Supporting Our Year 11 Students

Transition

Year 11 students will return to school first and will begin lessons directly. We feel that this approach sets the tone and agenda for study and means that the amount of learning time lost is significantly reduced. 

  • Assessing Needs

As Year 11 will return directly to lessons, subject staff will carry out a range of diagnostic and baseline assessments during the first few weeks of term in order to assess where students are up to in their subject. All lessons have been designed to be responsive to student knowledge and staff will work across units to make sure that any gaps in knowledge are being actively plugged. The use of pre-learning tasks, low stakes quizzes, spacing and interleaving, and homework and independent learning tasks will assist in helping students catch up and recover any lost information.

 

  • Intervention

Intervention and recovery lessons will be created on a subject by subject basis. Staff will monitor student progress closely and an increased rigour with the analysis of data and QLA will allow staff to be more responsive. In lessons staff are using the DTT model which will enable them to diagnose and need, provide therapy or catch up tasks and either re-test or set a target for the future. This model will be fundamental to supporting our students in their recovery.

Lessons and Learning

  • Teachers

 

A highly skillful team of designated staff have been created to deliver the year 11 curriculum. The teachers allocated to delivering the year 11 curriculum have a wealth of experience at teaching GCSE and getting excellent outcomes. Teachers of year 11 will only teach year 11 students therefore allowing them to develop specific strategies to respond to student needs. A big emphasis is being placed on increasing student independence and study skills.

 

  • Timetable

 

Year 11 will follow a traditional timetable and normal routine of school. We felt that this return to normality would be a significant factor in supporting our students to catch up and settle back  into the habits of learning. Like muscle and movement memory, students should find returning to the normal routines that they have followed for the last 4 years should support them in re-establishing themselves as learners.  

 

Extra lesson: We have included an additional English Literature lesson in year 11 to allow for the catch up of text coverage. This also brings parity between the 3 lessons of English language study that students already receive. With the Literature exam being text and content heavy, we felt an extra hour of tuition would have a significant impact on student performance and outcomes. 

 

Double Lessons: We have designed the timetable to include double lessons in the majority of subjects. By providing extended lessons we are giving students opportunities for exam practice, walk and talk mocks and more time to delve deeper into subject content and concepts. These double lessons also help us support students in building cognitive stamina and resilience so that they are better prepared to sit and concentrate on one subject in exam situations. 

 

Academic mentoring sessions take place every morning and students have the opportunity to discuss with their mentor any issues or barriers that they may have to learning that day. This mentoring session aims to focus students, get them ready for learning and supporting them with engagement in lessons. 

  • MORE Principles

As a school we are committed to excellence in the classroom and quality first teaching is our priority and mission. We know children are resilient and we believe that with consistency, routine and high quality input, we know that all of our students will recover from the time lost in the classroom. To ensure high quality and excellence all of our lessons and learning experiences are based on the MORE principles which stand for:

 

Meeting the needs of all: in every lesson, every child’s needs will be met through excellent planning and responsive provision.

Magenta: The Magenta principles can be reduced down to a simple idea that lessons should be exciting, engaging and effective and if children are to understand new information they need to do something to it or with it. Getting students re-engaged in the learning process is an important way we are helping our students recover from their missed education. 

Oracy: Talk is central to learning in our school and language acquisition and developing pupils who are able to articulate their thoughts, ideas and opinions with clarity, accuracy and fluency is a top priority. Talk is taught in an explicit and structured way in lessons.

Reading: We have dedicated reading lessons in y7 to 9 and this is an indication of how committed we are as a school to promoting the value and importance of reading. As a school, in every subject we explicitly teach 6 key reading strategies, use an Active Reading approach and are dedicated to improving tier, 1,2,and 3 vocabulary.

Retention and Recall: Our curriculum and lessons are designed and sequenced to ensure that knowledge is in constant circulation. In order to help our students retain and recall information we use low stakes quizzes, diagnostic questions and activities that are high challenge and low threat in order to really maximise cognitive function and memory. 

Enrichment and Entitlement: One of the ways we make our lessons and learning experiences engaging is by enriching the lives of our students, exposing them to rich, diverse and powerful knowledge and by giving them opportunities to do things that they would otherwise never experience. Our commitment to the acquisition of cultural capital is in evidence in every one of our units of work across the school and it is something we believe changes the life chances of our children. 



  • Google Classroom and Remote Learning

“Provide immediate/high quality remote learning with a full curriculum offer”

 

We are fortunate enough to be a Google School and the use of chrome books means that we are able to transition from school to home learning with little disruption. If indeed we are expected to work at home, timetables will continue as normal with live lessons delivered via Google Meet and all work will be set on Google Classroom and the Learning Portal. The same principles of MORE will be applied to every remote lesson taught in order to ensure consistency of teaching and learning.



Curriculum: What is being taught?

  • Core Subjects

 

Science, English and Maths groups have been re-shaped and teaching staff have been allocated to the most appropriate group. In some cases this means that students have a different teacher, however, we are taking this as a positive as it allows all students to make a ‘Fresh Start’.

  • Specialisation

We have taken an anti-reductive approach to the curriculum and felt it imperative that we continue to offer all of our students full access to a broad curriculum. We are committed to keeping our student’s options and opportunities open in order to give them the best possible chances for the future. We have made only one change to the subjects that students have chosen to specialise in and have provided students with a suitable curriculum alternative. For the majority of our students the work continues with their chosen option subjects. 

 

Revision, Examinations and Mock Exams

 

As a school we have taken the decision to run only one set of mock examinations for year 11 this year. The reason for this is that we feel students would benefit from more teaching time, with teachers testing knowledge on a weekly basis in order to find and respond to any gaps or misconceptions. 

Revision:

Please follow the link to the Revision Guide for students to see how we are going to support our students to prepare for their Mock exams in March and their Final examinations in May.

 

https://witton.atctrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Revision-Central.pdf

Curriculum: What is being taught?

  • Core Subjects

 

Science, English and Maths groups have been re-shaped and teaching staff have been allocated to the most appropriate group. In some cases this means that students have a different teacher, however, we are taking this as a positive as it allows all students to make a ‘Fresh Start’.

  • Specialisation

We have taken an anti-reductive approach to the curriculum and felt it imperative that we continue to offer all of our students full access to a broad curriculum. We are committed to keeping our student’s options and opportunities open in order to give them the best possible chances for the future. We have made only one change to the subjects that students have chosen to specialise in and have provided students with a suitable curriculum alternative. For the majority of our students the work continues with their chosen option subjects. 

Revision, Examinations and Mock Exams

  • As a school we have taken the decision to run only one set of mock examinations for year 11 this year. The reason for this is that we feel students would benefit from more teaching time, with teachers testing knowledge on a weekly basis in order to find and respond to any gaps or misconceptions. 

    Revision:

    Please follow the link to the Revision Guide for students to see how we are going to support our students to prepare for their Mock exams in March and their Final examinations in May.

    Revision Central Information link. 

  • For Students, By Students

    This is an academic peer mentor programme designed to support students who have significant gaps in foundation subject knowledge. They will be supported by a year group peer to complete a revision and catch up programme covering the work they have missed. This runs two mornings a week during tutorial time. 

     

    Compulsory Catch up: Thursday night after school we are providing students with the time, space and place to catch up on work they have missed or work they have fallen behind on. This 1 hour weekly session with be led by a member of the senior leadership team. Some students will be directed to attend, whilst other may self-refer to take advantage of the time, space and place to invest in their learning.  

Supported Recovery

  • Services for Students

One of the big ways we are supporting the wellbeing of our students as they try to re-integrate into full time education is the Services for Students. Students can self-refer, be referred by staff or can be referred by parents. If you feel that your child would benefit from some additional support – please contact school to request an assessment. Services are bespoke to the individual needs of a student and pupils are placed on a 4 week personalised programme to help them make a positive start back into education.

  • Academic Mentoring 

One final way we hope to support our students is by the appointment of Academic mentors. Each Year 7 will have an Academic mentor, AM sessions take place at the end of the day and these sessions will focus on:

  • Academic DTT
  • Study Skills
  • Cognition 
  • Wellbeing

 

Mentors will provide welfare support as well as academic support. Academic mentors are the first port of call if there are any issues, worries or concerns about your son or daughter’s progress in school. An example of one of the Academic Tuition Programmes can be found by following the link: 

 

https://witton.atctrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Academic-Tutorials.pdf

Faculty Information

Maths

Online resources: MyMaths, Hegarty Maths, Collins Connect

  • We have provided pupils with a structured revision booklet and weekly support materials, both in class and for independent study. This will ensure pupils are revisiting previous learning and practising their skills in preparation for their mock exams and GCSEs. In the run-up to exams, we hope this structured approach will reduce workload anxiety and increase student confidence and performance. Weekly assessments will track pupils’ progress and identify strengths and areas to improve.

SEND

  • In class support

All students who have an Educational, Health Care Plan (EHCP) or Individual Pupil Resource Agreement (IPRA) will have access to in class support where needed. Students on the SEN register will also receive some in class support from Teaching Assistants and teachers. All students on the SEN register regardless of stage have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which informs staff about individual needs and strategies to support them.

Any student highlighted by Year Manager as in need of support to settle back into school life will also receive targeted in class support from a Teaching Assistant, a member of the behaviour team or a member of staff specialising in mental health based on identified need.