Month: November 2015

Improving outcomes for low attainers

Here are the slides and notes from my session from ResearchEd yesterday. I found the warmth and enthusiasm of everyone at the event very refreshing. And Swindon Academy did themselves and their community proud!   The talk was arranged in seven sections: the first was a short intro explaining that I am not an expert, but that my opportunities to come to grips with education and special needs certainly had that ‘threshold’ effect on me: they completely changed my view of teaching and learning. It is clear that if we use the precision required for empirical, data-based methods, we can have a significant effect on the competence and confidence of students who have struggled at school. The second section dealt with the key underlying principle, which is that lower progress learners require much more sensitive assessment and progress measures. Lessons, tasks and learning goals need to analysed at a fine level in order to ensure that underlying gaps in knowledge are addressed, and foundations are coherent and strong. The key point in the third section was to use morphology when teaching vocabulary, since …

The Road to Swindon Goes Ever On …

It perhaps fitting that the title of my first ResearchED presentation should be The Road Goes Ever On. The drive to Swindon became interminable: queuing in London traffic because of diversions, queuing to get out of London, and then queuing for ten miles on the M4 because one lane was blocked for a few hundred yards. A drive of an hour and a half took three hours. Happily, the conference was a much more well-organised affair! The facilities were excellent, the IT support was exemplary, and the prefects were charming and willing helpers. David Didau certainly pulled together a great team who did a superb job in ensuring that the day ran without a hitch. My thanks to those who came to my session and were very patient as I worked my way through my presentation without access to my laptop notes. Here are my slides with a summary of the notes below:   I began by showing images of the journey I undertook each week when I began my teacher training. It was meant to …