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your evidence please

Discussion in 'English' started by gsgirl, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. gsgirl

    gsgirl New commenter

    I have started teaching and leading english in a school where I have found the sen pupils are only expected to copy writing they have dictated. They are unable to read it back once they have written it. I am banging my head against the wall with trying to tell the teachers this is not acceptable, especially as I judge the pupils are able to learn basic reading, writing and spelling and could write simple sentences to express what they want to say. They just need TEACHING!

    I can find evidence of good practice but am told this does not apply to sen so I would like you to help me please find evidence that what they are doing is bad practice - not so easy to do.

    Can anyone help please?

    Is there ofsted criteria I could use to back my case?

  2. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    . Ofsted is currently targeting low ability and SEN pupils with specific focus on progress.

    Is progress being measured for the SEN pupils? Are these pupils with statements? If so. they should all have IEPs. In fact pupils who are A+ should also have IEPs. I'm certain that these will not include a target: 'Being able to copy off the board quietly so that the teacher can get on with their marking'.

    Are you aware of P levels? I have P groups in both Yr 10 and 11. All are entered for GCSE English. Some come into school with reading ages of below 5. I promise they don't leave with that reading age.
  3. gsgirl

    gsgirl New commenter

    They all have statements and IEPs, some are at P levels or within Entry Level 1. I write the IEP literacy targets myself but they are not seen as targets scanning across the curriculum. There are terrible deep-rooted beliefs about - 'too old to learn', 'If they haven't got it now, they never will', 'what do they want to know that for?'...and many more.. Many times I have been told, 'they need functional english'. What english is not functional?! or even..'it's not part of KS4 to do phonics'. What!

    What I want is not to have to just dictate but to get these teachers to understand what is expected by showing them what they should not be doing, as showing them what they should be doing and why has not worked. It's easy for them to interpret what they do as the right way, in their minds.

    How do I convince them that what they do (or not do) is lazy teaching, bad practice and no benefit to the pupils? Ofsted is going to have a field day, and guess who will get teh blame?
  4. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I am clearly lacking in something, but I just don't get this. Are these kids really written off at 11 as 'too old to learn'?

    When I have bottom sets ( and our top sets have problems with writing correct sentences) I start with teaching them the alphabet. I use Sesame Street for a lot of basic literacy, but Big Bird's alphabet is a favourite.

    Once they can sing it, I divide it up between them - I write 1 letter on the desk in whiteboard pen, upper and lower case, and they have to make an A4 poster for that letter. When the alphabet is complete, they have to put it up as a display round the wall in the right order. Hasn't failed yet.
  5. gsgirl

    gsgirl New commenter

    Yep, I'm fighting culture.

    Even though I am proving that with my literacy lessons the pupils are learning and progressing, all, bar the P6's, reading and writing independently for the first time, there is still this copying of writing in other subject areas and with other teachers. I even given workshops on why and what to do instead but I don't think anyone was listening.

    They just don't get it. And I think I'm just going to have to lay down the law because there is nowhere where it says 'you must not do ....' is there? It will not be easy as I am a lone voice amongst many and little support from the top. I will just have to stamp my feet very hard.

    Thank you for your support. I know I am right but it's great to know other people do the same and achieve with these pupils.

    I will win this battle, because it's for the kids and I care more about them than what the teachers think of me.
  6. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I have worked in FE where 30% of the kids come to college lacking basic reading and writing skills. They cannot spell, use capital letters or punctuation. Ask them to read out loud and they would sooner commit suicide. Their vocabulary is very poor, behaviour dreadful, no concentration or knowledge of how to behave in the classroom. Some had actually taken GCSEs and were re-taking them, others could hardly write their own name. Generally they lacked the skills which I had as a 10 year old. I just could not understand how they had spent 11 years in the state education system and ended up in such a pathetic state. After reading this post I now understand.
  7. gloucesterroad

    gloucesterroad New commenter

    I think you need to get the ear of someone sympathetic on SMT and shout OFSTED at them very very loudly. If you are inspected, your school will resoundingly fail, and it will not be your fault (though blame culture is hard to avoid).

    If you can get someone to listen, then you could run a whole school CPD on how to support the least able and what successful learning looks like at the bottom end. If you can get it made into a whole school priority (as per Ofsted and the new 'specific groups' that Gruoch mentioned), then perhaps you could negotiate some off-timetable time to work with different heads of department to help them plan out some resources for different SOWs (which may be shooting the moon, but it's worth a shot, right?)

    We currently have a Peer Obs program running, where we observe each other in teams of 4 (one teaches, three watch - sounds awful, but isn't) with a specific focus. Perhaps this could also be used for HoDs to come and observe you/your team and actually SEE the children making progress - if they see the children they teach in another environment, learning, then perhaps they will *have* to concede that they are not to be written off...

    I am so sorry that you are stuck with such archaic ideas, and hope you can win them over :)
  8. gsgirl

    gsgirl New commenter

    Thank you. Much of the above I am working on, including workshops for teachers and TA's. They're not ready for peer observation yet as this would totally freak them out. I like your idea of resourcing their SoW's as this might help them and they may feel supported too.

    I will talk to the deputy about whole school CPD too.

    Things will change, it will improve. I'm not giving up.

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