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Composite CfE planning

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by sunny100, May 15, 2010.

  1. In August my class will be a composite p2/1. One of our many, many issues with planning (!!) is which level I should be using. Early Level/ First Level/ both - in which case my plans will be twice the size of everybody else's :(

    Anyone in the same boat who's been given some advice?

    Many thanks
  2. Is it not the job of your bosses---your SMT, your LA---to tell you this?
  3. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    This is a similar situation to when teachers had to work with composite classes under 5-14.
    On the one hand, you have to differentiate the work to meet the needs of the pupils but, on the other, you haven't got time to run a completely separate curriculum for each year group.
    As CG has said, it's not your job to resolve this conundrum. Your HT and LA should be giving you detailed guidance on planning for the composite class in question.
    This is a particular issue with a P2/1 composite because the P1s have their own needs and the parents of the P2s don't want their children to be 'held back'.
    Good luck.
  4. Unless, of course, someone decides that this is precisely what you are to do, along with producing the double set of plans to support it. It happens.

  5. Thanks for the replies. Our school have a working committee looking at planning so was just looking for some ideas. Unfortunately looking quite likely to be double plans unless anyone else has a clever solution. Ah well .....:)
  6. No ideas sorry but our school is facing the same issue with a P5/4 composite.
    I do think it was far easier with 5-14! I have always grouped the children in composite classes into ability groups based on the level they were working towards not which year group they were. I don't see how we can do that with CfE. Very confusing!

    I am hoping that I don't end up with the P5/4 class as I think I would end up having to do two totally separate plans for everything. Fingers crossed!

  7. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Will that mean that each year group will have a separate time for PE?
    Will they be taught separately by any visiting specialists?
    If you are covering topic work, or going on an educational visit, will that have to be undertaken separately as well?
    It sounds like a nightmare to organise. Does education really need to be so complicated?
    Of course it may be that your HT, or school working group, is more concerned with making the curriculum look good on paper.
    It is possible that the practicalities of planning for, and teaching, a composite class are considered of less importance.
    That's a CfE for you!
    Alice K likes this.
  8. I teach a multi-composite p4-7 class and have to double up on all plans
    My planning folder needs wheels- any advice very welcome re cutting down on the planning aspect
    but I can't see a way round it if I am to cater for the needs of the individual learner.
    Robber Red
    Alice K likes this.
  9. Aye, there's the rub.
    What is planning and who is it for, anyway?
    In my view, planning should first and foremost be for the teacher: planning is at the heart of what a teacher does, and it's the teacher's way of organising the courses/lessons to be taught in any particular time period, from an hour to a full term/year of work.
    But here, it seems that planning has acquired an ulterior purpose: as a way for the SMT and by extension the LA to keep tabs on what is to be taught.
    In Canada, I was able to plan pretty much any way I wanted to, using any format I liked, as long as I could justify my choice to my head if and when asked---which was rarely, as my judgement was trusted to plan appropriately for my class, in a way that my judgement is not trusted here.
    Here, it seems, everyone has to fit into a rigid little pigeonhole ("format") of planning. If your class won't fit the pigeonhole for some reason--eg, it's composite---, too bad for you, because what matters is not what is to be taught, or God forbid, learned. What matters is the shape and size and nature of the pigeonhole, which teachers must find a way to fill somehow, no matter how much the content must be twisted and warped to fit the pigeonhole.
    Look, if you are asking all these questions about planning formats and having such trouble finding formats to suit your class, clearly the planning process is out of control. Planning has become the master rather than the servant of teaching, and the purpose of planning as a teacher's aid has been lcompletely lost sight of.

    Alice K likes this.
  10. Early and First look at the same outcomes, just at different levels, don't they?
    zencat999 likes this.
  11. i've done some work on putting 2 levels together side by side so that you can see progression and plan for it at a glance. i've done them for writing and listening so far. if you send me your e-mail address, i'll send you a copy

  12. I have a composite P1/2/3 and my colleague has a P4/5/6/7.
    I plan using first level outcomes for all my topic work, referring to the early level as I write my planning, and only including Early level outcomes where they vary dramatically from First level. Usuallu, they are almost the same, and as long as I know I am differentianting, it works out fine. Where they vary, I teach both to the whole class (for instance this year we did an electricity topic - the first level outcome was about building circuits, and the early level was about electrical safety. All my kids did both).
    In Language and Maths I teach in ability groups, so some children work from Early level and some from First, but since I plan for each group anyway it doesn't add to my planning. Although by Christmas all of my planning was from first level, apart from 1 child (who is about to repeat P1)

    My Colleague with p4/5/6/7 does exactly the same, using second level outcomes for almost all of her planning, but being aware of first level and applying it for her P4s when it's relevant, and in maths and literacy until they acheive first level (or level B, as we often refer to it!)
    I'm a PT and I've been at a lot of meetings with cluster groups and LT representatives, including people who were on the working parties for writing the outcomes, and for a while I made a point of asking anyone who would listen if it was ok for me to plan everything for P1-3 using only first level outcomes and differentiating within them, as I do, and every single person said it seemed like the only logical solution, and it would be ridiculous to do two sets of plans.

    Alice K likes this.
  13. Thank you Dawnf1 this is really helpful and does seem the most logical way forward. Lots to think about ....
  14. I have been for some while: I teach P1/2/3. During this time I have created my own disciplinary topics and all areas of the curriculum have to be covered using early and first level. This is not only the case for composite classes but quite a few straight classes have ch'n at differing levels. It isn't too difficult and in time you will get used to it. Good Luck!
  15. Dimensions CfE is being launched today (22/9/10-23/9/10) at the Scottish Learning Festival (SECC, Glasgow). Pop along to Innovation Alley to find out more about the exciting new Toolkit.
    If you can't come to the exhibition then you can get more information about Dimensions CfE and how it can help your school to design and implement its own Creative Curriculum by visiting www.dimensionscurriculum.co.uk
    With single year and a two year rolling programme and intergated assessment you will be able to plan and assess for mixed age classes more confidently.

  16. Can I ask why it is more difficult to plan for a composite class with CfE than with 5 to 14?
  17. Hi there,

    I'm sorry to be cheeky and hijack someone else's post but was looking for a wee bit of help.

    I'm about to go for an interview for a composite p1-4 class this week and was wondering if there was anyway you might let me have a wee squint at how you lay out your planning for your class?

    my email is amy.reid@rocketmail.com

    if it's not possible don't worry at all - you just sound very clue'd up!

    thanks :)
  18. I am also getting a composite and would love to see any of your planning ideas.
    My email is tenchi1983@hotmail.com
  19. Hi my email is jinty122@gmail.com could i have a copy of your plans
  20. This is not an unusual circumstance. I have just finished a placement in a p1-5 composite class!! You need to do a bit more planning, yes, and have lots of differentiated activities... but once you've got the hang of it though, you'll be fine.

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