Walking the talk

Each winter I interview students from the classes of every teacher in our school. I try to mix the ages and abilities to give a fair spread and my colleagues know what the questions will be in advance and which class I will go to speak to. I focus the questions on current strategies that we are discussing/trialling as a staff so that we can gather important student perspectives on our tactics and also ask subject specific questions so that the teacher whose lesson the students have come from gains information for their planning. The surveys are returned to individuals to keep as evidence of student voice in their professional portfolios and faculty leaders keep their team’s responses to use in faculty reviews and SEFs. This isn’t some sneaky underhand method of checking up on teachers and using the students as my spies! Teachers are rigorously monitored, albeit as professionally and developmentally as possible and student views are welcomed as 1] a source of usually very positive comments/magic moments/always honest!, 2] a source of must consult views to confirm whether we are on the right track or not-it would be madness to keep using ideas they tell us don’t work, 3] to help them articulate and communicate about their own learning strengths and needs-they sometimes reveal feelings that we simply haven’t considered and 4] because we should listen-it’s their school and their education we are discussing!

I could, of course, buy into one of those expensive survey company things that spew forth data to flourish either at Ofsted to prove we’ve consulted our students or to use to dispirit teachers with a host of useless percentages. Hopefully these questions will actually provide information that we can reflect upon and adapt our practice if need be. The other questions, as you will see, are aimed at helping the students to ask important self-analytical questions about their own learning skills. I sit with the students so that I can help and prompt if necessary and produce sweets at an appropriate moment! I’ve never heard any of them complain about the writing involved and they often try to come more than once! Hopefully I’ve managed to cover just over a quarter of the students in the school this way and will expect all colleagues to have completed their own ‘deep’ survey to put in their professional portfolio by summer-more about that in a later blog.

With the key stage 3 students, I wanted to find out how the BSG assessment system was settling and if they were clear on what they had to do to achieve GOLD. I don’t expect them to know off by heart all of the skills and knowledge expected in the subject they had come from but wanted to see if they could use subject specific language and let their teacher know which aspects of the course so far their students had found tough and were targeting to make their ‘marginal gains’ in.

You will be aiming for GOLD in this subject. What do you have to do next in terms of specific skills/knowledge/attitude to get there by summer?

What are the areas of weakness you have already spotted that you know you will have to work on, by making marginal gains, to achieve GOLD?

I also wanted to see if our GM initiative was having an early impact in the language used to answer the next question.

Which activities have you found the most challenging in this subject this year-when the going got tough-how did you react?

Much as I ask our teachers to highlight their best marking/feedback in our book monitoring I asked the students to choose theirs to share with their teachers. This again is great professional portfolio evidence and I asked which marking/feedback methods worked best in the interview subject and then in all subjects [so I could share the information with all]

Show me/tell me about; an example of when you have received feedback from your teacher and you have responded with your own target and successfully achieved the advice given.

Your teachers are trying lots of different marking/feedback strategies-which ones have helped you the most 1] in this subject, 2] other subjects-can you show me/tell me about your evidence for choosing this?

I then turned to all subjects to gather information about peer critique and to try to get them to answer in a positive way to encourage and build confidence in the use of PC. Even the DFE recommend its use to ease work-load but I only want to see it used if it is an effective and more accurate method than it often was, to support learning. A bit of a charm offensive then with the little ‘uns to help them see how valuable it can be for their learning.

Can you give me an example of when you helped another student to improve their learning by giving them really specific FISH peer critique? How do you know that your help was effective? [This subject and others]

Can you give me an example of when another student helped you to improve your learning by giving you really specific FISH peer critique? How do you know that their help was effective? [This subject and others]

The use of DIRT has surprised me with its popularity with the students-the truth is that they are far more demanding in terms of their learning needs and rights [after lots of these surveys!] and expect reflection time and the chance to improve their work-unbelievable a few years ago perhaps but the revealed answers were pretty good to read. So how committed to their learning are they-I thought that I’d find out.

Do you take responsibility for checking your work well enough before handing it in/use DIRT well enough? Give me examples to prove you do.

Have you been as fully committed as you know that you should be to practising at home or behaving positively? Give me examples.

And the final question sought to find out if they had any worries or concerns about Growth Mind-Set. I’ve raised issues that we should be careful with and mentioned that we need to be selective with our language and consider the situations with individuals.

Which aspect of Growth Mind-Set do you find the most difficult-how can we help?

Key stage 4 for most students begins in year 9, although some of the questions were far more important for year 11 to consider so close to their final exams. Again I began with questions about their own learning and perceived areas of challenge so that they could have the chance to self-analyse their own learning and their teacher might spot anything they hadn’t picked upon as an issue to offer support on or re-visit. I asked the one extra question to KS3.

You will be aiming for your target grade in this subject. What do you have to do next in terms of specific skills/knowledge/attitude to get there by summer?

What are the areas of weakness you have already spotted that you know you will have to work on, by making marginal gains, to achieve your target.

Are there any concerns that you have kept to yourself that you are worried about and need extra support in

Which activities have you found the most challenging in this subject this year-when the going got tough-how did you react?

I asked the same marking question and then changed tack with the older students to see how they felt marking/feedback had changed before homing on their views on peer critique so I could share possibly a more critical version with staff for us to discuss and then added a question that I felt might tell us something about our school and our philosophy and that I thought would also help them to think about how they could ‘sell’ themselves to potential colleges/employers. If they didn’t have a clue about what I was asking-mmm-re-think!

Have you been totally committed to practising your subject learning out of school-revision/home-learning/revision classes/catch-up-give me some evidence either way! How can you commit even more?

What is the point of self/peer critique-give me examples of when it has worked best for you/you for someone else-how would you advise your teachers to make it even more effective?

How will developing a Meols Cop Mind-Set help you in college, university and employment? What are the key learning strengths that you want to put on your CV that describe you best [and will persuade others that you are worth interviewing/employing?]

I’m not going to include all of the answers to every question-you will be relieved to know! The subject specific ones have gone to their rightful owners and I’ll share some of the key issues/thoughts raised from the marking/feedback comments from both stages, peer critique comments from the KS students and GM comments from KS3. These are the areas where, as a staff, we have been developing strategies shared in previous blogs-what do the students really think about them?

Marking/feedback

The older students were all agreed that marking and feedback had become more effective. I’ll randomly share some of the very positive comments that the students made before highlighting practice that they especially liked and felt helped their learning. There were hardly any negative comments [this hasn’t always been the case!] about the utility or quality of the feedback given. A couple of students felt that the increase in peer marking had made it less effective but most explained that it had improved and gave examples to support their view.

Some examples included;

Nour

Year 7 used to be tick and golden stars while now they give you targets and questions to help you gain a better level/grade.

Emma

More effective than year 7 as we actually correct the work in the same lesson and get told honestly what to improve on.

Ellie

The marking gives more feedback [corrections and questions] and we correct mistakes ourselves rather than it being done for us.

Paige

Since year 7 there has been more advanced skills and techniques used which helps us with our learning. Since we have got to our G.C.S.E. year, we are doing more and more to assess and help with our own learning.

Sophie

It has become more effective because it helps me go back to mistakes I have made and pick up the right answer. I can also now use the marking to see where Im going wrong.

Alice

Its changed since year 7 as teachers are harsher and more critical than they were but this helps as then I can see where I need to go to improve and reach my target.

Jake

Since year 7 there has been a huge improvement to the techniques that teachers have used to improve my learning, with more engaging opportunities to communicate and reflect. For example in English, when we first got our marks in year 7 it was a line of praise/improvement whereas now we get lots of feedback and we can do 360 degree feedback.

Eden

It has changed because we use to just use things like 2 stars and a wish but now will go back and correct or re-draft our answers so we know exactly what to do next time.

Caleb

More effective. More teachers are now asking questions in our books to keep us on track instead of just correcting it for us.

Throughout the survey it became apparent that our students are also changing their learning habits and needs-they are far happier with critical feedback and some actively seek it [although don’t always like giving it!], they expect far more than in terms of challenge -this doesn’t necessarily equate with writing more on our part-because you can see that they are telling me that they are being asked to spend longer thinking about their feedback and taking the responsibility for correcting/re-drafting it.

In no particular order helpful marking included;

In English;

  • Peer assessment
  • 2 stars and a wish
  • Written feedback from the teacher
  • DIRT
  • Tick, target 3
  • WWW/EBI
  • Positive/negative together
  • Probing questions
  • Asking questions on something you’ve struggled on
  • Reflecting on things
  • Questions which help me know how to get a higher level
  • Teacher marking
  • 2 ways to improve
  • Told what we have done well and targets for next time
  • Targets to improve
  • Questions that help us gain extra marks/higher level
  • PEA

In maths they mentioned;

  • STAR-very popular and well explained
  • Focused question after STAR
  • When we mark our HWK/improve topics we got wrong
  • Progress checks
  • When the teacher tells us which bit we got wrong
  • 5 a day
  • Questions
  • Peers writing questions based on subject
  • Marking more often
  • Teacher challenges
  • Flight path

The science students told me they liked;

  • Symbol marking
  • Advice to improve
  • BSG specific feedback
  • When someone marks it and gives you something to improve on
  • Write to improve
  • Being asked questions related to the questions I got wrong
  • Re-drafting
  • Writing out spellings
  • When she doesn’t tell me whether it’s right or wrong until I’m done
  • Questions to answer
  • Use of different colours
  • Peer assessment-telling you what you have done well and what you need to improve
  • Coloured stamper
  • Miss is very understanding and helps us loads
  • Self-assessment-she marks it and we respond to her advice
  • Adding little questions-telling is how what to do to get the next BSG
  • DIRT-I can see where I have gone wrong and correct my mistakes
  • Peers asking questions in DIRT
  • DIRT pushes your learning skills
  • DIRT when the teacher goes over the answers and asks us questions about what we’ve missed in the answer
  • Self/peer/teacher all good when they find something I need to improve on
  • Questions given to help us improve
  • Self and peer assessment help me to work on the parts of the question I got wrong
  • Peer assessing then correcting in blue-helps you learn what to do better next time

MFL representatives explained that they liked;

  • Peer assessment
  • When we get told how to improve
  • Dot feedback
  • Green pen tasks
  • Questions to answer, correct the wrong words myself
  • Miss marking it [few don’t like peer assessment]
  • Dot marking
  • Positive feedback/multiple questions
  • Correcting the mistakes ourselves
  • Challenge left

PE students mentioned their oral feedback and dance their written marking;

  • Verbal-you can ask questions if you are unsure-can’t get confused
  • Picking out key areas for us to work and improve on
  • Dance marking is good!
  • Peer/self-marking
  • Marking questions as a group with mark-schemes

DT/art students explained both their verbal and written feedback.

  • Feedback in book-I can go back and read it to help
  • Direct feedback
  • Peer assessment
  • Art ticket journey/exit ticket
  • Talking about the levels
  • Verbal feedback and help as we work- Talking to me
  • Leaving a question to answer
  • Peer assessment

Performing arts [music only] students chose;

  • Feedback sheets after performances
  • Helps when Miss actively marks/checks my work through the lessons
  • Marking my own work so I can see where I went wrong/where I can improve
  • Peer assessment
  • SPADE/STAR

Humanities [and RE] students told me;

  • Teacher and peer assessment-so I know what I have to write in tests to get the mark
  • Teacher assessment best
  • DIRT
  • Going through it as a class
  • Going through the questions left us
  • Going through the work we have struggled on as a class
  • Peer marking
  • Receiving feedback for improvement
  • Peer assessment-good feedback from your peers and learn knowledge you didn’t know
  • Interaction from peer assessment
  • 2 people’s opinions rather than 1 in peer verification
  • Teacher marking leaving questions I need to know the answers to.
  • Peer or teacher left questions
  • Questions help me correct my mistakes and improve my answers

ICT/computer studies liked;

  • Sir going through each question and we add on answers we didn’t get
  • Self-marking then teacher verification
  • Past papers-get feedback on what you can do and need to do
  • Peer assessment-friends help me when I struggle
  • Email sir uses to re-send marked work so we can compare the two
  • Talking to the class with feedback and making his points on the white-board

Business studies

  • Peer assessing my business buddies
  • When sir marks our work and we improve from his feedback
  • Googledocs-you can see everyone else’s attempt and feedback to them
  • Peer assessment with people on our level

Child development

  • Different colours to PEE
  • DIRT
  • Peer assessment so I can see other people’s ideas

Verbal feedback

It’s important that we don’t forget the power of verbal feedback and don’t just talk about written ‘marking’ and dialogue. The language of growth mind-set we use is critical and students appreciated the constant feedback they received as they learned throughout the lesson. Making the most of this feedback and how we record it, measure impact is open to more discussion but I repeat nothing should be done in this area that is a tick box activity to keep Jonesy or Ofsted happy!

Katie food tech

My favourite one is when she’s telling me I’m doing something wrong during a practical and then I can correct right then and I will know for the future.

Emily food tech

When she speaks to me whereas if I see it on paper I forget sometimes

Natasha, Lydia and Katie PE

Verbal feedback because you can understand it fully and question if you are unsure

Joe, Tom and Jay PE

Picking out areas for us to work and improve on

Alice music

In music it helps when Miss actively marks or checks my work throughout the lesson.

Written feedback

In our previous blog I shared marking examples from all of our teachers http://blog.meolscophighschool.co.uk/?p=1521 and you can see that provided the marking fits our general marking/feedback policy, faculties and individual choose their own strategies to sit their own preferences and their class needs. They may change from class to class and as a consequence the students get a diet of different approaches. Some are always mentioned as effective-they like being given specific questions and the opportunities to improve, they like DIRT, they like being involved in the process and they are growing much more interested in taking, and being given far more responsibility for their own learning and progress.

I’m obviously delighted to see them praising marking and feedback-all very nice and self-congratulatory but what I enjoyed most was the fact that they were eager to join in the discussion and offer their own views. I wanted to see how they felt about our fast marking ideas and if they could offer any of their own-they could and I can see how the effort colleagues have made to change their own practice is now impacting on student analysis of learning. They are far more discerning customers than they ever were but in a positive way that makes their voice indispensable. They actually talk a fair bit of sense, although they do by nature tend to err on the conservative side of what they see as good teaching/marking/feedback. I do worry that schools have begun to create a spoon fed generation who expect us to do the work for them to gain them their grades [that they know are so important to us to via the media hype of league tables]-I didn’t see much of that in my conversations and in fact saw a move in the opposite direction, according to the interviewees. They do, of course, like the accuracy of teacher feedback and the safety net it provides but it was the fact that they find the whole process so important and take it so seriously that I wanted to share. If we have created an environment where our students want to learn and are eager to make the most of our teaching-SUCCESS!

Ellie music

When we do performances, Miss always gives us a sheet showing us what we did well and what we need to improve on. I personally love this sort of marking because it shows you how many marks you’ve got and how to make it better. Also in our books Miss leaves a question about our weakness in that topic-this really helps me.

Luke Sport’s Leaders

I feel the WWW and EBI strategy works because it tells you exactly what you did well and exactly how to improve

Ilona maths

STAR we do peer assessment and our peers write questions for us based on the subject we have to improve on-this helps us to focus on the area of our weakness.

In history and French they tell us where we need to improve and ask us questions that make us stop and really think and challenge us.

Sam maths

Strength Target Action Response helps us once we have finished a topic because we improve on our weaknesses. History gives us questions to answer after each lesson so the information will stay with us.

Fern-maths

STAR marking from the teacher helps me because it focuses on the points that I have got wrong so I can see my strengths and weaknesses in that topic. I like it in geography when sir sets us questions about the topic we are learning and then answer them to recap or build up our knowledge

Paige –maths

The sticker that our teacher puts in our book allows us to explain our strengths and weaknesses so that she can help every individual student with their learning. The teacher may also set a challenge for us to see where we are going wrong and to see if we are beginning to understand.

Nour English

I dislike peer marking as you are usually biased towards your friends but I like teacher marking when Miss asks us questions that can help us gain an extra mark, giving us a higher level.

Bethany business studies-the business studies students and ICT/computer studies praised the use of technology in their feedback.

The marking I really enjoy is using the googledocs to mark my peer’s work as you can see everyone’s attempts in which you feedback information to the peer you’re marking.

Jake business studies

The best method was either peer assessment because we worked with people on our level and had opportunities to communicate how we could help each other-such as after our 6 markers as well as the flexible thinking marking because it’s visual and we can see what’s going well and how I can reflect and improve my work.

 Peer critique

The area of marking and feedback which split opinions more than any other area and raised concerns that we need to think about. I’ve raised my own concerns in every blog on marking that I’ve written and we recently share NQT CPD/ideas on the topic in a January post including ground rules and practical ideas.

http://blog.meolscophighschool.co.uk/?p=1459

Many students extolled the positive virtues of PC especially when it was a high level involving the peers setting questions, giving examples, giving targets as well as good things, working with students of the same level or higher [so they could nab ideas] involved more minds than one and verification, helped you see other ideas, notice problems and weaknesses and so on. I liked Tom pointing out the 2 way benefit of PC and Jake’s honest appraisal of it!

Thomas Computer Studies

I find it useful to see other’s codes and mark it to benefit both the way I understand the code and to the person I am marking because I feel I’m helping them as well.

Jake business studies

The point of self-critique gives us a harsh but realistic view on our work. This shows us how our work is at the lowest point/grade and so doesn’t bring false hopes to result’s day. This worked best in English, as a subject I dislike, but at least I know where I stand with it!

Some are quite happy with how it is used already, whilst some pleasingly added suggestions for improving our practice which make good sense [or at least reminded us of what good practice should be] A few liked the combination of teacher/peer with the former verifying the accuracy if need be. I had discussed this with our DT/art leaders having read a local Ofsted report which was critical of an art faculty relying too heavily on peer/self-assessment and not enough teacher checking that the process was accurate.

Kim English

Peer assessment helps me learn from mother people’s work and if they are getting higher grades then I learn how and self-assessments allow me to analyse my mistakes which sometimes helps me to remember not to repeat them. Self/peer critique has helped best when marking 8 markers in RE as they are difficult and self-assessment shows us that we can have confidence in our answers.

Alex business studies

The point of self-critique is to see what we often get wrong and to fix it. Peer critique helps us to see what others do wrong so that we don’t make those mistakes. When we do 8 markers we often peer assess them which helps. I think that both a peer and a teacher assessment is best because both student and teacher identify mistakes then.

Kim English

Peer assessment helps me learn from mother people’s work and if they are getting higher grades then I learn how and self-assessments allow me to analyse my mistakes which sometimes helps me to remember not to repeat them. Self/peer critique has helped best when marking 8 markers in RE as they are difficult and self-assessment shows us that we can have confidence in our answers.

Alice music

Peer assessment was effective in geography as instead of marking each other’s answers we made our own questions and mark schemes before swapping.

Tarisha maths

Self/peer assessment helps because you set yourself a target and others challenge you. To make it more effective you could give groups of the class the same questions and work it out as a team.

William English

It gives the student another view-point on their work. With two opinions you can improve more than with one. I find peer critique very useful and believe teachers could use it after 6 mark question.

Laura dance

To see where you go wrong and get different people’s point of view and advice how to improve. I do like peer marking and it helps but sometimes it can get boring doing it all of the time.

Charlotte geography

I think that self/peer critique gives me a better look at what I need to work on to be better.

Rosie child development

It helps students to know their own weaknesses to improve themselves. Teachers could make it more effective by giving mark schemes for everyone to self/peer assess of.

Niamh RE

Peer marking works best when books are swapped randomly as you are less likely to get biased friendly marking than if you switch with a good friend-like science HWK

Lydia History

I think that the teacher should check the peer marking to make sure it’s correct and leave a comment on the work.

There was a genuine concern about using friends to peer mark or students not being tough enough. In our last blog I talked about using other classes work to begin teaching PC skills with and the students themselves picked up on the science strategy of random selection-this was seen as being fairer and likely to get a more accurate response. Not all agreed but it was an interesting set of answers. Kim will go far with her growth mind-set! A few students also made a comparison between self and peer critique-good to see them thinking hard.

Bethany business studies

I think it’s good for a lot of students because if a friend is marking your work, you feel more relaxed and trust their judgement.

Kimberley RE

I think when my friends mark my work they should be more honest and give me a mark that I deserve-they shouldn’t be afraid to hurt my feelings.

Paige maths

Peer assessment doesn’t usually help me as you are always too generous towards your friend and may be less harsh on them than you would be to yourself and may award a better grade than deserved. However self-assessment does help me as I myself know what my weaknesses are and are able to identify them.

Bethany music

Peer assessment doesn’t really work because you don’t want to give the person a really bad mark even if they have done badly-you don’t want to be harsh on the person. In my opinion self-assessment is better as you can see where you have gone wrong and how you need to improve.

Nour English

I believe it’s not working as we feel in the wrong if give a high mark. A way to help is by giving students random books to mark.

The MFL students were the ones most likely not to like peer critique as much as teacher assessment and I can understand that the accuracy of their particular feedback is difficult for peers to provide and their problems with creating a good quality of student/teacher or peer/peer dialogue is one we have discussed on many occasions.

Amelia Spanish

I find peer assessment unhelpful as I feel teacher assessment is a lot more effective and I can trust what they say and that it will help my learning.

Lucy music

I find peer assessment not as effective in class, because often I don’t get the constructive feedback that I can get from my teacher.

There were lots of very positive responses re PC from the KS3 students asked to give examples when it had helped their learning-I’m not going to make the post even longer by including them in the external version but the responses provided really useful feedback internally.

Growth Mind Set

I’ve shared a range of our different ideas concerning the implementation of GM for both staff and students since last September.

http://blog.meolscophighschool.co.uk/?cat=19

GM complements older initiatives such as our school competencies [the 6Cs] and our general learning and teaching philosophy. I’m not going into the reasons why I believe in the merits of GM in this post and nor am I going to discuss at this early stage the impact GM has already had in our classrooms-it’s early days and so I wanted to find out about some of the issues that were concerning the students. We sometimes forget that our language and expectations of 11 year olds can be construed by them in a host of different often subliminal messages. We have to be so careful with what we say and always need to take into consideration the personal background of the individual students. “When the going gets tough-the tough get going, never give up, try not to ask the teacher for help, failing is ok, always think I can’t do it-YET” and so and so on trip off adult tongues easily. We know resilient learners can cope better with life but many of our students are fragile souls with a lack of our adult confidence and may not have met some of the GM ideas before-gently and supportively does it as we teach GM skills and qualities that are hard and don’t come naturally to some. The comments below are mainly from year 7 students-they make some valid points about what they find difficult about GM that we need to think about.

Natasha PE

Trying to continue when I don’t understand what we are doing or don’t enjoy a certain lesson/subject.

Danny PE

Giving honest feedback to everyone including myself in self-assessments.

Emily science

I find it hard to learn from mistakes because I have thought that the work I have produced was good and I had made no mistakes. Maybe people could explain my corrections to me in more detail.

Luke sport’s leaders

The most difficult aspect I find is the ‘can’t do it YET’ part-I think you could help by offering more support in new topics.

Anon food tech

Sometimes instead of saying “I can’t do it YET” I say, “I can’t” because I don’t have a lot of self-confidence.

Freya art

The most difficult part of GM is giving someone feedback about their work because you don’t want people to feel upset but it does help them.

Amy science

Thinking for yourself is ok but trying to ask a teacher is always tempting!

Esme science

I find giving people feedback quite hard sometimes because it can be tricky thinking of the correct words to say that will help them.

Freya G science

When sometimes people have done very good work you can’t say what they need to do to do better or when I get a low mark in something knowing I could have done better. Maybe when we are doing peer assessment or independent work I would like the teacher to come over a bit more often and ask do you need help.

Tahlia science

Not being afraid to put my hand up in class and saying the wrong answer.

Brandon science

Not being afraid to say an answer and if people want their own time with the teacher then they can.

Kieran science

When it’s a hard question and trying not to ask for help.

Bekki French

RE and history because I do not believe in God and find the Romans and everything just a little bit boring. [I don’t teach Bekki history!]

Aaron Spanish

Sometimes I find it hard to peer assess when they have got a lot of it right and there’s nothing to write and sometimes you have to be honest and hurt people’s feelings.

Stephanie Spanish

I finds that criticising someone is hard as I don’t want to be harsh on them and I don’t want to offend them.

Luke music

I think that I have put all my effort into a piece of work but sometimes I don’t get all of the marks. It would help if I could learn about what I didn’t get right.

Freya M music

I think that the most difficult thing is always trying to reach the level you want because you always want gold and sometimes it’s not possible-depends which subject you are in.

Ethan English

Celebrating the success of others because I want to do well as well but I don’t want to disappoint others.

Eve English

In English the hardest target is my spellings although I do practice them, they never seem to stay in my head. Maybe I could get some spelling sheets or tips how to remember them.

Macy English

I find it hard to compare my work other students because I feel worried that I don’t do enough and it isn’t good enough.

Jordan English

The best aspect of growth mind set is making mistakes as you have not failed you’ve just found a way not to do something.

Kieran science

I find DIRT really hard but I like it that way so that I can push myself.

Mae science

I don’t think that it’s all of the time but I just give up after a bit and if it’s hard and I can’t do something, I get frustrated.

Katie science

When I give feedback I have to make sure it’s right before I say its right and the same if it’s wrong. You could help by putting the answers on the board and come over to everyone and makes sure that I have marked it right.

Sarah English

I think the hardest thing is not giving up because sometimes you feel you can’t do something and it’s hard to just carry on. I think the teachers and the growth mind set PowerPoints help keep us all motivated.

James English

I find staying motivated the hardest especially if I make similar mistakes lots of times.

And finally my favourite!

Eva English

Saying “I can’t do it yet” because self-confidence is hard-to help us we should have lessons on growth mind set with activities.

Thank you Eva-yes we should and in year 7 the learning tutors have a programme to help to introduce the concepts and in our previous posts you can see how individual teachers have been introducing GM into their lessons. At the end of the year we will share ideas again and think about which strategies work best and chat about evidence of impact we might have seen. Jen, our subject leader for maths, sees a natural relationship between the teaching of maths and GM, especially as the curriculum/G.C.S.E. requirements are changing. In between the Learning Walk interviews she asked me to drop in on 2 different maths lessons where she was introducing new GM ideas [I’ll share these in another post] and was saying that the year 10 students found it hard to think ‘YET’-when they are finding a topic hard they shout “I can’t do it” and they know the “YET” bit is coming but getting there seems a long way off! I suggested that she needs to help them to think about getting to YET by trying to consider different possible strategies-we have to teach them, and model,  how to think strategically when they get stuck-they can’t just tough it out and come up with something. Thinking of the mantra 3BME or similar, I suggested [being in maths!] a formula for them to consider of 3BY-3 ideas to try to get to YET-see how it goes!

How will developing a Meols Cop Mind-Set help you in college, university and employment? What are the key learning strengths that you want to put on your CV that describe you best [and will persuade others that you are worth interviewing/employing?]

Many schools are keen to tell you about the qualities that they seek to instil in their learners and have a mixture of very grand Latin and English visionary statements. How realistic a view they provide of their finished products; I couldn’t say but I wanted to know what our students actually feel MCHS develops in their psyche and mental preparation for their life beyond us. Sometimes in surveys students tell you what you want to hear-I tried not to help them too much with the question if they asked me so I didn’t get answers back that lauded us without justification or that used language that wasn’t theirs. To conclude another mega long post, here are some of their words that ‘walk the talk’ for us.

Caris History

I feel it will help me in college as I will engage in all topics and my weaknesses will improve as I grow more confident in areas I struggle in

Thomas computer studies

It will help me learn that you need to focus on the positives and on marginal gains. I want to be able to put on my CV how long I have been programming the knowledge I have learnt at Meols Cop and how I can apply these skills in the work environment or under exam pressure.

Jake business studies

By developing a MCHS mind set I can see the experience of dedication and hard work in my future when I’m reaching for targets in the work place. The key points I want to show is how well I can peer moderate and how effective it is to other learners/workers. This will improve chances of employment as it shows how I can work in a team.

Eden child development

It will help me in the future because we will know what steps we can take to improve and we will be able to push ourselves so that we are working to the best of our ability.

Ellie M music

It is good to have a MCHS mind set to help you because youre going to help you-youre not going to give up, youll go for it in college, university and jobs.

Alice music

Using the Meols Cop mind set would encourage us to have a positive attitude towards learning in the future. It would push us not to give up if something became difficult. The key learning strengths I would include would be my open-ness to making improvements.

Paige maths

If you do well in school and are able to work as a team but can also work well independently, that may persuade employers to give you a job. If you are resilient and dont give in too easily that may also be good for your CV as it would make you a good and confident worker.

Ellie O Spanish

We learn from our mistakes and strive to be the best. This will help us because we want to do better and it gives us motivation.

Emma G science

Being honest when peer assessing another persons work even if its a friend, because it will help them improve more. Be more independent and critical towards yourself so you can get even better.

Nour English

I am independent during revision and work lessons but can help others when they are in need. I am also organised when it comes to HWK/revision at home as I use my planner often and I have a timetable I usually stick by-but I dont try to overwork myself-I do that in school! [She does too!]

Amie English

It will help me because it will mean at college and university I will find it easier to focus and get my work done. Also it has meant I can be more independent in my work and revision because I have more confidence in myself.

Eleanor English

I keep going and Im independent and Im prepared to work hard for something I really want.

I think it would be really useful if the PPTS used in lessons could be out on the VLE so I can go over it again.

Frazer science

Having a Meols Cop mind set will help me in college because the teachers here always push you to improve your grades to improve your learning and to get the grades employers want.

Laura dance

I feel Meols Cop has made me much more independent and confident. It has taught me how to deal with and improve from my mistakes and has taught me to be positive and stay motivated no matter how hard it may get-it will be worth it.

Katie dance

It will help me become more independent and understand when I have made mistakes and help me understand how I never giving up and keeping trying will eventually bring success. My key learning strengths are that Ive become dedicated and passionate about my learning.

James French

Developing my mind set will help me to achieve higher results in college and university, even if I dont think its possible. My learning strengths are that I have a very critical mind towards my work and always aspire to do the best I possibly can.

Ryan maths

We are told never give up and to always push yourself to make yourself better-this will help us all to be better in college, university and even jobs.

Charlotte maths

It will help me see my mistakes and when I revise them Ill get it right next time AND Ill keep going until I do.

Ilona maths

Mainly commitment and dedication; attempting and trying to be the best I can be regardless of anything or anybody.

Sam maths

Stay hardworking and committed if it gets hard and learn from your mistakes. If you follow all of the 6Cs you will become the perfect employee. Make marginal gains if you are struggling.

Tanisha maths

They teach us never to give up and give us advice that we like to hear and believe.

Fern maths

Developing a MCMS will help with teamwork and it helps with the ability not to give up when something gets hard. [Mostly for university and employment]

Lucy music

Using the mind-set allows me to do things that help others and to motivate myself to get the grades I need to get a good job and to put on my CV. Being encouraged to do extra-curricular activities has developed social skills to put on my CV.

Bethany RS music

Using a Meols Cop mind set will help me in college/university because it tells me not to give up and dont quit without doing the best that you can do.

Bethany J business studies

That Meols Cop helps push you to reach your target grades or above as they dont ever leave you if you are falling behind or stuck. Sessions are always on after school which is also more encouraging to know.

Alex business studies

I will be able to identify my weaknesses and work to improve on them as I would like to put on my CV that Im able to criticise myself and work to improve as I believe that this is a key skill.

Joe RE

Im not afraid to try something-I take it in my stride and I can take comments to improve my work instead of getting disheartened.

Shauna child development

It can help you to be positive about your learning so that you can be good at what you want to be. It pushes you to be a better person later in life.

Rosie child development

So you always know how to improve and how to identify your weaknesses so you can constantly be bettering yourself and can help others to improve in their work as well.

Thank you for reading our blog, especially of you haven’t visited it before-hope you enjoyed our student talk. After half-term I’ll share how our NQTs and their lesson studies are developing.

One thought on “Walking the talk

  1. Pingback: Shuffle Your Sums! Growing Mathematical Mind-Sets. | Meols Cop High School

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