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year 7s

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by uracampbell, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. just started looking after yr 7s. this is the schools 2nd year with yr 7s.
    they are totally mad, running around like headless chickens and thats just the boys. they seem to ahve difficulites to focus in lessons and think of others when involved in Q&A sessions. What are your yr 7s like?
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    "Looking after" year 7s? Interesting way of putting it.

    Have you any experience of teaching year 7? Sounds like you dont. Find somebody who does and ask them for first hand advice.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My year 7s are fine. I have spent a term laying down my law, being consistent and fair in my application of my law and now I have students who have a clear understanding of my expectations. They are a very low ability group with some SEN autistic spectrum issues thrown in for good measure. And none of them have English as a first language. And yet they have just averaged between level 2 and level 3 in their first assignment. I had to prepare lessons very carefully to meet their needs. I created a whole new set of teaching materials just for them. They simply could not access the "normal" material. I took as much time as they needed to do the work, I spent a lot of time explaining the vocabulary of the tasks, I spent a lot of time one-to-one with the least able students. It takes time, patience, perseverance and a sense of humour to create a classroom environment in which the students are comfortable to ask questions that they are afraid to ask in other classes through fear of ridicule. And I am most proud of the girl from Malaysia who never spoke in my class for the first half term who now asks questions and has achieved a level 3. The smile on her face when she saw her grade is why I teach.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are a few common reasons for classes kicking off. Mostly it is because the teacher is not laying down laws. The teacher is the boss and that is the first thing that the students need to understand. You cant teach when they dont feel like they need to listen. The other main reason for students kicking off is that they simply cant do the task they have been set. Adjust expectations according to class ability. But lay down the law first, that is crucial.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It's probable that they've come from Primary schools where they could wander around the classroom at will (collecting worksheets for personalised learning' etc) and where their challenging behaviour had been insufficiently contained for years.
    I've been at secondary schools on supply where staff bemoan a particularly bad intake of Yr 7's. One school where I taught for about half a term seemed to have two extremes in yr 7. They were either high-achieving and co-operative of bolshie and disengaged. Unfortunately I was teaching a practical subject where the classes were not in sets. That was a nightmare.
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Year 7s will behave in pretty much the way they are permitted to behave by the school. They'll all come from feeder schools and backgrounds of varying degrees of certainty or dissolution. What counts is how the school sets the standards for behaviour in YOUR community.
    Most year 7 pupils sniff out a school within a week or two- they find out what the school asks them to behave like, and then from that figure out what the EAL expectations are; ie what does the school say will happen, and what actually happens. That difference is the catalyst between behaviour that is angelic and behaviour that is diabolic.
    The way to get kids feeling like they have entered a place of learning and not a slightly warmer version of the playground is by setting standards throughout the school that everyone adheres to- a whole school behaviour policy that everyone follows. Consequences need to be clearly set from the very second they enter the school, and then they need to see those consequences actually happening as they have been told they will. The moment they understand that teachers don't say what they mean, then they learn all the wrong lessons about the school, the adults that work there, and how they are expected to behave.
    'Difficulty focussing in lessons' translates, for most children, to 'not focussing.' They need to be be directed to 'not having difficulty focussing' by praise and sanction. This is one of the most vital years in their education: it sets the tone for their entire school career, and I often think that the year 7 pastoral/ tutor/ HOL/ HOY team have one of the most important roles to play in the flourishing of any child.
    They aren't mad- they are permitted to be mad. Fortunately they have someone like you to start looking after them; in this context, looking after them means giving them boundaries, set with love and administered with compassion, rigour and justice in mind. It's the best gift you could ever give them.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his personal
    blog, or follow him on Twitter here.

  5. thanks for your power of words and advice.
    I have made it clear to the children my expectations and what I am expecting from them in regards to their learning and building on their social skills.
    they are doing quite well at the moment and are calming down slowly but surely. Just had parents evening which was highly attended and successful. I visited some of the forms the next day asking the children about parents evening, but most of all what have they learnt about themselves. they came up with some very constructed replies.
  6. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    qatarsoon, I've taken your post and put it through Bronson's patented translation software. Here's the result:
    TRANSLATION: The kids are fine for me, you are obviously a rubbish teacher.
    TRANSLATION: Look at me, I am ace.
    TRANSLATION: I work all the hours God sends but you are just not working hard enough [ignores fact that OP was bothered enough to ask for advice on here].
    TRANSLATION: You are hasty, lack tenacity and are humourless. I on the other hand, am a hybrid of Mother Theresa and Michael Mcintyre.
    TRANSLATION: Not only am I better than you, I am also better than the other teachers at my school.
    TRANSLATION: Beatification is surely just around the corner.
    TRANSLATION: All misbehaviour by pupils is entirely your fault. Aren't you ashamed?!

    Not soon enough.
  7. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Nice one Mr B - if I had £1 for every time someone has said some version of the above to me - well I'd have a lot of £££s.
  8. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Cheers, Kitty :)
    Read more from Tom here on his blog, or follow him.

  9. Typical secondary teacher, blaming the primary schools for your inability to control a bunch of 11 year olds! I teach Year 6 and I can assure you they are NOT allowed to wander around at will. I spend a great deal of time and energy preparing them for their secondary career. Yes, they probably do have more freedom at primary school, to move around, but after witnessing several Year 7 lessons in which they spend the entire lesson sitting in Victorian type rows in cramped, unstimulating classrooms, I wonder if that's any bad thing.
    I really am offended by your remarks; they are typical of the ignorant, sneering, high- handed attitude some secondary teachers have towards their primary colleagues, as if somehow you're a superior species!!!
    Until dinosaurs like you leave the profession, we will continue to suffer a fractured transition of pupils between their primary and secondary schools. Thank goodness our local secondary tries its hardest to ease this transition and treats us with the respect we deserve. You could do with a spell there.
  10. Imagine teaching all day in the cramped, unstimulating classroom! On a serious note, it should not be a surprise that secondary school is different from primary. We have expectations of good behaviour because we teach 30 kids in one classroom for 50 minutes at a time 3 times a week and frankly, time is short! Nothing wrong with expecting some maturity to kick in and allow them to understand that the world does not indeed revolve around them and that sometimes they need to be quiet or listen or time their remarks or refrain from commenting on something someone said or manage to borrow pen and paper without alerting the entire floor. You are quite right, some days I can't control a bunch of 11 year olds. It saddens me that you should assume that my teaching is faulty or that I blame the primary teachers. I don't, I blame their parents who somehow have managed to indulge their kids into a repugnant sense of entitlement and neglect them at the same time in thinking that schools are there to sort out their kids problems. Surely, the issues are the same in primary school. Some parents are supportive, others are a waste of space. Parents are the best allies, if they don't care that their kid is in trouble at school or if they think it's the teachers/school's fault, all is lost.
  11. WoW! THANKS for this advice! I will make sure I set the rules of behaviour for my next year 7 lesson. thanks!
  12. The thanks was to 'qatarsoon' by the way..:) (comment 2)
  13. Excellent judgement of character. I am in my 34th year of secondary school teaching - you can spot the less competent teachers a mile off - they are the ones who claim they have no problems with their students. It took me nearly 10yrs to face up to this reality myself. I do find Y7 students quite a handful at times - we all need to learn what works best for us!
  14. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I have always felt that secondary schools are far too large which means that it is virtually impossible to know all the children. This in turn means that it is easy for them to get away with things.

    Earlier this week I was teaching and from my window I saw a boy damaging school property. I didn't know his name - so all I could do was give a general description of him which wasn't much use.

    One boy on report forgot that he had me twice in one day today - P1 and P4. When I signed his report at the end of P4 I noticed that he had been late for P2 and his teacher had written that I had kept him behind. On this occasion I could correct this, but obviously he is used to getting away with things like this.

    I think that this is one of the basic problems - they can "get away" with so much - truanting, lateness, running round the yard when they should be on their way to the next lesson, saying that Miss X kept them for 5 minutes - so they do. Also the change of lessons 5 or 6 times a day unsettles them and gives further opportunities for poor behaviour and so the cycle continues.
  15. Term 2 and you know what I think I am over reacting about my year 7s. Previously we had the new group at age 12 not 11, therefore the behaviour was different. They settled better in the school and eventually got use to the system and with the work. I feel that they were more matured and really for secondary school.

    Age 11 I have found the year 7 very much little children immature especially the boys. Leaving the class room they run, going to the canteen they run, leaving assembly they run. The boys go around cussing each other and in some cases ended up fighting. The main issues with boys is the ongoing name calling. I have addressed this through assemblies, PSHCE and speaking to the individual. I have on one occasion brought in a group of parents and had group discussion about their children's behaviour this worked well. Girls are girls and they eventually get over their friendship disputes.

    I do appreciate that primary schools do prepare the year 6s for secondary school life. At present our school meet with the main primary schools and talk to the teachers about those children coming over, their learning styles, behaviour, G&T, SEN, EAL, and family life styles. We have the students coming in for interviews, a taster day and then parents in the evening to meet their children's tutor. Perhaps something else is needed, to smooth over the transition, but I feel that even the primary do put in a lot in preparation for secondary once the children are in secondary the size of the school the every hour or 50mins ( some schools do 30mins) changes do overwhelm them. Organisation is key.

    Now in term 2, the year 7s have settle in really well and since term 1 have made good progress with their learning. They are enjoying their learning , the school and are happy. I feel that there is room to improve especially as KS3 is an area on its own, therefore thinking of monitors/perfect, giving responsibilities in form or around the school. Does anyone out there have anything incentives or roles that their year 7s and 8s have the opportunity to take on that raise achievement?

    The main people that i am focusing on is the parents/carers now and looking into getting them on board with learning, and getting involved in the school. I am reading up on this there is so much out there. Does anyone have any programmes or schemes that works and have made an effect on achievement? the school that I work in is highly ethnic mixed group.

    Keep up the good work my dear colleagues. AS for Mr Perfect.........Look out for the big wall....

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