Leading a successful History department

Report
Leading a successful
History department
Wyvern College
• Mixed comprehensive with 1300 students
• Broad spectrum social demographic, but
predominantly suburban catchment
• Previously Technology and Humanities
specialism, now an Academy
• 2012 62% EAM
What problems did I face?
• Experienced, but at times divided, department.
department.
• Inconsistency - lesson observations ranged from
Outstanding to Unsatisfactory. Behaviour issues in
some groups.
• Pupil progress – GCSE results varied, passivity of
students in some lessons
• Student satisfaction – GCSE option numbers ok, but
results varied, behaviour inconsistent. Parental
complaints.
What did I do about it?
1) Teaching and Learning – consistency,
student enjoyment
2) Pupil progress / GCSE results / assessment
3) Team approach – sharing of good practice
– belief that you are only as strong as your
weakest link. How do you get the best out of
the staff in your department?
Effective
planning
Engaging
enquiry-led
lessons
Improving Teaching and Learning
Collaboration
‘Can do’
classroom
culture
3 year planning - curriculum map
Weekly planning
Lesson by lesson planning - schemes of work
Staff shared area
to share
resources to build
consistency
and a bank of
outstanding
resources
Creating a ‘can do’
culture
• Differentiation – We want every
student to enjoy and achieve in
History
• Teacher talk / positive language
• Modelling / support for
assessments and exam questions
• High expectations of behaviour
and work
• Intervention / ‘winning ways’
Planning
Consistency
AFL
Pupil Progress
Use of
data
Revision
Intervention
Progression Map – KS3 History - Historical Sources
How do we track progress at KS4?
1. There are fixed assessment points for all KS4 groups.
2. Every student takes the same assessment. The assessments are all based around
the exam question format and range from individual questions to whole section, to
a whole exam paper.
3. Data is entered into SIMs every half term. We use SISRA to track student progress
and compare progress against other subjects.
4. We support students in planning and writing some assessment questions. This is
designed to model to them how they should be approaching questions. We refer
to the mark schemes regularly and use model answers so that they become
increasingly confident in approaching the different type of questions.
5. We have found that this creates a climate of success, where students achieve and
are thus willing to work harder to achieve more. As we assess each unit as we go
along students are able to achieve the top grades, even in Year 9.
AFL
How is GCSE revision organised at Wyvern?
• Planning – Students are given a revision plan where every lesson is
mapped out. They also have a revision folder as a ‘fresh start’ and to help
them get organised. We start revision just after the February half term.
• Resources - Department revision guides which are provided free of
charge. Revision website which contains all the notes they need, video
clips, links to other revision websites, copies of past papers and model
answers.
• Motivating lessons – we try to make the lessons creative and fresh.
• Silent exam practice ‘against the clock’ & quick turnaround in
marking.
• Consistency as a department / high expectations of all students.
It is
more about them wanting to work than forcing them.
• Building independence by giving them the tools to be independent.
This has enabled them to establish good study habits which they can take
with them to college.
Subject
specialists
• History knowledge
• Exam criteria
• Ability to deviate from
curriculum and be
creative
• Recruitment
Passion &
Enthusiasm
Team approach
Consistency
•
•
•
•
•
Intervention
Extra curricular
Trips and visits
History Club
Enthusiasm for
History from students
Going the
‘extra
mile’
Planning
•
•
•
•
Differentiation
Marking
Creativity
You’re only as
strong as your
weakest link
Lead by
example
High
expectations
Leadership
Trouble
shooting
Intervention
• Tracking
progress
• Behaviour
• Support for
struggling
staff
Team
Spirit
Has there been any impact?
GCSE Option numbers – Up by 50% / from 4 groups to 7 groups
in 9,10 and 11. By far the most popular option in the school.
GCSE Results – A*-C 83% / A*/A 45% – we enter all students
whatever their ability. Positive residuals when compared within
college, county or national. RAISE data significantly positive.
Teaching and Learning – All lessons graded Good or Outstanding
in QA lesson observations. Positive feedback from students and
parents.
Buzz in lessons and department. Students want to be part of
Wyvern History Department. Knock on effect on student
performance in other areas?
Wider impact? Student given subjects. Work with other schools
/ departments within the college
Where next?
• Contribution to whole school literacy.
• The challenge of the new National
Curriculum – planning, resourcing,
differentiation, lack of knowledge, work
with our feeder primary schools?
• G & T – Finding creative ways to challenge
our most able students, especially those
taught in mixed ability groups.

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