students to write freely and hand it in at the end of the lesson as their "exit ticket". I have used the specification to try and write questions that can be differentiated by outcome.

The first attempts can be found under my username on TES resources:

It will be interesting to see what the students think, and how they respond. I have deliberately made quite a few initially so that it is easier for me to persist with this.