Having already blogged on why I don’t think ‘whatever it takes‘ is always the best way to view intervention, I presented on preventative intervention strategies at Red House School TeachMeet earlier this week.
We’re in the middle of exam season and there’s a lot of last minute pushes, final revision sessions, drop ins and other inteventions. But it’s also the time of year where teachers can feel flustered and overwhelmed with the amount of last minute things to tick off the list.
But with increased discussion about workload, retention and recruitment as well as shift towards linear exams, it’s an ideal opportunity to consider if the way things have always been done is the most effective: for staff and students.
1. Track data at a student, class and year level. Then do something with it.
- There’s no point having data coming our our ears if we don’t do something with it. By recording data and linking it to key skills, AOs or question types intervention lessons/starters can be planned to address the weakness over time so students are confident, independent learners.
2. Add some power to your marking.
- Decide on a marking focus each fortnight (e.g. PP, SEND, HA) and place their books at the top. The books will still get marked but your most focused energy is put on a different focus each time.
- Or, ask students to place their books onto two piles based on whether they understand/don’t. Mark the students who are unsure first and address any misconceptions they may have through a differentiated starter or a small group input during class time.
- Get students to write out their previous target at the start of the next piece of work.
- Before students say they’re finished, they have to identify with a highlighter where they’ve acted on their target. For exam classes, students could also label where they’ve hit the assessment objectives.
3. Create a culture of learning from the day students enter your room.
- Self service board: Place extension material, catch-up work, wider subject material on a board so students can help themselves.
- Drop in time: Rather than extensive revision sessions after school that can become additional lessons, offer 1-1s or small group drop-ins over time.
- The language of excellence: Sometimes the language we use can go a long way in creating expectations. e.g. If you think you need to take it away and proof read, then I’m not going to notice if you ‘forget to hand your book in’.
- Reading lists: Encourage students to read widely and offer a range of book types.
- Independent study packs: Have material available for home study. They can also be useful for students who miss lessons or have alternative education arrangements.
4. And the big one: make KS3 count.
It also goes without saying that this year’s Y7s are the Y11s of the future, so closing progress gaps at KS3 through high-challenge curriculum, early intervention will prevent a significant chunk of the last minute chaos at GCSE. Excellence is a habit. If we intervene early and set a standard of excellence then there’s no reason for staff and students to be exhausted by exam season of Y11.
Finally, the future’s bright if we take time to create it.
For more KS3 posts: