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Raising the attainment (and improving the focus) of a low ability year 9 class

Discussion in 'English' started by sammybb, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. I have recently started a maternity cover post and have inherited a small but very low ability year 9 class. It is predominantly made up of boys who, although not completely wild, tend to spend most lessons trying to shout out as many immature things as possible.

    Due to changes in the GCSE we are now beginning prep for year 10, such as strengthening their writing skills and introducing them to some poetry etc. This half term is focusing on creative writing and I'm looking for some ideas that will help improve their skills and also keep them engaged. I am also being observed by SLT with them on Tuesday and they are focusing on supporting the more able students in the group (the top students have D grade targets). Any ideas on this individual lesson or ideas for the scheme of work in general would be greatly appreciated!
  2. I find giving them something concrete to write about helps - whether it's using a film clip as stimulus or making a model of the setting/main conflict in a story before they write or taking them outside to really look, listen and touch an environment. I might even be tempted to give then a computer game and get them to write the story of one level - stuff with a proper plot like Call of Duty or Assassins' Creed is available as walk throughs on youtube. I'd be really strict with the silly shouting out and if that means working in silence and working up to sensible classroom talk, so be it.
  3. Thanks for this! The working in silence and then moving onto sensible classroom talk is interesting! I've never done this before.
  4. I find it works, although pupils do hate you for a brief time! I think too many of them struggle with the concept of appropriate classroom talk so I start them with silence, move on to teacher led question and answer and then go from there. You really need to teach them the difference between purposeful, on-topic talk and shouting random abuse because many of them genuinely don't know!

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