Top-Rated Free Essay
Preview

Educational Research

Powerful Essays
7176 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Educational Research
Educational Research

Curriculum Assignment

Student Number: 3931552

Word Count: 6,529

Contents
1.1 Abstract 3
1.2 Description and Analysis of Scheme of Work A 4
1.3 Literature on pupils’ learning and progression 8
1.4 The revised Scheme of Work 13
1.5 Assessment in the revised Scheme 17
1.6 Detailed comment on lessons in the Scheme 21
1.7 Professional Development 26 Bibliography 30

1. Abstract
The following paper is a research project written for a PGCE (M) Course in Teaching Secondary English. Research has been conducted into contemporary teaching and learning issues, in this case Differentiation and the teaching of Creative Writing skills. The tasks presented were considered in order to give deeper insight into learning and how this operates, aiding reflection and the production of more effective Schemes of Work and Lesson Plans.

2. Description and Analysis of Scheme of Work A. The scheme of work I am using for this Assignment was aimed at a Top Set Year 7 (Key Stage 3) group of 28 pupils, over a space of 13 lessons in 6 weeks. It was the half term for them to cover the novel, and given the freedom to work with a text of my choice from a list, I settled on Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’. I felt the text would allow plenty of discussion about impartial narration, good and evil and writer’s use of empathy as well as opening possibilities for the cross curricular focus on World War One historical context and use of propaganda. The text also fits nicely into assessment possibilities, with many characters with very different traits to discuss and write about, as well as the emotive theme of loss to inspire Creative Writing. As my placement school did not have any implemented Schemes of Work, the initial Scheme (Appendix A) was written entirely by me. I was advised by my mentor that as a top set, the students in this class were expected to read the entire novel, and I was encouraged to fit as much of it as I could into class time. However, the students also had the added benefit of being allocated individual texts, and were therefore also allowed to take them away for homework. As I will come to discuss later, the 13 hours that I had allocated to work with the group did restrict me when it came to reading the entire novel and also assigning enough work for other activities outside of assessment. Wright (2012, p. 134) states that ‘the worst thing to do with any text is to twist it into a set of generic learning or assessment objectives’, and I wanted to avoid this at all costs; I did attempt to be stringent when it came to selecting activities so as not to allow them to become spin offs (Wright, 2012) aiming instead to enhance pupil engagement and enjoyment. After having written the Scheme of Work and taught around four hours, the second in department implemented new Objectives for Key Stage 3, and asked all Year 7 teachers to apply two final marked pieces; one to write about a character in the novel, and the other a diary extract (See Appendix B). My original question, as shown on the Scheme of Work in Appendix A, was; Michael Morpurgo uses Joey the horse as a narrator to show Good and Evil in World War One. Who gives Joey strength to get through the War? Who, or what, is truly evil?
Thankfully, this remained the same, as both Head and Deputy Head of department felt that this question fit the bill and was the correct level of challenge for a top set group. However, although I had included Creative Writing within my Scheme, I had invested it in the form of a poem to be written after the death of Topthorn, a particularly emotive part of the text. The replacement of this with a diary entry, however, was very easily implemented, and the opportunity for use of emotive language was still viable. For the Assessments I used the standard APP Key Stage 3 format, and the character question was answered in terms of three ‘PEE’ paragraphs- two on ‘good’ characters and one on ‘evil’. For this they were marked on RAF2; selecting information as well was WAF4; paragraphs. They had an opportunity to attempt these before the final assessed piece, giving me time to read and consider which aspects were poor and which needed addressing specifically. For the most part, this was to do with gathering evidence. On the initial attempt at the task, scores ranged from a Level 4 H (High) to a Level 6 L (Low) with the average mark being a Level 5 M (Medium). In the second attempt, scores ranged from a Level 5 M to a Level 7 L, with the average at Level 6 L- a marked improvement. Due to timing issues, the pupils only had one attempt at the Diary Entry task, and did not have a marked piece of work or plan prior to the assessed piece. For this, levels ranged from a Level 4 H to a Level 7 L, with an average of Level 5 M. Although this displays that some of the class had strength in Creative Writing and could manage with very little tuition, it also implies that just as much preparation is needed in Creative Writing as is essay and investigative writing, and reflects Dymoke’s (2011) support of Ofsted in their desire to implement Creative Writing more actively within the National Curriculum, rather than as an aside. (See Appendix C for anonymous Assessment results) Those Creative Writing pieces that reached Level 7 L displayed true excellence and an inherent ability for the task in hand. (See Appendix D for examples- D1, by a male pupil, achieved 7L and D2, by a female pupil, 6L.) However, as a top set group, most of whom are aimed at Level 6 targets for the year, Level 5 M is lacking somewhat as an average; it is due to this that the following section and amendments to the original Scheme of Work include some carefully considered research into Creative Writing as part of the National Curriculum and how best to invest it into ordinary classroom activities. My other research topic, that of differentiation, stems partly from the wide spread of the Creative Writing assessment scores and how best to even these out, but also from several of my Lesson Observation reports and own Lesson Evaluations. It is easy to forget, as Shaw (2012 p 3) reminds us, that ‘all it takes to make a class mixed-ability is to let more than one student through the door.’ This does not only include pupils who struggle, but those who flourish and need to be pushed further. In my own lesson evaluation from 3rd December 2012, I comment; Differentiation is by no means an easy task…but in order for all to flourish it is vitally important. Sometimes, Differentiating for the upper end of the class is overlooked in favour of those who are struggling, and it is often possible that even the high band of “A” grade students could still be attaining more…with such a high attaining group it would be a perfect opportunity to think about the challenge aspect.
This is reflected in my lesson Observations where comments such as ‘opportunity for development’ and ‘use questions to target high ability students’ were initially fairly frequent. I did eventually address this area of my teaching, and on some of my latter Observation forms, comments such as ‘using the no hands up rule- it feels like you are probing info rather than accepting easy answers’ replaced the previous comments, but I have chosen this as an area of interest, as I feel it could have been more effectively implemented for the duration of the Scheme of Work and would also aid with the effective, and struggling, Creative Writers.

3. Literature on pupils’ learning and progression Creative writing is a notoriously lacking aspect of English in education. Despite the National Curriculum claiming creative aspects need better balance within the daily lives of Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils (cited in Dymoke, 2011) Ofsted (2003b) realise that it is an undervalued and under-rated area of study within schools, particularly with boys. Their paper ‘Yes he can; schools where boys write well’, implies that it is a rarity to find strong creative writing, particularly in boys. Parker (1993, p54) has a theory on why this may be. He claims: Children prefer to pick up and a pen and write spontaneously, working out their ideas as they proceed. Usually that spontaneity shows in the results- the story that has a lame ending… a jumble of unrelated ideas.
He suggests that the most effective way to avoid the ‘tyranny of the straight line narrative’ (p. 27) and ascend to flash back and other advanced techniques, that the best method is drafting and rewriting, careful consideration about structure, tone and plot. It is easy to see therefore, how the Creative Writing aspect of my Scheme of Work fell flat. In fact, when studying with Appendix A, you can see that my only provision for this aspect was the two words “Diary Entry” in Phase 5. I had consciously and determinedly made the decision to have Creative Writing included in my Scheme of Work, and had originally intended to explore writing poetry, but partly subconsciously and partly due to the sheer lack of understanding and guidance within the National Curriculum on how best to implement and explore Creative Writing, there is incredibly little there, and it is overwhelmed by questions from the text itself, the possibility of a class debate and an overwhelmingly ambitious 3 chapters to finish within two lessons. The Key Learning Objective for this phase is seen as “horses as innocents” and therefore even as an advocate and lover of Creative Writing, it is startlingly obvious how quickly it falls by the wayside, making way for other literary concerns. Timing, then, is one of the important aspects necessary for amendment. What I also believe to be vitally important is the inclusion of tasks leading up to the writing of the diary entry. What little literature there is on the art of teaching creatively does, despite its brevity and rarity, offer a wide variety of suggestions. Carter (2010) suggests that the best way to engage pupils’ imaginations is to have them tell one another stories about their own lives- things they can express and recall vividly, and Macrae (2002) is also an advocate for retaining aspects of the familiar, claiming that to create more believable protagonists, picking characteristics from people real and well known to you will open up your best descriptive prowess. Both Carter and Macrae write specifically for Key Stage 3 writers. On the other hand, Suen (2003) aims to aid adult writers writing for Key Stage 3, but she also offers advice on how best to “kick start” the writing process; by the use of images. In my original Scheme of Work, I did use “modern warfare” images such as the Twin Towers terrorists attack and images from Afghanistan to spark their interest and creativity, but we did not dwell on these, and I wish we had spent more time doing so; I think here would be a perfect opportunity to include some exercises and drafting, such as exploring new and relevant vocabulary. The Ofsted Report from 2003 ‘Yes he can: where boys write well’ was aimed at highlighting ways in which boys writing could be improved. Although gender specific, which my assignment is not, the inspector admits on page 5: Many of the factors that promote the success of schools in achieving good standards of boys’ writing ought to have an equally strong affect on girls, thus acknowledging that the effective techniques they noted would theoretically have the same effect on the girls. Ofsted (2003b) considered the schools with greatest effect on their pupils’ writing ability to be those that had strong links to music, drama and debating, maintained high standards and quality marking, clear indications of what the pupils did right and larger tasks broken down into smaller ones. This not only reiterates to me that greater time should be taken over the creative aspect of the course, but that further activities can be considered. As Parker (1993) also admits, pupils do not accept redrafting willingly, but planning and other aspects could and should be included. Ofsted’s (2003a) links to high quality marking and Carter’s (2010) opinion that teachers to be open minded on the length of creative projects also link into aspects of Differentiation. This had been highlighted as a particular weak spot for me when it came to the highest achievers in the classroom. In other aspects of my teaching, for example with Year 9, my ability to deal with pupils for whom English as an Additional Language and who had behavioural or learning difficulties was seen as a strength, but differentiating for those more able is not initially innate, and it took some time and thinking to tackle it. Recently, Gershon (2012a) wrote for Tespro the definition of Differentiation as being ‘whatever a teacher needs to do to ensure that all pupils make good progress, regardless of the starting point.’ (See also Dean, Geoff (2004) Improving Learning in Secondary English). That starting point may be, as was in other classrooms, through limited language; however, it may be a Set 1 pupil who consistently hits their predicted Level 6 target, but is actually inherently capable of Level 7 work. Differentiation has many forms, but the one I feel is most relevant here is Bloom’s Taxonomy, referred to explicitly in many texts on Educational Theory and Assessment for Learning. It is visually represented in Appendix E and referred to explicitly by Elliot (2012 p111) who places onus on the type of question asked as an important and vital aspect of differentiation in terms of ‘recall, comprehend (why), application (how, what), analysis, synthesis (what if), evaluation.’ Although this is far easier applied to textual analysis than to Creative Writing, I believe the Creative Process can also be differentiated in terms of outcome and application. For example, Wright (2012) specifies that a good teacher asks the questions, but a brilliant teacher has pupils devising them: having considered World War One context thanks to the novel, and had more chance to use visual and audio aids, to have the pupils devise questions their piece could answer, having them think outside the box, and having the most advanced pupils consider deeper aspects such as synthesis would aid the differentiation process dramatically. Brands and Ginnis (1986) are adamant that interaction and participation are the keys to good pupil learning, and therefore active thought such as writing their own questions is an excellent starting point for this. Having pupils peer assess and interact as part of the process while carefully considering who works with who (Gershon 2012a) will allow pupils to guide their own learning needs, and combined with more time and more diverse ways to consider creativity, should make for better, more advanced, more enjoyable and most importantly, differentiated routes into Creative Writing.

4. The revised Scheme of Work Appendix F displays my revised Scheme of Work for the ‘War Horse’ novel. The initial and most obvious difference is that the Creative Writing aspects of the course are included in a far more concrete and obvious way from the outset; initially, Creative aspects were omitted from the Key Processes, Scheme Objectives and Outcomes sections of the Scheme. This is a clear indication that despite my desire to include Creative Writing, it had become as Wright (2012, p. 134) states, nothing more than a ‘spin off’ and that my Scheme of work needed to be ‘more driven by development objectives than literary opportunism.’ Despite this, it was still a piece that was to be formally assessed, and the lack of conviction in the way it was included combined with the decision to use it as an indication of achievement was a dangerous combination. Moss (2009 p 138) states that ‘writing cannot be isolated from the rest of the curriculum’, and yet somehow it falls at the wayside to the advantage of other aspects, as Dymoke (2012, p148) notes; Students and teachers ever more conversant with acronyms such as PEE at the expense of developing an understanding of the creative processes which have shaped texts in the first place.
This is reflected in my lack of commitment and exclusion of it at any great length in the original Scheme of Work, which revolved almost entirely around reading skills (See Appendix A). Ofsted (2012) reported that the schools with the best writing achievement had pupils write frequently and at length, in schools with flourishing extra curricular activities in music, drama and debating. Similarly, Dymoke (2011) is an advocate for other creative processes aiding writing, particularly Speaking and Listening; Barbot et al (2012) also inverts this, and claims that Creative Writing processes aid development in more formal writing skills. This is reflected in Appendix C, where the results of the First PEE paragraphs and the Second PEE paragraphs/essay shows 18 of 28 pupils improved significantly, some as far as two bands, having written creatively in the time between the two pieces. Of course, feedback had contributed significantly to this, but I had utilised Barbot et al’s ideas subconsciously of improving formal writing using creative, but not Ofsted nor Dymoke’s views of aiding achievement in creative writing using additional artistic activities. The revised Scheme of Work utilises this research via the implementation of extra written tasks such as the blurb writing task in Phase 1 (discussed in length in section 1.6) and Phase 5 has become entirely about the production and assessment of the Creative Writing aspect of the course, rather than about ‘horses as victims’ naturally leading into it. In less obvious ways, all phases now contain opportunists for language discussion and enrichment of vocabulary. I had already included us of War Poetry such as ‘Goodbye Old Man’ throughout the Scheme of Work, but I would now make a conscious effort to really explore the language use and its effects purposefully with the intention of pupils being able to grasp and recreate similar and use ideas within them as a springboard for their own concepts. Underlining and discussing new vocabulary and ways of using language is vital to the establishment of good creative skills, to engage the logical side of your brain (Suen, 2003) and seeing examples of good Creative Writing and how it is structured will help to ‘excite pupils interest’ (Parker, 1992, p178). Aspects such as the Hot Seating in Phase 3 and the Debate in Phase 4 will now be compulsory elements, where before they were aspects I considered as sensible to be cut (and both were) if we were struggling for time with regards to fitting all lessons into reading. I believe the dramatic and debating aspects, as well as being healthily cross curricular, as per Ofsted’s (2003b) suggestions, would help pupils consider careful lines of argument, use of vocabulary and depth of character as well as engaging with and understanding the views of others and helping them to push themselves beyond what they perceive as their natural limits. In place of this, the artistic licensing lesson of Phase 6 could be removed or limited to a small 5 or 10 minute discussion or writing task rather than an entire lesson, thus allowing more time for writing and drafting the creative piece where necessary. Although an interesting lesson and no doubt useful for growing confidence in vouching theories and opinions, given the assessment objectives for this particular Scheme of Work it would not be a vital area to cover, whereas the drama and debating aspects may inform or influence the Creative Writing aspect of the course, hopefully in a strengthening way. Wright (2012, p139) advises to ‘edit the text when necessary’, and although advised to read as much of the novel as possible, in future I would not shy away from giving more reading home works and using lesson time predominately for discussion. Although Wright (2012 p133) also argues that; Listening together to a novel may be as close as some of your pupils get to the enhancing experience of being in a theatre audience, of being an individual and part of a community at the same time and therefore also makes clear the value of reading a class text together, in lessons where I had aimed to read 2 chapters, or schemes where I had aimed for 4, there would be no harm in limiting and cutting down on these for the sake of more activity and discussion orientated lessons, particularly where the intention is to strengthen written work. I would be reluctant to cut any chapters fully, but if it was not to the detriment of the text as a whole and allowed more time for the development of vital skills I would consider this as an option. In terms of Differentiation, which will be more fully discussed in Section 1.4 on Assessment, both Brooks and Bills (2012) and Macrae (2002) argue that Outcome is the most effective way of varying work in terms of ability. Noar (1972) rightly acknowledges that pupils will resent the addition of harder elements if others are being praised for easier work, but within Creative Writing this can be done in such a variety of subtle ways. Pupils can be pushed to consider their narrative voice, register, tone, length, detail, tense, sentence structure and use of rhetoric (Parker, 1993) and this can begin from as early as the drafting and inter lesson questioning.

1.5 Assessment in the revised Scheme. Beyond the formative PEE paragraphs and making the Creative Writing portion of the Scheme of Work a more obvious and invested form of assessment, I feel that more regular and less formally marked pieces should be integrated into the new Scheme of Work, particularly those which are formative and help guide and structure the activities best for effective learning. Brooks (2012 p119) makes a striking argument; Following a paradigm shift, it is now recognised that assessment is most helpful when it is an ongoing and integral part of teaching and learning so that feedback can be used at each stage in the planning/teaching/evaluation cycle.
She claims that keeping track of pupil learning regularly over a lengthened space of time is the best way in which to inform ourselves of what they need and how they need it; that is, not only do we become better informed as to pupil progress, we differentiate accordingly and effectively. Formative assessment can be implemented in a variety of effective ways. Marking should more frequent on a range of different tasks, allowing a cumulative view of pupils’ progress. The APP (Assessment for Pupils’ Progress) format has been proven to be incredibly effective for this, as detailed in Ofsted (2011) report, ‘The impact of the ‘Assessing pupils’ progress’ initiative’, giving teachers and pupils alike more clarity in what is expected in order to meet set targets. However, grading can be disheartening (Brooks, 2012) although a range of detailed comments can be exceptionally effective in giving pupils a higher awareness of what it is they need to improve; therefore, allocating tasks and marking workbooks frequently, using the APP format for personal guidance, but giving pupils only written feedback without always giving an official banding would raise the effectiveness of both my Scheme of Work and the meeting of learning objectives. As shown on the revised Scheme of Work (Appendix F) there are far more opportunities for ‘informally’ marking pupil work and leaving comments of a detailed and differentiated nature to give the best possible guidance for meeting their target levels. The blurb, Albert’s father’s perspective, collection of new vocabulary, first PEE paragraph, description of film scenes, hot seating (as speaking and listening and/or as a script), debate and brain-storming and planning as well as the final Creative Writing pieces and PEE Paragraph/Essays can all be used as a chance to give feedback, in the form of detailed comments in their books and orally in lessons, giving ‘specific, relevant and achievable goals’ (Ofsted, 2003a, p8). These can be tailored to fit pupil needs, and although it is valuable for pupils to work towards the same goals, the way in which they get there can be different according to their needs: as Brooks and Bills (2012, p77) ‘there is nothing inevitable about pupil development- much must be assessed in classroom/on the ball’ and much of this is considering where a pupil needs to be and how best to get them there, even if this is a different route to every other child in front of you. The most effective way to implement ‘on the ball’ assessment is through active questioning, a brilliant way to also differentiate with confidence and consistency if done effectively. Brands and Ginnis (1986), Elliot (2012), Parker (1993), Gershon (2012b), Brooks (2012) and Ofsted (2008, 2011) are all advocates for active and/or tired questioning in the classroom. Not only does this give you an excellent opportunity to understand where any given pupil is at any one stage of the Scheme, it gives you a chance to see the ‘process as well as product’ (Brooks, 2012, p125), ie, how the pupil has come to that conclusion, what route they have taken to get there and, through pushing and following up (Gershon, 2012b), their justification. Use of questioning does not end at guidance for the teacher as to short to mid term planning, it is a brilliant way to exact Bloom’s Taxonomy (Appendix E) and differentiate. During my time at Placement A, my mentor suggested that writing a list of staged questions to ask during the course of a lesson with questions that ranged from simple recall through to analysis and even synthesis, with a (flexible) idea of who to aim these at, as well as being mindful of asking pupils to expand on their answers, or asking others to validate or disagree with their idea would be a worthwhile task. After this meeting, my lesson observation read; ‘it feels like you are probing info rather than accepting easy answers’. Having a prepared list of staged questions included in the lesson plans is therefore a worthwhile integration (see Appendices G and H). Beyond this is the need to ask pupils to take responsibility for their own learning by ‘identifying their own learning needs, setting their own goals, finding resources, self assessing [and] reflecting on learning processes.’ (Boud, 1988 p23). Ofsted supports this view in a variety of reports; claiming in their report ‘The impact of the ‘Assessing pupils’ progress’ initiative’ that its’ effectiveness was due to the pupils’ access to clarity, that ‘opportunities to reflect on comments’ (Ofsted, 2003a, p1) were vital as well as involvement with setting their targets and self and peer assessing (Ofsted, 2008). Clear and concise comments are not enough on their own; pupils must have a chance to reflect on them and assess what this means for their progression in future. Boud (1988) suggests the use of an individual learning contract; a target grade is a good way to start this, although if overuse of banding is to be avoided verbal targets without grades would be more effective. Self set goals would be best to attain a personal level of achievement, perhaps “use three new words in a descriptive piece”, “use the word ‘however’ when making a point about a character” etc would be of more use at Key Stage 3. Allowing pupils chance to reflect on comments, ascertain whether they have met their targets and create new ones would be a fantastic device to invest time and energy in on this Scheme of Work; pupils can work to personalised targets down routes that they are comfortable on, working towards the same task with slightly different techniques and outcomes. Equally, inviting opportunities for peer or group assessment would be helpful, particularly if pupils have desirable traits others would benefit from seeing; keeping a log or taking a note of ‘interesting things I have learned from others work’ could also be implemented at the draft stage of both the creative and factual written work. Aspects of some of the above can be seen in the following Section.

1.6 Detailed comment on lessons in the Scheme Appendix G shows the revised first lesson from the Scheme of Work. The first 15 minutes remain the same as when originally written; an introduction to the context of World War One, and the generally facts and figures of the time. The reason I have decided to leave this is that during the original Scheme, it is obvious that it really engaged the class, who found guessing answers to the questions and having shocking or unexpected answers entertaining and informing, also reflected in my Lesson Observation, which noted the level of interest the pupils showed. It was not a taxing or over complicated introduction to the novel, but I felt meant the text could be started on a more even playing field, as well as having the benefit of being cross curricular. Phase 1, the starter/settler, depicted an image of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, promoting answers from “Churchill” to “Hitler”, showing a weakness in some of the pupils’ general knowledge of World War One. This was followed with five slides (Phase Two), asking questions such as, “Who fought in World War One?” and “What was Trench Warfare?” These were all terminologies with which the pupils would have benefit in knowing, so that they did not get left behind. From here, we move on to Phase 3, looking at a variety of front covers for the novel ‘War Horse’. This was originally used to ask pupils to come up with a prediction as to the novels plot, but now will be used for Phases 4 and 5 that make up the ‘Blurb’ task. Initially writing down thoughts, images and feelings that come to mind when studying the front cover helps to firstly give pupils responsibility for their own ideas, and begins to stimulate the visual aspect (Suen, 2003) of their creative mind. Identifying questions as a group allow all levels of thought to circulate and can advance the ideas of other members of the class through discussion; helping aid creativity using oral work as a prelude (Ofsted, 2003b). These would be written on the board for clarification. From here, the process of creating a blurb begins in Phases 5 and 6 by using an exemplar blurb and exploring its use of language and characteristics as a group. As well as modelling being one of the most effective forms of tuition (Moss, 2009) it has potential to be an excellent opportunity to differentiate. By highlighting elements on a simple level such as ‘suggestions about plot’ and also more complex aspects such as rhetoric, then setting the more difficult features as a challenge or addition, no pupil is being made to feel they are working towards different final pieces, even though the outcomes will differ on some levels. The plenary also works towards differentiating; with the final question being asked ‘What is effective about this blurb? Name one thing that could be improved.’ regarding pupil work, positive feedback and some level of improvement is given, no matter what the level. In the ‘notes’ section, additional differentiation information such as the staged questioning mentioned in the previous section can be found, from simple observations to more complex synthesis. Homework for this lesson includes an independent reading homework (thus removing the pressure of reading the chapter from the lesson and allowing more time for creative processes) and then an extension on this; to change anything in the blurb they think necessary now they have read a little of the text. This offers the chance to redraft in a more informal and friendly way, hence removing the tendency to object strongly to editing. (Parker, 1993). Appendix H is the 9th lesson from the Scheme of Work. Originally, this lesson was still geared towards Creative Writing, but with nowhere near as much detail as to language use, as I had only allocated one lesson for the entire task. Thanks to setting reading tasks for homework and cutting un-necessary activities from other lessons, there is freedom to have a brain storming and linguistic lesson. Moss (2009, p135) comments; Analysis of the language of speech and of related reading material can help pupils to understand the special character of the language commonly used in writing.
By spending time with deepened attention to linguistics, the pupils should thrive in their own writing. Phase 1 the starter/settler again remains the same. It fits its purpose of being engaging and calming, helping pupils hone other skills in seeking textual evidence. This also gives pupils more of an over-arching feel as to the number of roles one can play in war, and subconsciously opens their minds to ideas for their own writing. Phase 2 and 3 also remain the same; the reading of the chapters and of the poem ‘Goodbye Old Man’ are both viable examples of using texts to inform their own writing which they can then take from concrete to abstract (Wright, 2012). As also seen in Appendix G, I have now adapted the ‘Notes’ box for the staged questioning aspect of my differentiation tactics. Again, these range from the very basic of recall right through to synthesis of consideration of abstract ideas, such as what may happen to Frederick’s family without him. Equally with the attention on language using the poem in Phase 3, questions range from deciding how the poet feels, to what may be implied by some of the more subtle language. Alongside the questions comes the task of highlighting specific vocabulary and techniques within the poem that could transfer to their own writing, such as emotive technique. We then move on to the visual aspect of our introduction to creativity (Suen, 2003), and though still maintaining the staged questioning (see the ‘Notes’ box) offer a new mode of understanding images and feelings in warfare. Inclusion of an appropriate news story would also highlight new and suitable vocabulary for the task which the pupils are going to undertake. Offering a range of formats in which to explore the idea of war allows the pupils to approach the task through whichever channel works most effectively for them, personalising their route in. (Gershon, 2012a.) Once this and the introduction of the new task has been completed, Phase 5, the ‘brainstorming’ can begin. In the form of a spider diagram or flow chart, whatever works best for the pupil, a range of topics such as character, setting, history, person they have lost, emotive language to use etc can be introduced, again offering differentiation in terms of challenge and techniques, though all working towards the same overall outcome. By using talk, reading, imagining and brainstorming (Parker, 1993) and breaking the writing down into smaller tasks (Ofsted, 2003b) all pupils should be effectively catered for. The brainstorm itself helps avoid or un-thought through or unconvincing narratives, and as a homework task in the rewritten lesson plan, pupils will finish the brain storm so that peer assessment can be used at the beginning of the following lesson. This gives plenty of time for thought and redrafting as well as the addition of further challenges for higher level thinkers, ending in a well differentiated plan and the best possible start to the creative piece for each individual pupil.

7. Professional Development The revision of the ‘War Horse’ Scheme of Work has informed my personal development in a variety of ways. Firstly, my attitude towards assessment; using novels or texts to fit into the tasks we want to even if inappropriate or unsupported by the text in hand or using the text purely for spin off assessments is ineffective in the classroom (Wright, 2012). A text should inform the kind of activity or assessment used, but not to the extent of loose or poorly informed connections. Assessment is also better undertaken in an informal and regular way, rather than constantly graded or used as a bolt on (Brooks, 2012). This also translates as an effective way to differentiate, as a better cumulative understanding of pupil learning and progress can be produced, as well as how they formulate their understanding. Staged questioning should be included in most, if not all, lesson plans; it is a quick and straightforward way to differentiate and create student autonomy, and where done well will increase pupil confidence and independence (Boud, 1988). Questions can be directed to specific pupils (whether considered carefully prior to the lesson or not) to direct the right level of challenge. As it is informal and oral it will, for the most part, eliminate any chance of pupils asking ‘Why do hard work when others are praised for easy work?’ or from being branded ‘non learners’ (Noar, 1972, p100). As oral work was reported as an effective prelude to written work (Ofsted, 2003b) these skills, although subconscious, should transfer effectively to written work, be it creative or essay based. This can be continued when it comes to the writing itself, when pupils can be challenged on the basis of a variety of tasks according to their ability; although pupils are working towards the same task brief, the outcomes can be adjusted according to their targets or abilities. An originally over ambitious Scheme of Work had seen aspects cut to the detriment of some of the formally assessed pieces, namely the Creative Writing task. Less formal activities such as hot seating and debating were removed thanks to a pre-judgement that the official and formal reading of the text and analysis of its’ plot, structure and character was more important. On the contrary, Ofsted (2003b) have found that thriving curriculums for drama, music and politics or debating offer much healthier and higher attaining creative minds; including aspects of these in the curriculum and providing reading for homework puts the scheme at no risk of failing on a reading level. Provided tasks in the lessons follow up the reading and ensure it has been done and understood and is fully discussed on the same level it would have been done if read in the classroom leaves more time for tasks orientated towards creativity and reading skills. By no means should any reading be eliminated from the classroom, particularly for lower sets who may not be as motivated or have the necessary skills to tackle it alone, but it is useful and acceptable to foster some independence, and failing that, to invest in a few minor cuts to un-necessary parts of the text so that the rest of the Scheme of Work and its activities may thrive accordingly. In conclusion, I feel my main downfall has been to not give students enough responsibility for their learning. Through peer and self assessing, individual targets, staged questioning and homework such as independent reading, it becomes easier to differentiate and not harder. Pupils have far more clarity about where they are and where they have to go, and as a teacher this will aid in understanding how they can get there. Using such schemes to guide short term and mid term planning will inevitably increase my effectiveness as teacher. Opening up more time for creativity and cross curricular activity in the classroom will inspire the pupils throughout the scheme to think visually as well as logically (Suen, 2003) and foster their imaginations. Gershon (2012a, p4) comments; For some [teaching is] about personalisation. For others it is about ensuring all pupils can access the same work. For still others it is about understanding and taking account of the various needs that exist within a class.
It is every teacher’s desire to ensure all pupils reach their various goals, and by having more courage in my convictions with including more experimental tactics and allowing pupils to take responsibility and allowing myself to see their learning through their own eyes, my teaching should continue to improve.

Bibliography

• Barbot, Baptiste, Tan, Mei, Randi, Judi, Santa-Donato, Gabrielle, Gigorenko, Elena L (2012) Essential skills for creative writing: Integrating multiple domain-specific perspectives, Thinking Skills and Creativity 7, pp. 200-223, SciVerse ScienceDirect. • Boud, David (Second Edition, 1988) Developing Student Autonomy in Learning, Kogan Page, London/Nichols Publishing Company, New York. • Brandes, Donna and Ginnis, Paul (1986) A Guide to Student-Centred Learning, Stanley Thornes (Publishers) LTD. • Brooks, Val (2012) Chapter 9: Using assessment for formative purposes. In Brooks, Val, Abbott, Ian, Huddleston, Prue (ed.) (Third Edition, 2012) Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools, Open University press. • Brooks, Val and Bills, Liz (2012) Chapter 6: Using differentiation to support learning from Brooks, Val, Abbott, Ian and Huddleston, Prue (ed.) (Third Edition 2012) Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools, Open University Press. • Carter, John (2010) Creating Writers, a Creative Writing Manual for Key Stage 2 and 3, Routledge. • Davison, Jon, Daly, Caroline and Moss, John (2011) Debates in English Teaching, Routledge. • Dean, Geoff (2004) Improving Learning in Secondary English, Routledge. • Dymoke, Sue (2011) Chapter 10: Creativity in English teaching and learning from Davison, Jon, Daly, Caroline and Moss, John (ed.) (2011) Debates in English Teaching, Routledge. • Elliott, Paul (2012) Chapter 8: Communication in the Classroom from Brooks, Val, Abbott, Ian and Huddleston, Prue (ed.) (Third Edition 2012) Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools, Open University Press. • Gershon, Mike (2012a) Be all things to all pupils, Tespro, 7th December 2012, Volume 2, No. 14 pp 4-7 • Gershon, Mike (2012b) Making progress beyond labels from Tespro (2012) 23rd November, Volume 2, No. 12 pp. 4-7 • Macrae, Neil (2002) How to teach Fiction Writing at Key Stage 3, David Fulton Publishers. • Moss, John (2009) Chapter 7: Writing from Davison, Jon and Dowson, Jane (ed.) (Third Edition, 2009) Learning to teach English in the Secondary School, Routledge. • Noar, Gertrude (1972) Individualised Instruction: Every Child a Winner, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. • Ofsted (2003a) Good Assessment in Secondary Schools, Crown Copyright • Ofsted (2003b) Yes he can: Schools where boys write well, Ofsted Publications Centre. • Ofsted (2008) Assessment for learning: the impact of National Strategy support, Crown Copyright • Ofsted (2011) The impact of the ‘Assessing pupils’ progress’ initiative, Crown Copyright • Parker, Stephen (1993) The Craft of Writing, Paul Chapman Publishing LTD. • Shaw, Michael (2012) Difference is all around you, Tespro, 7th December 2012, Volume 2, No. 14, p 3. • Suen, Anastasia (2003) Picture Writing: A new approach to writing for kids and teens, Writer’s Digest Books. • Wright, Trevor (Second Edition, 2012) How to be a Brilliant English Teacher, Routledge.

.

Appendices

Appendix A: Original Scheme of Work Appendix B: Placement A Assessment Criteria Appendix C: Year 7 Assessment Results Appendix D: Examples of Pupil Work Appendix E: Bloom’s Taxonomy Appendix F: Revised Scheme of Work Appendix G: Lesson 1 Appendix H: Lesson 9

Bibliography: • Barbot, Baptiste, Tan, Mei, Randi, Judi, Santa-Donato, Gabrielle, Gigorenko, Elena L (2012) Essential skills for creative writing: Integrating multiple domain-specific perspectives, Thinking Skills and Creativity 7, pp. 200-223, SciVerse ScienceDirect. • Boud, David (Second Edition, 1988) Developing Student Autonomy in Learning, Kogan Page, London/Nichols Publishing Company, New York. • Brandes, Donna and Ginnis, Paul (1986) A Guide to Student-Centred Learning, Stanley Thornes (Publishers) LTD. • Brooks, Val (2012) Chapter 9: Using assessment for formative purposes. In Brooks, Val, Abbott, Ian, Huddleston, Prue (ed.) (Third Edition, 2012) Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools, Open University press. • Brooks, Val and Bills, Liz (2012) Chapter 6: Using differentiation to support learning from Brooks, Val, Abbott, Ian and Huddleston, Prue (ed.) (Third Edition 2012) Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools, Open University Press. • Carter, John (2010) Creating Writers, a Creative Writing Manual for Key Stage 2 and 3, Routledge. • Davison, Jon, Daly, Caroline and Moss, John (2011) Debates in English Teaching, Routledge. • Dean, Geoff (2004) Improving Learning in Secondary English, Routledge. • Dymoke, Sue (2011) Chapter 10: Creativity in English teaching and learning from Davison, Jon, Daly, Caroline and Moss, John (ed.) (2011) Debates in English Teaching, Routledge. • Elliott, Paul (2012) Chapter 8: Communication in the Classroom from Brooks, Val, Abbott, Ian and Huddleston, Prue (ed.) (Third Edition 2012) Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools, Open University Press. • Gershon, Mike (2012a) Be all things to all pupils, Tespro, 7th December 2012, Volume 2, No. 14 pp 4-7 • Gershon, Mike (2012b) Making progress beyond labels from Tespro (2012) 23rd November, Volume 2, No • Macrae, Neil (2002) How to teach Fiction Writing at Key Stage 3, David Fulton Publishers. • Moss, John (2009) Chapter 7: Writing from Davison, Jon and Dowson, Jane (ed.) (Third Edition, 2009) Learning to teach English in the Secondary School, Routledge. • Noar, Gertrude (1972) Individualised Instruction: Every Child a Winner, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. • Ofsted (2003a) Good Assessment in Secondary Schools, Crown Copyright • Ofsted (2003b) Yes he can: Schools where boys write well, Ofsted Publications Centre. • Ofsted (2008) Assessment for learning: the impact of National Strategy support, Crown Copyright • Ofsted (2011) The impact of the ‘Assessing pupils’ progress’ initiative, Crown Copyright • Parker, Stephen (1993) The Craft of Writing, Paul Chapman Publishing LTD. • Shaw, Michael (2012) Difference is all around you, Tespro, 7th December 2012, Volume 2, No. 14, p 3. • Suen, Anastasia (2003) Picture Writing: A new approach to writing for kids and teens, Writer’s Digest Books. • Wright, Trevor (Second Edition, 2012) How to be a Brilliant English Teacher, Routledge.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    In “Cognition, Convention, and Certainty: What We Need to Know Writing” the author Patricia Bizzell explains what we need to know about writing. Initially, Bizzell states that that there is a “writing problem”. She says that we are just now realizing that it is actually a thinking problem where we used to take student thinking for granted. The author then explains that there are two opposing theoretical camps that see writing differently. The first camp sees writing as inner-directed which focusses on the structure of language-learning and thinking process prior to social influence.…

    • 234 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Bernardes, E., & Hannah, M. (2009, January). . International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 3(1), 1-12.…

    • 1043 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Amanda Grumke Obstacles

    • 552 Words
    • 3 Pages

    When a person begins writing they have many obstacles that they must overcome. Some face issues with creating well-written sentences, writing thesis sentences and others face issues with expanding their vocabulary. It can be difficult to do and takes a great deal of practice and patience. A student, Amanda Grumke, faced these same obstacles as she began writing. At the beginning of her English Composition 1 class, her writing landed at a very low level. After a semester of practice, she has made improvements. Amanda has improved her sentence structures, transitional words, and improved points of view.…

    • 552 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Theory of Writing

    • 1726 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Writing varies from a text message to a novel. Writers often have a difficult task in creating a piece of work that truly identifies the meaning of good writing. Every good writer usually starts with the basics such as genre, audience, rhetorical situation, and reflection of the piece. Throughout this semester, we have gone through all of these key terms in great detail with each new assignment that has come our way. In doing this, not only as students but also as writers, we have come to create our own theory of writing. Every writer has a different theory of writing though most are very similar. Now, at this point in the semester after doing countless journals, in-class exercises, and final assignments, I think I have figured out my own theory of writing.…

    • 1726 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    References: Sanders, S. R. (2010). The men we carry in our minds. In J. Reinking, R. van der Osten, S.A. Cairns, R. Fleming (Eds.), Strategies for successful writing (4th Canadian ed.), (pp. 536-539). Toronto: Pearson.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Clarke and Phethean identify the idea that ‘children’s learning is underpinned by ideas they already hold’ and therefore that planning of learning should be informed by the enquiries of the children and what they want to learn and what they have not learnt yet. Informative assessment can include questioning to find out what the children already know as well as work sheets to see what they are yet to learn. This therefore can be used to help inform lesson planning in order to ensure that not only all aspects of the curriculum are met but also that the learning is based on what the children want to learn also. Formative assessment not only helps to plan in advance based on previous lessons but it also allows the teacher to alter aspects of a lesson if the formative assessment methods show that the learning may not be as successful as desired. Summative assessment helps the teacher to see whether or not the learning has been successful and helps to get an overall image of whether or not the learning has been successful.…

    • 1518 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Child Labor Refenrences

    • 2976 Words
    • 12 Pages

    Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.…

    • 2976 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Cbt Vs Pc

    • 2332 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Rogers, C (1979) The Foundations of the Person Centred Approach Education, v100 n2 p98-107 Win 1979…

    • 2332 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Better Essays

    Study skills review

    • 1259 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Writing academically is different from other forms of writing. It has a definite style and requires references. It requires doing research and digging deeper into the subjects being tackled. This module trained the students to be creative and resourceful in order to produce a fine piece work. Cottrell 's Study Skills Handbook has dedicated chapters specifically for writing that has given the students information on planning, structuring, editing and presenting written works.…

    • 1259 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Bibliography: Sutcliffe J (2002). Education for choice & empowerment. 5th edition. National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.…

    • 590 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The art of writing is a unique skill that requires the writer to have great flexibility and be open to improvement. Some may consider themselves a “perfect writer”, when in reality, no one is, and will ever be. Writing is a process that requires one to continuously build on skills learned in previous situations, applying new techniques and strategies to future writing projects. Different settings require different writing styles, and with that being said, one must be willing to change their writing skills to suit the requirements of their current setting. In the following essay I will reflect on past writing assignments, identifying my best and worst writing courses, strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and my opinion on why writing may or may not be beneficial to me throughout my career.…

    • 910 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Writing Experience

    • 1058 Words
    • 5 Pages

    As I mentioned that I hated writing a few years ago, since I did not consider that writing is an interesting thing. Since I learned English all the compositions that I wrote in school time were the simple “description” of the information that I had been given, which implied that I could only rephrase others’ ideas. And what was worse, that terrible situation did not change till I went to the international high school in Shanghai (CIC).…

    • 1058 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Journey as a Writer

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Many of us wonder where writers such as Stephen King, Elie Wiessel, Toni Morrison, Anne Rice, James Patterson, Maya Angelo, Hill Harper, and Joanne Jo Rowling got their inspiration to guide such blooming writers as myself. Since my early childhood I have always been fascinated with thrillers, suspense, sci-fi, romantic love triangles, and stories about my heritage and religion as well as others. When I was in school I could remember my English teacher gave the class a writing assignment; which was to write a short story. My short story was a scary story; scary movies intrigued me back then. That was the beginning of my tales as a writer.…

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Purchase Plan

    • 15211 Words
    • 61 Pages

    Banjo, Ayo (1996) 'The Sociolinguistics of English in Nigeria and the ICE project '. In:…

    • 15211 Words
    • 61 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Beyond the lesson

    • 1473 Words
    • 4 Pages

    This class was prepared for a group that likes to participate in class . They are more than 30 students ,so everybody participation is a difficult task. They have studied less than a year. Many students work and they do not have many opportunities to practice , then the class must give them the chance to use the language. In the previous lesson taught about the use of Used to- did not use to, Students were able to participate and they did their class activity. However, they had some problems to differentiate when the affirmative form of the structure should be used and when not. Besides, students did not have enough oral practice . Students interaction did not occur, so next classes must provide them.…

    • 1473 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays