When carrying out my second year placement, I was placed in a three-form entry school. Within the year group I had been place, planning was shared and one topic was planned by each teacher, each term. During my practice I planned for Maths. A strategy introduced from the teachers at this school involved using pre-tests to inform planning and grouping of ability groups.
The day before PPA the children would complete a specialised pre-test for the topic they would be studying the following week. Each child would have the same test, and the same amount to complete this in test conditions. They would self-mark their test, allowing them to notice the areas they were weaker within. The following day, during PPA, whilst planning these pre-tests would be groups into ability groups. This differed week-on-week, as all children were stronger in various parts of the subject. Activities were then selected appropriately to support learning of pupils. Attached below is a basic pre-test used during practice.
Using and adapting pre-tests to inform planning and support identification of ability groups was an effective strategy; it highlighted the areas children were stronger and weaker in. Furthermore, using these allowed for appropriate and effective differentiation to meet all needs of the learners. As children marked their own tests, they were able to reflect upon their own knowledge and identify the areas that they needed extra support within. One disadvantage of this was that all children had the same test, regarding that there were a wide range of abilities within the group. One target from this would be to ensure that pre-tests were created for different ability groups.
Within my final placement, I worked with a child with special educational needs. There were a wide range of different strategies that had been put into place within in the classroom to support his needs, including a work station and a behaviour chart. During my time working with this class, the class teacher had a meeting with the SENCO, where they invited me to listen to and input on the target setting for this child.
During the meeting they reviewed previous targets set to support this child. They identified how strategies had been used to promote his progression within class. Next they discussed his physical, social and intellectual development. This child found it difficult to take turns with other within class, and was isolated socially. Although this did not effect the child currently, it was an issue the SENCO was concerned would effect him in the future.
In order to support this, I implemented ideas to support this. We devised a strategy where this child was to listen to others read during morning registration. He was able to chose who he wanted to read with; this supported his relationships with his peers in the classroom.
As I was able to work with child after the target had been set, I was able to see the positive effects that were drawn from this strategy. Once he began building relationships with the other children in his class, it was evident that these children wanted to spend time with him outside the classroom, as well as being his partner within classroom activities. This experience allowed me to understand the importance of setting targets for all children to meet their individual needs, and support pupils progression. From this experience, I will ensure that incorporate target setting to monitor progression of all pupils within the class.
Upon teaching within a mixed Key Stage 1 class, I devised a weekly plan for phonics with the class teacher. The plan involved a variety of different activities to support children knowledge and acquisition of graphemes and phonemes. Questioning is implemented into the lesson, to aid children’s understanding of the sounds they were learning.
The structure of the plan allowed children to recall prior knowledge and links to be made upon what they currently knew, and the information they were going to learn. Once this was completed, the activities supported the application of new sounds. Assessment opportunities were stated at the end of each session.
This planning was effective for the application of new sounds and supporting children’s knowledge of these phonics. The planning was structured well clearly setting out each stage of the process for acquiring new sounds, including the stages: revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. Furthermore, the assessment opportunities allowed for an understanding of pupil progression and attainment. Developing upon this, I would ensure that differentiation for different abilities was implemented. Also, I would adapt the assessment for each day, adjusting the different strategies to suit for the best possible assessment opportunity.
Whilst carrying out teaching practice, during my second year placement I taught a mathematics lesson based upon fractions. The children engaged with a starter activity, and returned to the carpet for the input of their main activity. Once we had discussed the approach as a class and identified the strategy they were to use, children returned to their tables to carry out their activity.
Through supporting the class, I wondered around the room working with different groups of pupils. I had noticed that the middle ability group had began to complete their task, however, had incorrectly used the strategy. I stopped the two groups for this ability for a mini plenary, asking them to explain to me how it was they should use the strategy. Once I was re-insured they knew what to do, I allowed the children to continue their work. Moving around the class again, and returning to this group, I identified that they had still not understand how the approach they were using, worked. I pulled this group of pupils back to the carpet, and used a different method to explain what they had to do.
In order to ensure they had all understood they strategy after the final explanation, I implemented it as their starter for the following day.
Demonstrating the ability to draw mini-plenaries and stop children to re-enforce learning is an essential skill. This showed that I had a secure understanding of the subject knowledge for the lesson I was teaching, in order to present the strategy to the children in a different way. Implementing this supported children learning and progression, as I was able to identify the children who had misunderstandings about this area of Maths. Drawing on this, I will ensure that I continue to pull children aside if they had developed misconceptions of certain areas, making sure I address misunderstandings as soon as possible. Moreover, this will be used to inform future planning.
During my second professional practice I developed my understanding of how to appropriately detail mark children’s work to support learning and progression. When marking the piece of work, I had to identify one positive aspect that could be shown in their work. Next, spellings that would be expected to have been spelled correct were noted. Finally, a gap task was created with regard to the activity the children had been completing. This is a task which supports the development of their learning about the focus topic for that lesson; specifically focusing upon an area they had struggled with or made a slight error.
Often gap tasks created required children to note where they had made mistakes, therefore they had to reflect upon their own learning and show independence.
This strategy for supporting learning was effective as it allowed children to be praised for the positive areas of their work. Children responded well to gap task; this activity supported independence and allowed children to re-visit a topic that they had learnt about within that lesson. It addressed misconceptions children had within the lesson. Furthermore, it is a useful strategy to make assessments of children’s progression and identify where they need extra support. Also, detailed marking should inform future planning for the subject. This is an area that will be implemented into future practice.
As a part of an English assessment, I had to annotate and assess a child’s work using the National Curriculum framework as an assessment tool. I had to address the areas of achievement, and where improvement could be made. During the assessment process I considered the pupils ability in both reading and writing.
It is essential for practitioners to be able to use summative assessment within English in order to support children’s learning. This is important as teachers need to have a firm understanding of the level children are working at to support their knowledge and understanding.
Within the image below, the child’s work is show, including assessments I made addressing their strengths within Literacy. These included the ability to use pronouns, understanding of different homophones, paragraphs arranged by themes and suffixes. The weaknesses identified included: incorrect use of capital letters, and spelling – homophones were incorrectly used.
The evidence demonstrates my ability to use summative assessment to assess pupils progress in English. Through assessing this work, I have developed my understanding of the English curriculum. Furthermore, I have developed and understanding of the importance of use of summative assessment in order to support pupils progression. I have identified and become aware of other approaches to support summative assessment, including using the National Curriculum as an assessment strategy. I will use these skills within future practice. From this, I would incorporate summative assessment to inform future planning to ensure pupils progression towards attaining high levels of written English.