Use the Pupil Premium to support your vulnerable groups

Use the Pupil Premium to support your vulnerable groups

OFSTED report last week clearly states that“In some schools it was clear to inspectors that the spending was not all focused on the needs of the specific groups for whom it was intended.”

Based on multiple answers provided by 119 school leaders responding to the telephone survey and 142 school leaders responding to additional questions at inspection. The single most commonly given use of Pupil Premium funding was to employ teaching assistants

This is such a shame as schools have an opportunity here to provide more than additional staff with the average school receiving around £39,000. Schools could use the £600 per pupil to improve literacy and maths in the most vulnerable groups, and in most cases support language development of new arrivals and those learners whose English is not their first language at the same time.

John Foxwell Director at EMASUK  has said for months that, ‘for two pupils premium you can support your EAL learners and teachers with our ready-made resources, the ability to create your own personalised worksheets, letters, PowerPoint’s or posters from any of the 61 languages and also speak directly to the children in their home language.  To support the safeguarding policy it is also possible to communicate directly with the learner or parent and keep a copy in your file. Being easy to use by both specialists and non-specialists alike it is not surprising that more schools are beginning to see its benefits.’

John further says that ‘as an addition innovative schools are using the same tools and resources to support their MFL curriculum with both teachers and learners using them to develop their own personalised learning kits suitable for their pupils, in their school.

By using the same resources to listen to pronunciation, and create literacy aids both literacy and mathematical academic language can be learnt in situ. Teachers know from practice and research that a child learns more when the learning is in context.’  And this with the added pressure of literacy and Mathematics being  the focus of the new OFSTED inspections it can only help both the learners and teachers.

In conclusion OFSTED recommends that School leaders, including governing bodies, should ensure that Pupil Premium funding is not simply absorbed into mainstream budgets, but instead is carefully targeted at the designated children. Which I think all teacher and parents alike would have no problem in agreeing with.

To find out more you can contact John at j.foxwell@emasuk.com or on 07525 323219

To see more of the report go to http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/pupil-premium

More innovative – and useful – approaches to language revision can untie students hands in exam settings – UK MFL

Rote learning of stock phrases short-changes language students and ties their hands in exam settings. More innovative – and useful – approaches to language revision can change that, says Jane Jones.

From my experience learning in context is always more advantageous for learners rather than stock phrases that need to be put together. This can make for clumsy answers which no doubt decreases their performance on the fluency scale. In my teens I struggled to learn French but learnt by rote all of the sentences turn right, turn left, brother, sister etc, etc and was then shocked when I got to the exam and needed joining words.  I am hoping that this advice from AQA will be really useful to all language teachers. Also despite it being written for MFL teachers I think this is also the case for any language teaching including EAL, ELL, EFL etc.

It can be found below at http://cerp.aqa.org.uk/perspectives/revising-revision-mfl

The semi-apologetic phrase ‘only doing revision’ devalues the highly skilled teaching and formative assessment involved in good revision. It can provide opportunities for pupils to practise, hone and demonstrate their linguistic knowledge and skills; yet  some revision activities in modern foreign languages (MFL) seem to close down options for students to use their language fully and flexibly.

 

The focus becomes fixed on paradigms, lists and formulaic expression that can paralyse comprehension and leave students lost for words in exam settings. Mindful of this, I set a challenge for my trainee teachers to devise revision activities for Key Stage 4 pupils that would provide structure as well as opportunities to diverge and to be creative.

 

Engaging with assessment Revision is most productive when it reflects regular classroom learning, teaching and assessment styles (albeit more intensified), and a classroom culture of challenge and collaboration. The student teachers were very inventive in their ideas for quality revision. Their work was underpinned by a strong belief in the basic tenets of an Assessment for Learning approach, providing activities to progress learning and ensuring students took responsibility for their learning and gave support to their peers. The revision activities were collaborative and mutually supportive, the learners benefiting from helpful questioning and feedback from each other. The aim was for them to know what ‘good work’ looked and sounded like – crucial in MFL.

 

Newly qualified teacher Nicola provided an example of revision activities on the topic of ‘healthy lifestyle’. Following some initial recall and practice exercises using the mark scheme as a guide, pupils in her German class had to come up with an answer to the question ‘what makes a healthy lifestyle?’  After a few lessons marking each others’ work and scrutinising sample answers from the exam board to generate success criteria, the pupils attempted to answer the question in groups. The criteria were: use three tenses, give your opinion, and use complex language.

 

Nicola provided a hint on how to tackle the question to achieve the highest possible marks, but the students then took over, adapting previously learnt language and creating new language to hit the success criteria. The students then swapped their answers with other groups, got out their mark-scheme checklists and awarded grades, highlighting aspects of language which scored points based on the success criteria and also the GCSE exam marks. They became quite expert, says Nicola, and sample responses were written up as exemplars and shared with the class.

 

This example shows how pupils can engage deeply with the assessment criteria and come to an understanding for themselves through peer- and self -assessment of what they need to be able to do.

 

Furthermore, such activities can wrap around any aspect of assessment. This provides a huge confidence boost and enables pupils to become not just skilled test-takers, useful though this might be (McDonough, 1995), but expert examiners for themselves. In this way, summative assessment can be very formative (Jones and Wiliam, 2008) and can generate creative and contingent use of language as well as consolidating known structures and vocabulary.

 

The student teachers felt that intensive periods of challenging revision could be integrated more regularly into normal MFL teaching and learning as part of pupils’ self-guided learning and assessment awareness. In such a way, revision is not confined to an end of year activity but becomes a central driver and enabler of learning in a continuous cycle of revision.

 

Dr Jane Jones is Senior Lecturer in Education and Head of MFL Teacher Education at King’s College London

 

References:
  1. Jones , J. and Wiliam, D. (2008) Modern Foreign Languages inside the Black Box. London: GL Assessment.
  2. McDonough, S. (1995) Strategy and Skill in learning a Foreign Language. London: Edward Arnold.

Nomination for Inspiring Blogger Award

Today I have been nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Thanks very much to http://italkyoutalklanguages.wordpress.com for this.  I am learning a lot about Japan and am able to support my readers who want to learn Japanese.

Seven things about me: I love

  1. The beach
  2. Sunsets
  3. Flip flops
  4. Beach hut
  5. Cross stitch and quilting
  6. Olde fashioned flowers sweet peas and lily of the valley
  7. Small pink and yellow roses

The blogs I nominate are very small because I have only just started:

  1. http://italkyoutalklanguages.wordpress.com/       all about teaching and learning languages
  2. http://languagerichblog.eu/            multilingualism for stable and prosperous societies
  3. http://beachtreasuresandtreasurebeaches.com/  one shall at a time
  4. http://thinkingthrulanguages.wordpress.com/  learning traditional chinese characters
  5. http://thisworldthrumyeyes.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/off-it-goes/  sharing my vision of the world
  6. http://beachtreasuresandtreasurebeaches.com/2012/07/27/location-location-location-baker-beach-san-francisco/ beach treasures and treasure beaches
 
Very inspirational Blogger

School in Devon reports its language teaching to parents

For anyone not sure how to report to parents here is an example from a school in Devon. I hope thy enter the Primary language awards this autumn, they look like worthy competitors.

http://www.moretonhampstead.devon.sch.uk/parents/reports/MFL%20Report%202012.pdf

MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE CURRICULUM REPORT FOR PARENTS

2011-2012

French continues to be taught weekly by Mrs Holding in Easdon, Shapley,

Mardon and Butterdon.

This term the children will be hosting a visit from a parent who is a native

German speaker. A native French speaker has already visited and took an

active part in some French sessions. The children enjoyed sharing an

afternoon with two visiting children from France this term.

The twinning link with Betton has provided a great opportunity for the children

to develop their cultural understanding and the purpose of learning French.

There has been the opportunity to correspond with the Betton children, giving

a real purpose to writing French. The more able Year 6 linguists have been

required to write more fully and act as a role model in terms of eg accent for

the other children.

The school’s assessment procedures have been developed and regular

assessment is now made on the three strands in the Framework for oracy,

literacy and intercultural understanding. This ensures that the children’s

learning is meeting their particular needs.

For the next academic year, the school plans to:

  • Develop its teaching of French phonics through a new resource called Take 10 Phonics
  • Continue to strengthen the link with Betton and use this as a meaningful learning resource.

June 2012

 

http://www.moretonhampstead.devon.sch.uk/parents/reports/MFL%20Report%202012.pdf

Advice for my first MFL lesson as an NQT – UK

I saw this and wondered if anyone had any ideas to suggest.

Hi All,  I am starting my NQT job next week and am looking for some advice, particularly regarding my introductory lesson with each class. I definitely want to do something on classroom rules. I just wondered if anybody has done this successfully before and how you went about it? Did you use the TL throughout or stay in English?  Thanks for your help, H

Reply at: http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/585859.aspx

Personally I think with all first lessons you should establish your expectations and where possible involve them in the rule setting.  However know the schools rules otherwise  they could try to trip you up.

It’s also good to let them know why they have to be followed i.e. they want everyone to listen to them when it is their turn etc. Also what the sanctions are if they are not followed, again quote school procedure and be prepared to follow through anything you say. Your confidence and tone will let them know that you mean it.

Remember that it also fine to put it on the lesson plan and take the time it needs to establish your rules. After this quickly praise anyone following through the right way usually 5 praises to a negative works.

NQT – Help I have an interview …What shall I do?

This time of year reminds me of my degree show, just as I was preparing for it I was called to the professors office as there was a phone call for me. I was being invited to a job interview which was two days away and this just coincided with the middle day of my degree show and examinations. My mind went mad what should I do first, how can I get both things done? Luckily on that particular day I only had one verbal test which the professor changed to the day before, so off I went…luckily I was chosen and my teaching career was started.

If you are in the same place here is some advice particularly for language interviews.

  • If you have any questions ring up or email  to clarify  the position
  • Where possible find out about prior learning
  • Are you co-ordinating languages as part of the position?
  • Know the up to date curriculum and where appropriate suggest exemplar lessons to support any changes.
  • Find out the year group you will be teaching and relate the curriculum to this group including, aims and objectives.
  • Think about objections e.g. some parents and teachers think teaching a child another language rather than English is the wrong thing to do so will do all they can to object…how can you over come this?
  • What is the heads view?
  • Know the benefits of MFL or EAL especially that: good practice for MFL/EAL  is good practice for everything else.  (Many benefits of bilingual learning are now to be found on this blog and the internet)
  • Most importantly enjoy what you are doing.  If you enjoy it, your enthusiasm comes across and the children enjoy their learning.
  • This is probably one people will say you shouldnt say that, it is obvious, but having been in the position of interviewer, here goes.  Wear appropriate clothing for the demonstration lesson you want to deliver thereby show your professional clothing choice. Some people plan e.g. a walk around the grounds in trousers that drag in the ground, shoes that are unsuitable for walking and then are uncomfortable throughout the rest of the interview.  Both themselves and the interviewer do not feel they have got the best out of each other.

If part of the interview is the demonstration lesson, try to find out the normal expectations e.g. are the aims clearly shown, is the three-part lesson expected, the number in the class, the age group. What they would normally doing is a good place to start …if you have no ideas…because you could support current learning. Find out what they expect via lesson planning and if possible use their normal proforma – showing that you could fit right in helps. Know where what you are doing fits in the curriculum and what could come before or after it.

In some situations you may be starting off MFL or EAL in the school for the first time…unlikely but it has been known… in this case be aware that governors may want to ask questions re the curriculum and what you hope the MFL/EAL curriculum to look like in thats chool in say three-five years once you have embedded your ideas.  As I said more likely for a full co-ordinators role or Head of Department role, but it aware it can happen. For example just because there was a member of staff in the school when the job was advertised who was to be the co-ordinator, it doesn’t mean they will be there when you take up position for all sorts of reasons.

Finally make sure you enter the primary language awards and show off all of your good work. www.languageawards.com or facebook primarylanguageawards.

 

 

MFL French Good Practice – Scotland

At last I have an MFL story which discusses good practice in teaching French from a Scottish School.  You can find the opening paragraphs below and then the link if you want to read more.

TES Scotland, the leading magazine for the education profession in Scotland, has an article of 1st June 2012 – Fruit from The Skills Tree– demonstrating a highly developmental innovation.

The article takes takes Kilmodan Primary school in Glendaruel to show how this innovation – The Skills Tree – by ‘education development officer’ Aileen Goodall, is working in its current P6 and P7 pilot, for which Kilmodan is one of the chosen schools.

On the way to that core topic, the journalist mentions that  on arrival at the school, the children are rehearsing a production of Red Riding Hood – in French and for a UNESCO event in Glasgow. Unsurprisingly, the school has won an award for the quality of its French teaching – with even maths sometimes taught through that medium, for variety of language development.

http://forargyll.com/2012/06/major-success-for-argyll-and-bute-council-education-staff-and-for-kilmodan-school/