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'Intervention' with failing classes

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by GruffyMax, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Evening,
    Firstly, I really hope i've put this on the right board, I had a look through some of the subjects & felt it was the right place!
    I'm secondary and i've been teaching a subject which isn't my specialism & isn't doing too well in the school. It was introduced 2 years ago, hasn't really had proper leadership, SoW, staffing or support of a HoD that actually teaches the subject. There isn't a subject specialist in the school, it's one of those subjects that's used to fill up timetables, so we have RE, Geography, History & English specialists teaching it. Furthermore, it was made compulsory for all KS4 students to take a short course GCSE, when they hadn't studied it in KS3 and so behaviour is really challenging as they have a negative attitude to the subject. All this is a headache but I have been plodding away and hope my current Yr10s will do better as it's more established.
    However, we recently had Ofsted in and one of the things they found was that our results (as a school) are too low, so, lots of meetings, emails etc about progress & achievement, which I think will be the drive/focus next term. One thing that has already come up is the classroom teachers being accountable for their results, and having to prove what they have done to stop underachievement.
    This is where I become stuck! I have 2 Yr11 classes and they did a mock last week, I've spent today marking them. It's depressing reading. We have been working on the Controlled Assessment since September, so that could explain why they are so bad, but I'm starting to worry about what school are going to say/do. I did a mock at the end of Yr10 and the results were much better, but the exam is only 40% and students tend to overachieve on the exam. In one of my classes the behaviour is so bad that it limits learning & achievement, HoD, HoY etc etc are aware of this as i've sent a fair few emails, asked SLT in etc.
    What other strategies could I do to engaged my classes? And what sort of evidence will SLT be satisfied with?
    I feel like I've gotten to the point where you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, but maybe I just need a new perspective!
    Thanks!
     
  2. Evening,
    Firstly, I really hope i've put this on the right board, I had a look through some of the subjects & felt it was the right place!
    I'm secondary and i've been teaching a subject which isn't my specialism & isn't doing too well in the school. It was introduced 2 years ago, hasn't really had proper leadership, SoW, staffing or support of a HoD that actually teaches the subject. There isn't a subject specialist in the school, it's one of those subjects that's used to fill up timetables, so we have RE, Geography, History & English specialists teaching it. Furthermore, it was made compulsory for all KS4 students to take a short course GCSE, when they hadn't studied it in KS3 and so behaviour is really challenging as they have a negative attitude to the subject. All this is a headache but I have been plodding away and hope my current Yr10s will do better as it's more established.
    However, we recently had Ofsted in and one of the things they found was that our results (as a school) are too low, so, lots of meetings, emails etc about progress & achievement, which I think will be the drive/focus next term. One thing that has already come up is the classroom teachers being accountable for their results, and having to prove what they have done to stop underachievement.
    This is where I become stuck! I have 2 Yr11 classes and they did a mock last week, I've spent today marking them. It's depressing reading. We have been working on the Controlled Assessment since September, so that could explain why they are so bad, but I'm starting to worry about what school are going to say/do. I did a mock at the end of Yr10 and the results were much better, but the exam is only 40% and students tend to overachieve on the exam. In one of my classes the behaviour is so bad that it limits learning & achievement, HoD, HoY etc etc are aware of this as i've sent a fair few emails, asked SLT in etc.
    What other strategies could I do to engaged my classes? And what sort of evidence will SLT be satisfied with?
    I feel like I've gotten to the point where you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, but maybe I just need a new perspective!
    Thanks!
     
  3. Dear Gruffymax
    Maybe it would help to list all the factors that you feel stand in the way of their getting good results (incidentally, although they didn't do this subject at KS3, do you have any data predicting results for this subject? - good results are those which meet expectations!). For example, you could include homework not completed, absence, lessons lost to school trips....
    Then, get some evidence. For example, with one of my classes who have me at my wits' end, I keep a log of absence - and forward it to management each half term. with comments on how this will adversely affect resuilts!
    Next, decide what strategies might help. Maybe something like zero-tolerance on a particular behavioural issue, or factoring in a five-minute session with each student discussing his/her targets and how to get there.
    Keep records of all your intervention. That way, if the dear kiddiwinks fail to meet their targets, you can say "Look at what I tried!"

    Hope this is some help.
     
  4. Hi,

    Is this subject Citizenship? I have had a fair bit of experience teaching this subject to the let's call them 'the more difficult to enthuse students'. I find the engagement - hook - is the key. Send me a PM and I'll be able to give you advice depending on what the specific issues are? Gender? Ability? time of the day? Etc.

    Good luck.
     
  5. I'm going to point to a different aspect than the previous poster. If you are not qualified to teach this subject, have you had training given? How long have you been teaching it? Have you spoken to your union? I would do it, to cover myself.
     

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