Introduction This essay will discuss the influence of pedagogical theories of learning and teaching on the planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation of a scheme of work for a middle set year 7 English class. The scheme of work see Appendix A was created for a larger than average Academy in north-east Birmingham with an under-staffed English Department.
It has 2 full-time English staff, 4 trainee teachers and 4 teachers who teach other subjects or have other responsibilities. According to William and Black this raises standards in education through student-teacher dialogue and flexible learning activities.
Schemes of work are created in order to build upon existing knowledge and support assimilation of knowledge through connected topics and skills, showing progression in learning Capel et al, ; Pollard Byers and Rose warn that tiered classes can deny pupils the benefits of a mixed ability class, by homogenising learning roles.
However, pupils come to the Academy from over 50 primary schools resulting in a variety of abilities and inevitable inconsistency between pupils with the same target level, despite the introduction of APP to regulate grading and support consistency between KS2 and KS3 DCSF, In accordance with the Framework for Secondary English DCSF, a and John , planning should be adapted to different abilities and ages, and open to change.
This was facilitated by developing the scheme of work in the second half of the autumn term, after 8 previous weeks teaching and learning experience, providing time to assess and understand individual needs, strengths and weaknesses, alongside the data from Primary schools.
During this time, it became clear that the year 7 class contained a range of abilities, despite being set, with target levels based on KS2 of 4c to 6a and even pupils capable of writing descriptively at a level 6 struggled with reading skills, particularly using quotes and close textual analysis.
This scheme of work focused on improving these weaknesses, through differentiated tasks, effective resources and outcomes, to ensure accessibility for all in line with the Every Child Matters policy DCSF which calls for every child to have the chance to enjoy and achieve at school.
Capel et al stress the importance of considering how pupils learn. To facilitate learning for each pupil and ensure they meet the learning objectives, teaching styles, activities and resources must be varied to incorporate the different learning styles throughout the class McCormick and Leask, Pupils in the class are aware that when asked to write, unless stated, they can use mind-maps, lists, flow diagrams etc, in line with their preferred learning style.
Alongside the varying ability levels throughout the class, a number of students also had Specific Educational Needs SEN. Two students were School Action SA: Managing these varied needs is difficult, but a number of techniques suggested by Petty helped during lessons, such as ensuring instructions are clear and precise, given both verbally and visually see Appendix B ; defining new and key words explicitly, such as empathy in lesson 5; sentence stems; fast-paced activities; using mind-maps lesson 1 and handouts throughout the SOW ; and varying teaching styles to assist visual processors visual-audio-kinaesthetic activities throughout SOW.
Ofsted claimed that kinaesthetic activities also benefit boys Ofsted, Complying with departmental policy and advice School, , the scheme of work was required to follow the English National Curriculum.
According to the National Curriculum English programme of study for reading National Curriculum , study of texts from English literary heritage, such as Dickens, should be based on whole texts, but, as proposed by Kress and Van Leeuwen should also be supported by the use of film and drama to create a multimodal learning environment alongside the printed text.
Christmas Carol uses challenging yet imaginative language, covering another of the National Curriculum reading foci Alongside requirements to adhere to the National Curriculum and KS2 targets, it was important that the SOW involved challenging yet achievable tasks and objectives to adhere to the Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status, linked, in order to be successful, to the wider curriculum John, Supporting the SOW through progression in learning is the well-planned lesson Capel et al, Byers and Rose do state that detailed short-term plans are not always necessary, but this would not apply to trainee teachers, who use plans as a strategy for teaching and a cue during the lesson Reece and Walker, They also aid assessing pupil progress.
Therefore, the lessons used for this SOW are thoroughly planned, using: Before discussing the rationale behind using all of these in turn, this essay will give a quick overview of each lesson; any theory referred to in the overview will be discussed following it. The first lesson in the sequence set the social and historical setting of the author and the text, and introduced the main characters, in line with the English Programme of Study National Curriculum, Activities included analysing the front cover of the book; guessing the time period; and a short animation of Dickens.
Then, whilst listening to the first half of Chapter 1 with a transcript, pupils had to fill out a table focusing on the characters Marley, Scrooge and Bob Cratchit. Pupils found this activity difficult; they struggled to listen and write at the same time. The handout was too complicated for most, and needed differentiation.
Once the teacher reviewed these definitions a scaffolding activity , they found the activity rewarding, as they could see their progress. The second part of Chapter 1 had a different focus.
The second lesson looked at regret. Pupils read a script of a scene adapted from the novel and wrote down their level of understanding from ; understanding ranged from Pupils then rewrote the conversation in language they understood, before performing the piece in front of the class.
To consolidate, pupils wrote down the lessons they thought Scrooge had learnt before revisiting the original script and reassessing their understanding out of 10 compared to the beginning of the lesson. In lesson 3 the main activities focused on the Ghost of Christmas Present.
By closely reading a descriptive passage, pupils were asked to draw the Ghost, labelling him using direct quotes. Most pupils found PEA difficult, again highlighting the need for more work on quotes. Whilst reading chapter 5 in lesson 4, pupils used inference and deduction to guess who, in the future, the dead man was Scrooge , before writing a letter to Scrooge, advising him on how to improve his morals.
Pupils lacked confidence to infer and deduce, despite modelling an example, scaffolding examples, and previous work using the skill, stressing the need for further focus on the skill. They found advisary writing a much easier concept to grasp; this is something the teacher can improve further over the year as it is an essential skill for GCSE. The first half of lesson 5 focused on close-textual analysis. Once more, pupils found using quotes a struggle, leading the teacher to revise future lesson plans to integrate more quote-based learning.
The second half required pupils to write a Christmas card from Scrooge to a character, apologising and promising to improve in a specific way, whilst watching the film. This allowed pupils to engage in multi-tasking, whilst empathising with the character SEAL. The last lesson in the scheme of work summed up the book with pupils identifying persuasive techniques and writing a persuasive speech to perform in front a judge the teacher.
Again, pupils enjoyed identifying persuasive techniques and wrote high-quality speeches. The focus for improvement needs to be on developing structure in writing. According to Marshall and Rowland , independent learning encourages students to identify and solve problems, think creatively and assess their own progress.
This also provided another means of formative assessment. There was a definite correlation between ability and quality of the homework: It is important not consider the effort in attaining the information and reproducing it, allowing for differentiation in outcome Marshall and Rowland, To allow all pupils to access learning, lesson objectives were differentiated to give choice and challenge, and were skill-specific.
This sets expectations and provides a context Capel et al, The SOW takes this progression in to consideration, allowing all pupils access to the lower level skills whilst challenging higher ability pupils.
Lessons attributed levels to each objective to encourage motivation through targets Bentham, Learning outcomes were student-focused, to ensure the lesson centred on learning rather than teaching Petty, Planning a variety of teaching strategies through the SOW can help students perceive the course more positively The Edinburgh Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, The teaching strategies in the SOW were mainly closed styles, where the teacher either controls the class through whole class or individual activities; or framed styles, which provides a structure for the students to interpret and contribute to learning McCormick and Leask, The rationale for this was that year olds are entering what Piaget called a period of Formal Operations, where they are only just beginning to use logic to understand abstract ideas and hypothesise about outcomes Pollard, Therefore, this type of learning was minimised, as pupils work towards taking ownership of their learning Jaques and Salmon, Group work was used once the topic had been introduced, in lesson 2 and in lesson 6, but still using a framed style see Appendix B.
In lesson 1 and 5, pupils were asked to feedback on a post-it note what they had learned, what they found easy and things they would like to know more about; using this technique the teacher knew that in lesson 1 many pupils struggled with the Point-Evidence-Analysis structure. Through co-operation and interaction, but not direct instruction, Vygotsky believed that children would gain more from learning, than they would independently Petty, ; this is known as scaffolding.
In lesson 2, pupils were asked to read a script of a scene adapted from the novel and wrote down their level of understanding from At the end of the lesson pupils reread the script and reassessed their understanding out of 10 compared to the beginning of the lesson; no pupils understanding was reduced.
The methods of teaching for each lesson in the scheme of work were influenced by a number of other theories. He called for a broader education using differentiated activities, methodologies and exercises which aid pupils with different strengths and weaknesses to access the curriculum Petty, This was used, for example, in lesson 1, as the active listening activity used 2 variations of handout to account for the range of ability in the class.
The first lesson included visual clues of Dickens times and a short animation, to introduce the social and historical setting National Curriculum, , before a close-textual analysis activity visual.
Pupils then completed a table using the audio and transcript for Chapter 1. Most pupils preferred to read the transcript than listen to the audio.
In lesson 2, learning was mainly kinaesthetic, with pupils having 10 minutes to write their own script before acting it out in small groups. They were given a purposefully short time to encourage spontaneity in their performance, but pupils struggled with embarrassment and confidence. Speaking and listening are an important part of the GCSE qualification that pupils often find difficult; regular practise should, according to Bruner, lead to improvement Capel et al, However, pupils found acting so difficult in lesson 2, that the plan was adapted to allow pupils to work in pairs.
An alternative solution, the double-loop, will be discussed later in the essay. What is more, the SOW encouraged active participation through independent learning Burns and Myhill, Finding a balance between these pedagogical theories and government and academy policy is difficult; they are inherently contradictory.
This essay will discuss how the SOW could have been improved by evaluating planning and student attainment, whilst analysing the pedagogical theory that informed the lessons. Universities are good at providing help with academic writing and reading skills — use them! If in doubt, ASK! Better to get help and pass than stay quiet and fail. With these my best advice is to start early. One of the easiest ways is to get some lever arch files and enough tabs for one for each standard.
Then label them up and start filing your work in the sections appropriately. As time goes on you will gather more and more stuff to file so best to keep this as a regular exercise. Better to present your mentor with an organised system that is regularly updated, on a weekly basis, than a mess at the end of a placement! You are not expected to go in on day one of your first teaching practice and just be able to do it. You will be expected to be prepared, be hard working and learn from your mistakes, accept feedback with good grace and learn from it, and improve as you go along.
It takes time and practice, and you need to get a feel for how you are as a teacher, and how you want to be as time goes on. All classes are different and even the same ones can be very different on different days and for different teachers — get out there and observe as much as you can — lots of different subjects. And get out there and do as much as you can in the school — be part of it in other ways beyond your subject, coach rugby, go on the history trips, sing in the carol service, run a gaming club and so on.
It helps you as a teacher for your pupils to see you as something other than the subject teacher that you are. You need a balance.
Take time out to do other things, time for yourself and friends and family — it really makes a difference to how you survive this year. Coping with bad behaviour is one of the things that causes many PGCE students concern.
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