Evidence of improved collaboration and changes in organisation practices
Workshop glossary: Level 3 Motor Vehicle
The main impact on learners’ behaviour was their use of the MOT manual to find the more appropriate term. The teacher explains, “Learners started to pick each other up when they used words such as ‘rust’ instead of ‘corrosion’ or ‘doesn’t work’ rather than ‘inoperative’ during all lessons”. The group have continued to build on the glossary, and the tutor saw that they found it enjoyable and how it became a normal part of the lesson.
The learner that the teacher specifically focused on made significant progress within the first six weeks; Simon used the Progression in Oracy grid (Figure 2b-3) to identify that before the project the learner was not quite on the scale for any element other than “physical”, but that by October half-term he was at “confident linguistic”, “developing cognitive” and “apprentice social and emotional”. The rest of the group showed improvements in confidence with technical language as well as increased confidence in discussions. Following discussions with the group, they recognised that their confidence in discussions and vocabulary use had improved.
GCSE English glossary
This was successful as some learners showed the ability to “articulate ambitious words in a persuasive and engaging manner”.
Overall, the teacher felt that, while the strategy had some impact and she would continue to use it, she also felt the impact would be increased with greater use of it across the college curriculum rather than just in English lessons. One piece of advice she wanted to share: “open up to learners honestly when you don’t know a word”, as the impact of this can be to show it is not a weakness and encourage learners to open up too.
Expert with a glossary: GCSE Maths
The teacher felt that the strategy mostly had the intended impact, “and did succeed in advancing the students’ confidence in reading specialised vocabulary over time” stressing that this was particularly successful when “words were repeated at key intervals”. The lead learner stated “It was really useful, because I knew where I could look up words I didn’t understand and didn’t have to worry.”
Following on from the success of the strategy, the teacher plans to focus on the glossary, create one that is “better presented” and provide one per table in future maths classes. He advises that access to key words and repetition, rather than reliance on learners’ ability to take notes has been useful and is pleased that “focusing on solutions to individual needs can be an effective way of finding generalised solutions”.
Tarsia and Learner as expert: Level One Foundation English and maths
While both strategies were difficult and appeared unsuccessful, the teacher recognised that the learner has increased the number of oral contributions since the start of term and tends to use more adverbs in his speech. While the contributions were simple, they were more frequent and demonstrated an increase in confidence. The teacher also notes that other strategies, not specifically designed to support oracy, have had an impact upon the learners’ spoken skills: “Whenever we play games such as multiplication squares (in Maths), he has quite some fun arguing with his friend about who has been cheating and becomes very vocal”, which points to another potential strategy to build on.
Learners as experts: GCSE English
When introducing presentation tasks, the teacher found that there were two questions her learners asked:
• Can it really be on anything?
• Do I have to do it in front of the whole class?
It was found that in school, most learners were given a topic to talk about and had to do it in front of their whole class. The teacher decided that, in GCSE, learners could present on a one-to-one basis, while in Functional English there needed to be a minimum of three learners in the audience.
Learners who rarely spoke in class successfully delivered presentations about topics that interested them or they were passionate about. One learner who normally remained quiet in lessons gave an emotive presentation about endangered species, bringing the teacher to tears. The learner has since spoken up several times in class, which is progress to be built upon.
Discussion roles and glossary: AS English Language
The teacher found that using the discussion roles led to “more even group participation, maintaining the quality of focus through emphasis on key terminology.” The learners’ discussions became more balanced so that all learners had an opportunity to speak.
Learners felt that the glossaries were helpful and appreciated them, but felt that the discussion roles were “clumsy and difficult to follow”. Despite this, the teacher felt that the discussion roles supported him to intervene more effectively and “push students to engage in qualitative exploration of the topic”. He also felt that he would move forward with applying structures like this to discussions in future.