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Very poor mock exam results

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by FrenchBobCat91, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. FrenchBobCat91

    FrenchBobCat91 New commenter

    Hello all!

    I have a small, weak year 10 Spanish GCSE class. They're nice enough kids, not overly badly behaved (the main issue seems to be poor attitude to learning rather than disruption and rudeness).

    We had year 10 mocks a couple of weeks ago. Finally finished marking them and they have done TERRIBLY. I mean only a quarter of them even managed to get a grade (and a grade 1 at that). I'm going to revisit the writings as I may have been a bit harsh, but I don't think it's going to drastically change the overall picture.

    It's made me despair to be honest! I know I am not that bad a teacher! But what's gone wrong? I suspect very few of them revised much, if at all. And a lot of them genuinely do not care about Spanish as they have no qualms about telling me so. I try to be positive and helpful but it's like wading through treacle!

    But how can I approach this? Do I go full on "I'm disappointed in you. We have a lot of work to do. You need to buck up your ideas!" followed by a positive "we can do this together. I am here for you" message? Or should I just be overly positive and 'can-do' about it? Or do I just give them a rollicking and say this is absolutely unacceptable and I have higher standards than this, as does the school?

    Btw, I'm not too bothered about what SLT will say as they are very supportive and don't judge us on results, but I still don't want an absolute shocker of results as I want the kids to do well and enjoy my subject! Plus, I must admit for my own personal pride it would be nice if they could do a bit better than that!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. lifereallyistooshort

    lifereallyistooshort New commenter

    I feel your pain. Don't beat yourself up... first check that they have actually done as badly as you think. If they sat a past paper - did you scale up the marks for listening and writing from a mark out of 50 to a mark out of 60? If not, it should make a difference.
    If you have added up correctly, and things are as bleak as they seem, then my advice would be to take a hard look at what you need to teach them over the coming year and pare it back to the absolute core and focus on that. At foundation tier, a few key verbs drilled in past, present and future tense (first person will do) will enable them to tackle the 90 word writing and give them a shot at the speaking. In addition they need to acquire vocab. Personally I am a huge fan of memrise for this. I set up a class group and get the pupils competing to be top of the leaderboard. Even the weakest can engage with it. Again- be realistic in what you ask them to cover. Start with the basics and build up. You can create your own courses on memrise, so you could pick through the exam board vocab lists and build your own course. It's a bit of work, but it would be there for future groups too.
    I wouldn't waste too much time on post mortems - tell it as it is, and focus on getting them working - if competition will work with this group, that may be the way to go.

    Hope there is something helpful in all of that.
  3. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    What went wrong with the writi g? Did they not understand the question? Did they fail to spot the opinion bullet, the past bullet and the future bullet in the 90 words? Have you been working on a core of opinions + reasons, past and future that they can apply to any topic...
  4. FrenchBobCat91

    FrenchBobCat91 New commenter

    Well I got into work this morning and realised the data spreadsheet had an incorrect formula! The total was being divided by 3 for some reason! (Excel never fails to enrage me) Corrected it and they haven't done quite as badly as I thought. They all managed to get a grade but still no higher than a 3. Thanks for the advice though, I still think there is a lot of work to do and they need a kick up the proverbial!
  5. ChocolateChunk

    ChocolateChunk New commenter

    Do not despair as it is a common issue in many schools.

    I would suggest giving them a routine which would benefit their Reading, Writing and Speaking. For instance, you could give them a starter based on manipulating tenses so that they could do so on their own, to some degree. Give them a few translations to from English to Spanish which would illustrate that tenses understanding. You would have to, naturally, teach these and share a few successful exemplars of that starter?

    When you cover a part of the Speaking Exam, you could also role-model one of their peer. It could push the student and - some of - the peers to do more too. Encourage them to develop their answers all the time, by using "piensa que" and "porque" as often as they can whilst bearing in mind to vary their vocabulary.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    Using "pienso que" would be better.
    Idiomas11 likes this.

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