The Curriculum and Assessment in IOM

assessmentSince 2006 IOM schools have had no SATS, in either KS1 or KS2, as well as no OFSTED. This may lead to some questioning if education in IOM is ‘up to scratch’ compared to England. However, it is shown in academic results at the end of Primary and Secondary that children are achieving the same levels and grades.

 

For both Literacy and Mathematics to assess and track children’s learnign teachers use statements which are allocated into levels and are called ‘I can statements’. For example in mathematics an ‘I can’ statement in Level 2A is ‘I can describe and sort 2d shapes’. Schools in the IOM have the freedom to create their own documents and tracking grids to best suit their school and to follow these ‘I can’ statements.

Instead on OFSTED, schools are still inspected by the department for education but they are not graded and teachers are assessed alongside a personal reflection for the teachers themselves. I believe this is an interesting way of assessing schools and teachers because teachers will have to constantly reflect and set targets for their professional development. download

When schools are proving children’s learning and grades in both Literacy and Mathematics, teachers have to have a minimum of 4 pieces of evidence in that area, all with different dates as well as other evidence which is in other curriculum areas. For example, if a teacher is proving a child is a 2A for measure, the teacher will need 4 pieces of evidence from mathematics sessions over the year as well as other evidence in subjects such as Science to show the child can master that skill.

The evidence that is used to prove the child’s abilties does not have to be worksheets done by the children, it can be:

  • teachers notes
  • work books
  • summative tests/quiz’s
  • games
  • pupil comments
  • photographs (whiteboards)
  • models
  • in house moderation

This the builds a bank of support to prove that the child is able in that area.

I believe that this is an ideal way to assess and justify children’s learning, however, teachers need to know their children in more depth and teachers need to constantly be assessing and tracking progress.

As well as this, the Isle of Man have a curriculum which is embedded in many schools that readies children for life. They are called the 6R’s.

It is intended that as a result of experiencing the curriculum and the way it is delivered, young people will develop as individuals with:

  • Readiness
  • Relationships which are positive
  • Resourcefulness
  • Resilience
  • Remembering Skills
  • Reflectiveness

In the school I am in, they do not follow this exact curriculum due to the freedom schools have on the island. Therefore, my school have ‘Secrets to Success’ which are as follows:

Secrets to success

  • Understand others
  • Imagine
  • Improve
  • Don’t give up
  • Push Yourself
  • Concentrate
  • Try new things
  • Work Hard

Reflection… 

During my first two weeks in an IOM school, I have learn a great deal about the way they assess and track progress of their children. Through first hand experience I have found these tactics easier in some aspects. For example, when tracking progress and identifying next steps for children it is much easier to identify what that is using the tracking/levelling format. On the other hand, I believe it could be seen as more work for teachers however, once this is learnt I believe it is equally as beneficial than England’s assessment and criteria.

Target…

I would like to continue to use the IOM tracking and assessment documents and reflect upon this at the end of the placement.

This information has supported and will continue to support my development in TS 2, 3, 5 and 6. TS2 and 6 because I am learning about assessment and progress in a different area. TS3 because I am learning about someone else’s curriculum and TS5 because I am adapting my teaching to meet the needs of the children who are following this curriculum. 

Higher order thinking skills in the classroom

 

higher-orderHigher order thinking skills gives the children the opportunity to discover and have access to varied and many thinking skills as possible. It supports them in gaining a range of strategies, finding thinking that suits them and helps children meet challenges.

I believe that children should be given the opportunity to experience higher order thinking skills as it will develop their learning and thinking throughout the curriculum. In relation to techniques which support children’s higher order thinking skills I like De Bono thinking hats. It supports children’s learning and directs their thinking in particular areas. When I am attending a school setting I would like to use this techniques in a session I am planning and delivering.

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Are the Foundation Subjects as relevant to a child’s development as Mathematics and English?

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Controversial is a idea/viewpoint that is disagreed about by a number of people. 

 

Controversial issues are looked at in primary schools in through: 

 

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 Controversial issues in the Foundation Subjects.

  •  Art -What is art? Who decides what is a ‘great’ art? Who decides which is valuable art or not? 
  • DT – Will the industry affect Britain’s technological future?
  • Geography – Fair-trade? Brexit? Globalisation? Climate change? Water?
  • History – Glorified war? Different views? History of tomorrow? Accepted ‘truth’. 
  • Languages – English dominate? Should there be a universal language? Relationship of culture and language. 
  • Music – Sexualisation of music and videos. What music and why? 
  • PE – Racism/gender in sport. Obesity. Coaches teaching PE. Lack of time. Extra Funding.
  • RE – Gay Marriage. Equality for woman

 

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Why are these issues not addressed in schools and how can we?

Society and particular people can support addressing controversial issues, such as Banksey, Protest movements/songs, Inventions. 

Demonstrations and Protests can show controversial issues and they show power. 

How 

  • teach all of the foundation subjects 
  • question national curriculum 
  • use local authority 
  • utilise PSHE curriculum 
  • citizenship curriculum 
  • collection worship – use assembly’s to address issues 
  • talk about issues on the news

Hidden curriculum – Diversity, Equality, Race – aspects which are in the always occurring in a school setting and can support addressing the controversial issues. 

BOOKS – this resources can support the starting point of controversial issues for example Jaguar Talk, A fine dessert, The little refugee. 

Books can support the addressing of issues because they can support children questioning what happens throughout a book for example the little refugee can start conversations about war and refugees now on the news. 

Circle time, Worry Monsters, News-round, Question boxes, Share languages: ways in which we can start to address the issues in everyday life. 

TEACH ALL OF THE FOUNDATION SUBJECTS 

Use art for questions – listen to music and discuss the purpose – discuss historical events – Protest ecological and culturally linguistic issues  – Explore feelings that relate to news (football and racism)  

Through engaging with further reading with Hess (2007) I believe that teachers should educate children in controversial issues and have a balanced approach when doing so. This is because children should have the opportunity to decide what they believe in relation to a particular issue and should not have teachers opinions influence their own decision. Education is to prepare children for later life experiences, controversial issues will be an aspect which children will encounter when they are older so this should be taught to ready the children and support their skills in deciding what they as an individual think. 

Following further reading by Oulton et al (2004) i discovered ways that issues can be taught to children. These practices included: focused groups, role play and resource-based learning. I believe that role play would be a beneficial pedagogy for teaching controversial issues as it offers children the opportunity to learn about an issue however the activity will depersonalise the debate as it is breached in an informal way. 

REFLECTION

In relation to the original question, I have developed a philosophy through reading and directed tasks. I believe that Mathematics and English as important subjects that children should develop in however the foundation subjects and Science are just as beneficial towards a child’s development. For instance the subject of languages can offer time to develop phonology in both English and another language as well as learning about other cultures. Physical Education can impact a child holistically as well as improve their health. Subjects can be cross linked with others and this will create a interesting environment for the children and support overall development. Therefore, I believe that the subjects that are integrated in the curriculum are all beneficial towards a child’s development. 

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives are seen on a day to day basis by teachers and pupils. They link with Teachers Standard; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. 

Lesson objectives give the children and teachers a direction to what is wanted to be learnt by the end of the session and sets a focal point for the lesson. 

The following terms are goof for learning and assessing.

  • WILF – What I’m looking for
  • WIEFE – What I expect from everyone 
  • TSB – To be successful 
  • WWTK – We want to know 
  • WALT – We are learning to 
  • LI – Learning Intentions 
  • WALA – We are learning about 
  • WAGOLL – What a good one looks like 
  • WABOLL – What a bad one looks like 

When I was on professional practice 1 A I used WAGOLL and WABOLL and i found that it really supports children’s learning. I used it in an English session and I modelled with the help of the class changing a written passage which was a WABOLL to a WAGOLL. I discovered that this helped children understand what is wanted from them and also supports children capturewho are not as confident. I will be using this technique again. 

Lesson Objectives can be given at the end of session as an assessment criteria. This will also keep the children engaged and offer suspense to the lesson for the children. I have not yet put this theory into practice but I would like to try this with a session. 

 

It is important to ensure LO’s are not over complicated and are simple. This is because if children don’t understand the lesson objectives and they seem a lot then this may demotivate them from the beginning of the session. 

When writing LO’s always start with what children already know then what you want them to learn in the next session. Ensure LO’s are: creative, inspiring, inspire the children, outside the box, and imaginative. 

It is important to support children’s higher order thinking skills (Blooms Taxonomy), ensuring they achieve to their best ability.  This can be done in lesson objectives because the teacher could; include children in writing the lesson objectives, quiz children using lesson objectives or using pictures as lesson objective. These ideas will activate children’s higher order thinking skills because they will have to create, evaluate, analyse and understand the ideas they have learnt to discover the lesson objectives. 

I would like to use these skills when next teaching if possible as I feel it will engage the children in the session more and also inspire the children to think about what they have learnt.download

When writing lesson objectives on PP1A I found it difficult to pin-point the specific learning intentions at the beginning however nearer the end of the phase it become easier. In addition I would like to develop further in this area. I found that it is important to make lesson objectives engaging because when children enter a classroom this is what they read first. Therefore, if children are not engaged then they may not want to participate in the session. 

 

Reception experience

This week I have had the opportunity to work with a class of reception children. I have logged the learning and daily lessons and routines in a diary which is kept in the hard copy of my TSP.

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I have developed an understanding of the transition from nursery to a school setting. I have also experienced phonics, mathematics and different types of continuous provision. As well as this, I was able to experience a EYFS sports day.

Here are bracelets children made me during their free flow play time.

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