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Responding to data - QA Activities

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by jamesclegg, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. jamesclegg

    jamesclegg New commenter

    A new element to my role this year is to front up the QA in my department off the back off a data cycle.

    I've previously used:

    - Student Voice to cross reference the experience of successful students against those underachieving, obviously highlighting students from key target groups (BME, Disadvantaged, HA, LA etc)
    - Learning Walks either going and having a look at groups who seem to be making less progress than others myself or allowing teachers of more successful groups to do this and report their findings back.
    - Work scrutinies where books are studied and the differences in the approaches and resource exposure between those making more than expected progress against those who are not.
    - Collaborative planning for target underachieving groups
    - Sharing of good practice.
    - Lesson Study cycles, which obviously need their hugely beneficial impact weighed against the time they consume to run properly.

    I just wondered if anyone had other ideas for short, sharp, relevant and focused QA in Mathematics (or beyond) that I could give a go?

    Thank you in advance!

  2. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Question your yardsticks by which you are measuring things.
    "groups who seem to be making less progress" this seems rather vague.

    "allowing teachers of more successful groups to do this and report their findings back." Is this done in a positive way?

    Your focus is almost entirely on what staff do. Your posts suggests that you are looking for something else for the teacher to do or to tell the teacher to do.

    Have you thought about telling the students to do more work rather than the implied criticism of the teacher?

    What is the correlation between student absences and underperformance? That is something that you should calculate.

    What system is in place at your school for ensuring that returning students catch up with their work?

    How have you established that lesson study cycles are hugely beneficial? Do you run these by any chance?

    Finally, I have only never heard of QA in schools used to mean Questions and Answers.

    By QA, you seem to be trying to use it as quality assurance? Surely not. Tell me that I am mistaken.
    You must be relatively new to teaching or perhaps lost in some academy?
    Assuring quality is not a phrase I would myself nor would I recommend it be use in teaching.
    How are you assuring quality? Your professional colleagues are doing that, you are managing them.
    Or is it the case that you have a department full of HLTAs and no qualified teachers?

    If you want to be a QA get a job in factory and look at tins of beans or similar. Children are not homogenous and generally pretty unique, as are your staff. Treat your staff as people, professional people. Try speaking to your colleagues and ask them why they think some students underperform. You might not like the answers, but you need to hear them.
  3. jamesclegg

    jamesclegg New commenter

  4. jamesclegg

    jamesclegg New commenter

    "Finally, I have only never heard of QA in schools used to mean Questions and Answers." ??

    I don't understand what you mean by "only never heard". Although, I agree, I too have never heard it mean "Questions and Answers" in a school setting.

    QA was, of course, referring to Quality Assurance. We know that students are individuals with unique sets of circumstances and skill sets. That doesn't mean high quality teachers can, or would ever dream of, simply hiding behind "They're off all the time", "They misbehave all the time" or similar. I wouldn't expect that from any of the fantastic teachers I work with.

    I am simply looking for suggestions I might be able to offer to the aforementioned hard working teachers that could facilitate their approach with underachieving students to ensure they have the best possible chance of hitting their target grades in the face of whatever adversities they may have.

    If you have any, I'd really appreciate hearing about them.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
  5. Bloomstar

    Bloomstar New commenter

    All the QA I've seen seems to be teacher focused and not student focused. If a student isn't doing well, nobody ever seems to spend time with the student, if they do then whatever excuses they have tend to be accepted at face value.

    I'm always open to feedback and improving myself but I think you have diminishing returns trying to fix the 5% a teacher is doing wrong instead of the 50% a student might be. It's quite disheartening to be working extremely hard, doing 95% of your job really well and be criticised for minor niggles because the person doing QA has to give some sort of feedback to complete some paperwork to justify their role.

    So perhaps observe specific students and what they are doing over a full lesson, or ask the students to hand in their books for a work scrutiny. Then discuss targets with the student. If a teacher is doing something wrong you'll see it while you are doing that anyway, so there's still no hiding.
    jamesclegg and afterdark like this.
  6. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    I did respond. I did point where you can help teachers.

    I will quote myself, from post 2 ...

    jamesclegg likes this.
  7. jamesclegg

    jamesclegg New commenter

    Thanks a lot for this. I know we tend to go into lessons with a focus on the students not the teacher but actually giving some real structure to a 'student' observation is a really useful idea (perhaps between parallel teaching groups).

    Thanks a lot for the help.
  8. jamesclegg

    jamesclegg New commenter

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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