Professional Learning: Evidence of changes in teaching, learning and assessment practices
Strand 1 Creating a reading culture across the campus
In this strand of the project we explored different ways in which we could promote reading across the college. Some of the activities we undertook included:
• using marker pens to decorate the walls of a glass bridge (a key walkway in the college), using images and quiz questions based on the driving test
• asking lecturers to complete and put up around the college colourful, eye catching posters with the title of a book they were currently reading e.g. ‘Cass Webb is currently reading…’
• buying in a variety of books and magazines to stock a shelf in the student lounge
• holding a Christmas writing competition on the topic of climate change
• lobbying for a popular area of the college called the WigWam area to be decorated with inspirational quotes. We also encouraged the science department to put articles of topical interest on a new noticeboard
• creating ‘plant sticks’ in a garden area allocated to Alternative Provision students that contain quotes and song lyrics to reflect seasonal celebrations; in the training restaurant at Christmas we involved learners in displaying song lyrics and topical texts on the table number holders.
Strand 2 Dedicated reading in Functional English lessons
Weekly designated reading sessions were introduced into Functional English lessons for a group of Entry Level 3 and Level 1 students on the Huntingdon campus. Over the year they were asked to read a novel, ‘One of Us is Lying’ by Karen M. McManus. These reading project ‘windows’ lasted for approximately 15 minutes at the start of a session and included group reviews.
Strand 3 Alternative provision
We initially assessed our Alternative Provision 14-16 learners using the New Salford Sentence Reading Test which was developed for Hodder Education; this would help us to monitor their progress. We also had informal discussions about their particular struggles with reading. Some of these learners had been home schooled and were not used to college life so they were all dealing with multiple changes in their lives. As a result, we decided to approach them in a different manner which has resulted in more a positive outcome. We worked with them to create their own Reading Room and encouraged them to invest time in decorating it themselves so they felt they have some ownership in it. Learners have used it to read books, magazines, text books or listen to audio books. We have also provided and actively encouraged the use of ‘reading pens’ through EHCP funding.