Learning from this project
• Commonality in AQA paper texts. Whilst it is clear that initial texts were selected as examples of persuasive writing, this seems to have tailed off
and has been replaced by what may appear to be more accessible topics for students e.g. surfing and sailing.
• Barriers to engagement. We found that while the topic of a text is a key factor in the engagement/disengagement of a student, another important factor seems to be the formatting of the text on a page. This is not always linked to the length of the text but also to the use of paragraphing and pictures.
• Preferred themes. Students seemed to move away from the “heavy” texts relating to world affairs and significant historical events. They preferred more “popcorn” topics such as social activities and popular media. These themes include: crime, fame, recreational activities, horror, sport, the supernatural, prison and disasters.
• Bank of resources. This research and selected process has been challenging but effective. It would have been better if we had identified this process within our learning aims, as the adaptive nature of this individual research provided some great results.
• Formatting of text including pictures. Our understanding of what worked on the page based on the research was key in formatting the texts. In future it would be good to look at the presentation of this in a multi-media format.
• Adaptation of questions. This was a particularly valuable task and is something we will roll out as part of lesson content going forward. We developed alternative versions for exam questions 2, 3 and 4.
• Assessment of final papers. The project was divided into two phases but we were unsure how long these activities would take. We were able to get further into phase 2 than we perhaps expected but a full trial of the created papers was not possible in the timeframe of the project. The papers will be rolled out within the college as lesson resources later in the spring term and as revision materials at the start of the summer term, and feedback sought thereafter.