In March 2016 students 4 student from every teaching group in school were interviewed about their progress here at MCHS and how they think their learning is going. We quizzed KS4 on their mocks and recent assessments and how strategies their teachers might be trying are working. In KS3 we focused on growth mindset and on literacy. The following two blogs represent the collated results of all discussions.
Learning Walks – KS4
1.Based on your mocks/assessments so far and your gut feeling-what are you realistically going to achieve in this subject in summer/next year? Justify your answer with concrete evidence.
All students were very familiar with their mock results and could talk at length about how they had done along with their strengths and weaknesses. They were able to reference particular areas within a subject that they had done well on and also knew very clearly the areas that they needed to develop.
Students studying practical subjects were very clear on their progress in the different elements within the GCSE and could clearly state whether it was theory or practical that they were stronger at and why. At times they were very specific about the practical skills they needed to develop.
2. What do you need to achieve/what does your aspirational target say that you have to achieve? Is there a difference between 1 and 2-if there is what do you need to do about it? How can your teacher help you? If there is no difference or you beat no 1-how will you ensure that you do it again in summer?
All students were very clear on the gap, if any, between their current performance and their aspirational target. Again, as with question number one they could give clear evidence as to why the gap existed and were able to identify strategies that they could do develop as well as areas that their teachers were helping them with. Many of them referred to the need to “practice” and the role of interleaving in helping them to revisit work. There was a real appreciation of the value of completing past paper questions.
Students were very clear on where they could go for help and support and made specific reference to where individual teachers had supported them.
4. Interleaving, interleaving, interleaving! How have you got the knowledge to stick? What are the best tactics in this subject to memorise the facts that you need to help you achieve your very best in this subject?
Students were able to identify a wealth of strategies being used that was helping their memory recall and this was evident across all subjects. A selection are listed below:
• Question templates to help answer exam questions
• Focusing on the layout of the exam and how to approach each question in turn
• Time for practical rehearsal (where applicable)
• Breaking down the GCSE content into what we must learn each week
• “Formulas” and mnemonics for approaching different exam question styles
• Reviewing topics from earlier in the year regularly
• Flash cards
• Having access to lots of past papers
• Revision booklets which contain key information the exam questions that go with them
• 5 a day questions
• Weekly facts tests
• Being able to access apps and revision websites in lessons as well as at home
• Breaking down mark schemes so that you understand all of the “jargon”
• Using example answers of what good work look likes
• Getting the revision guide at the start of the year so we can annotate as we go through each topic
• Revision O’clock
• Visual strategies like making causal webs on the table or Venn diagrams with hula hoops
• Making models of important processes as part of revision
• Hints and tips for how to answer each question
• Mind mapping
• Access to revision materials on the VLE