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Poor gcse results

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by nutrition02, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. nutrition02

    nutrition02 New commenter

    hi all
    I started doing a maternity cover in January 19 until January 20 and got my nqt in may this year also.
    However The year 11’ have got terrible gcse results, feel like a failure, And I have failed the students. I am only at the school another 3 months, but I am doubting my ability as a teacher now. Has any I e been in this position before?
  2. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Don't doubt your ability.
    If you started in Jan 2019 you had them for 5 months in a two year (or maybe three year?) course.
    Not Your Fault.

    If you can see their papers (some boards allow this) have a look though and think honestly about whether there's anything you could have taught better, and if so use it to help you plan in future. But don't get down over this.
    phlogiston, tb9605 and nutrition02 like this.
  3. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    As Blue 451 says: "Not your fault". The school would have known this time last year that a member of staff was going on maternity cover - sad to say, but I imagine that they timetabled that staff member with classes/sets that they had low expectations for anyway, knowing that there would be disruption in January. At my first school, NQTs were routinely given bottom Year 11 sets on the cynical basis of "we expect these students to fail so giving them to an NQT who is still learning their craft won't make a difference to our results."

    You've only just passed your NQT - you are still learning your craft. Don't beat yourself up. You had them for what, 5 months? Not your fault!
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Senior commenter

    Did you tell them factually incorrect information?
    Did you refuse to answer their questions?
    Did you hide websites, text books, exam dates?

    YOU did not get poor results. Individual students did. Your impact on students outcomes is surprisingly small. After their innate ability, their motivation, their support from home and their peer group.

    Your job is to be a resource available to students. You are not responsible ( what ever ofsted says) for the extent to which they choose to use you.
    install, tenpast7, strawbs and 3 others like this.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    GCSE is the "culmination" of 11 (12 if you cound foundation year) years of education. Many things affect the quality of GCSE results - you had them for the last 5 months before the exams.
    I don't know how you taught them - I'm sure if you had the time again you'd do some things differently.
    If you can say "I did the best I could with these youngsters" then you should not hang your head in shame.
    Do spend some time in positive reflection - I'll try this way of teaching topic X. I'll talk to the staff expert about topic Y, I need to prepare them for questions like number 8.
    Good luck with finding your next post.
    Most of us have had groups with disappointing results.
    tenpast7, strawbs and blueskydreaming like this.
  6. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Out of their 11 years in education you taught them for 5 months. Why would poor results be your fault?
    install likes this.
  7. nutrition02

    nutrition02 New commenter

    Thank you for your responses, I feel a little better now.
    as I picked the group up in the January, it took a fair few months to gain their confidence, behaviour was very poor for quite a while, it didn’t really get good. So wasn’t easy. This was a 3 year gcse.
    install likes this.
  8. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Maths is a cumulative subject. For candidates to perform well at GCSE their foundations need to be secure so that the KS2 and KS3, let alone KS4, material can be constructed on those foundations. You only had responsibility for some of the last pieces of this edifice. From the other side of a keyboard, we can't see how shaky those foundations were - but you will have at least some idea. That shakiness was set up long before the school even knew you existed.
    Succeeding in Maths needs the pupils to engage with the work, to study hard, to repeatedly practise questions and techniques, to ask for help when needed, and also to be supportive of each other. The ethos of that teaching group will have evolved long before you met them, and any improvement to that will have been the result of your efforts. However most of this is down to individual pupils, not to you.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Senior commenter

    and there is your issue, and there is nothing you can do bout that, what ever people tell you. If you are in a school where the SLT enforce a constructive behaviour policy, and back up teachers, then children behave. Nothing an individual teacher can do if you don't have that.
  10. bigwig1

    bigwig1 New commenter

    There would have been many factors working against you. Starting maternity cover in January the school I expect would have given you a fairly low ability group with the low motivation. It would have been unusual if they gave you a group with high expectations. Students have so many pressures put on them by the school many would have seen you as a chance to direct their efforts to what they saw as more enjoyable subjects.
    The majority of students, though wanting to do well, would not be focussed enough to achieve what the school would expect from them. Though I was not an NQT I have been in this situation myself. My class did get very results but there was an effort from the school to push the class towards the success it was known they could achieve.
    This was a number of years ago when the SLT were not as engrossed in top down management as they are now. SLT were seen around the school and every day were seen in lessons. What gave the class success was the following
    1. Once every fortnight any student who was not working was identified and interviewed by a member of the SLT.
    2. Parents were brought into school and interviewed along with the students very quickly.
    3. Each lesson had a particular focus. Feed back was completed at the end of each lesson.
    4. No skill was not allowed to last for more than one lesson. The term used then was accelerated learning.
    5. Extra support was put into the class to keep the students on task.
    6. Students were well aware of the attention of the SLT as they would see them nearly every lesson.
    To me without extra support you could not be expected to accept the responsibility of poor results.
    phlogiston likes this.

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