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Dept. approach to targeting higher ability students not reaching potential grades

Discussion in 'Science' started by SciHQ, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. SciHQ

    SciHQ New commenter

    Dear TES colleagues

    I am hoping to discuss ideas regarding tackling higher ability students who perhaps are underperforming compared to their potential in end of unit assessments.
    Please note that at this stage (Year 10) I do not expect them to have already reached this as they are a work in progress but this query is also applicable to Year 11 too.

    I am already regularly incorporating different retrieval practices in lessons and students are provided regular opportunities to practice assessment questions to improve exam technique via booklets. There is a squeeze on time to complete all content (Biology) and as such, there is not enough time to consider retests as an option in lesson time or for example additional revision in lessons in addition to the feedback sessions. As a result, the next time students are assessed on that particular content would be during the end of year assessment/examinations.
    After any assessment, the students receive a question level analysis sheet with information on areas of strength and those requiring improvement. They also are provided with verbal feedback on how to improve their answers e.g. wording, structure, keywords etc.

    The students already have many subjects and I would not wish to ask Year 10 students to attend additional sessions at this stage outside of lesson time as I think it would have a detrimental effect on motivation, enthusiasm etc.
    Revision sessions for Year 11 will also be happening shortly anyway so I am keenly interested in other innovative ideas if possible that haven't already been thought of and don't involve students giving up additional time after school or in lunchtimes (if that exists...?).

    Please would you willing to discuss your approaches for targeting higher ability students who may not be nearing their target grades in assessments?

    Thank you for your time, it is appreciated!

  2. particlezoo

    particlezoo New commenter


    We have a similar issue although some of ours have inflated ks2 scores so have gcse target grades that are too high.
    When you say they have access to the practice assessment questions and assessments do you go through the mark scheme in detail with them after they have completed these? We are currently looking at how to improve feedback for our students and student voice (and the results) suggest that access to the mark schemes and someone to go through it with them was more effective than any other type of feedback.
    Whole school were looking into how to improve the performance of these students too. We have the option to issue a teacher detention to any student that scores 2 or more grades below their target on assessments. This produced an increase in grades obtained at they wished to avoid the detentions. I'm not sure this is the way to go but it stopped some of our lazy high ability kids drifting too far.

    Many thanks

  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Drop them down a set and promote a couple of the hard working kids from the set below? Perhaps they need a reality check. Being in top set makes them think they have some sort of free pass. What are they looking to do at KS5? Those looking for science A levels may need some information/hometruths to liven them up.

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