Learning Excellence Award

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17th December 17
Trail : home / Case Studies / Curriculum Development : Boys' attainment
Posted: 16th Jan 2014 How the role of the practitioner can raise... : Adobe Acrobat file (90.2k)

...the level of achievement for boys in the early years

Broughton Pre-School Nursery - Good Practice Award

  • The project to study how the role of the practitioner can raise the level of boys' achievement in the early years began when I found that boys were running around exuberantly but with no real aim to their play; often arguments between boys occurred.
  • As leader I completed a research study towards my final MA Professional Development in Education on this theme. I completed a Literature Review on boys' learning and achievement to ascertain whether there were differences, between the brains of boys and girls and the way they developed which may affect their learning and achievement. I role modelled and encouraged the development of an ethos of positivity towards boys, valuing boys' and indeed all children's learning styles, interests and natural exuberance, ideas whatever they may be.
  • We developed the role of the key person to place responsibility on each practitioner to promote caring, empathetic relationships with boys and girls, providing a safe haven from which to venture out, together with stronger relationships with parents and their key children in order to deepen their knowledge of their key children, their interests/fascinations and their families. We promoted and encouraged free-flow play between indoors and outdoors throughout the day and brought in many natural resources; alongside this I encouraged key persons to follow their key children in and outdoors as the children's interests took them.

I promoted and role modelled communications skills to practitioners.

Posted: 6th Feb 2013 Literacy book making project : Adobe Acrobat file (72.7k)

Aughton Christ Church Primary - Innovative Practice Award

Promoting writing though the creative curriculum, involving parents in their children's learning, developing links with experts and outside agencies to enhance experiences for the children and enthusing boys about writing are key focuses of our school. Our project involved us holding a joint parent/child workshop at the local art gallery for the (34) year 5 children. At this two hour workshop, they were shown different ways of creating a book, defined as a way of encasing and holding their work. All children were then given a differentiated brief to write a story, using their learnt narrative skills.

Through clear differentiation and individual targets, all children were challenged at their own level, especially GAT children who were given the brief of designing sub plots and flashbacks that would thread throughout their story. The chosen theme of 'Adventure in the Rainforest' linked into our wider curriculum and ensured motivation of the boys who thrived in the four week homework project.

Each child independently produced an outstanding story that, with parent support, is superbly presented in the form of a book. They currently form part of our class library and the children are enjoying reading each other's stories – real writing for purpose.

 

Posted: 6th Feb 2013 Successfully embedding synthetic phonics .... : Adobe Acrobat file (92.4k)

..... to raise standards in reading

Brockholes Wood Primary School  - Good Practice Award

The project was designed to develop a whole school approach to teaching phonics. The intention was to improve teaching and develop a consistent, rigorous approach that would impact on learning for a sustained period of time. The aim was to raise standards and improve reading throughout EYFS and KS1.

We devised and implemented an action plan that ensured the involvement of all EY and KS1 staff. Children were streamed into phonics phases and taught in small groups. This was assessed and monitored closely to target individual children, groups and classes. Boys' attainment and FSM children were particular focus.

Staff took part in training sessions and lesson observations to identify areas for improvement and to access relevant CPD opportunities. Parents were involved to support the phonics program and reading strategies being implemented in school.
The impact of the project is clearly demonstrated in the school EYFS scores, KS1 SATs and Y1 phonics screening tests. The results relating to boys and FSM children have improved significantly.

... to enthuse and motivate all pupils and raise achievement

St Leonard's Church of England Primary School - Best Practice Award

Our project has been to develop the use of our outdoor areas to enhance learning across the curriculum. We aimed to engage and motivate all learners particularly boys and to have an impact on standards of achievement particularly in writing.

Through training and support the staff have developed the skills needed to plan creatively using the outdoor areas, throughout the school year, in all kinds of weather. All staff now plan and implement ways to include exciting outdoor activities through their cross curricular topics and themes.

The children have access to a wide range of outdoor facilities including an outdoor learning area with sensory garden, vegetable plots, small orchard and an extensive woodland area which have been developed over time. Staff now make regular use of these areas across the curriculum and plan creatively for their use throughout the year to provide stimulating learning experiences for all pupils.

The children are now engaged in active learning outdoors which has had a positive impact on attitudes to learning and standards of achievement. Pupils thoroughly enjoy the outdoor practical learning experiences which are now embedded throughout the school. 

 

Posted: 2nd Feb 2012 Coaching and Mentoring throughout the School : Adobe Acrobat file (71.6k)

Crawshawbooth Primary School - Good Practice Award

The outcome of our project is to disseminate outstanding practice through coaching and mentoring of all teachers, teaching assistants and staff in order to raise the teaching from 'good' to 'good with outstanding features'.

The ethos of the school is one of team work with an atmosphere of staff learning from each other with good self-evaluation skills.

We achieved the Good Practice Award in 2010 for AfL and the Creative Curriculum and we wanted to build on this by developing the Coaching project throughout the school in order to raise attainment in teaching, particularly in Literacy.

All staff received Coaching training from the adviser. This has been followed up by regular staff meetings to focus on coaching linked to the Boys' Writing Project and AfL (our school improvement priorities). Performance management targets are linked tightly to the above SIP priorities

Staff paired up with each other and teachers and teaching assistants to develop coaching with a view to raising the quality of teaching from 'good' to 'good with outstanding features'. Shared lesson observations and self evaluation discussions took place.

After only half a term there has already been a noticeable improvement of the quality of teaching observed during lesson observations.

Posted: 23rd Jun 2010 Raising self esteem and developing an interest ... : Adobe Acrobat file (76.3k)

... in reading through use of Buddy Reading

CHIP Cluster Group (Innovative Practice)

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

Several children appeared to be making less than expected progress in reading. Talking with groups of children revealed that boys in particular did not perceive reading to be a pleasurable activity. Reading engagement was prioritised on the SIP. In response to this concern, we set out to find alternative in-school opportunities for students to read and discuss literature for pleasure. We reviewed literature on students' motivation to read. From this review, we determined two factors that appear to contribute to voluntary reading: self-selection of material and a partner with whom to read. We believed that both KS1 and KS2 learners would enjoy the experience of selecting books and reading together for pleasure.

Consequently, we designed a 'book buddy' programme to provide opportunities for all participants to read without requiring any other kind of assignment that might be construed as extra work.


We believe that we achieved our goal of fostering a love for reading whilst raising the self-esteem of some learners. The success of our buddy reading programme was also evident in both the data recorded and learners' reactions. All teachers reported that confidence improved, and learners with low self-esteem particularly seemed to improve.

Parbold Douglas C.E. Primary School (Good Practice Award)

We established a project which involved all the children in Y5 and Y6 (62 in total) forming into companies that would be responsible for designing, marketing and selling a product at the village Christmas fair. The children formed six companies that had a working capital of £30 to produce and market there product. They elected a chief executive 'big cheese' for each company then met weekly to design and make their product and develop a marketing strategy. The children then operated a stall at the Community Christmas fair held in the village hall and worked shifts to sell their products. It was a huge success, the children were extremely motivated and self reliant, the project was praised by both out School Improvement Partner who advised us to apply for this award and also our recent outstanding Ofsted judgement. The inspectors were extremely impressed by the knowledge and skills of the big cheeses. We feel this project represents the essence of the Every Child Matters agenda, particularly, the make a positive contribution, achieve economic well being and pupil voice aspects. Without doubt all the children involved gained a great deal from the project.
Posted: 17th Aug 2006 Collaborative Learning : Adobe Acrobat file (106k)

Gendernet (Six schools working collaboratively – Staining, Stanah, Carleton Green, Moor Nook, Singleton and Lytham CE) Innovative Practice Award

Following concerns over national test results and realising that the performance of boys was the problem we set about trying to develop strategies that would help us raise attainment with particular emphasis on the boys. A group of 6 schools got together and applied for funding from the National College and then set about trying out strategies that might work. After an inspirational talk from Geoff Hannon we introduced different ways of grouping pupils for work tasks. We introduced Positive Massage in Schools (we called it a Positive Contact programme), and set about planning tasks that were more ‘boy friendly’. We held conferences for pupils and tried out different ways of working.  Learning environments were improved and teaching and support staff were provided with increased professional development opportunities and they have visited each others school to share good practice during the three year period.
Data from the National College shows that the results in all 6 schools have increased at a faster rate than the county and the national average.
The schools are continuing to work together even though the dedicated funding has come to an end.

Posted: 6th Feb 2009 Addressing the Gender imbalance in attainment : Adobe Acrobat file (106.5k)

Appletree Nursery School (Good Practice)

Appletree Nursery School opened in 2005. Environments are set up for continous provision and children have equal access indoors/ outdoors. Children are encouraged to be active learners and planning focuses on what they are naturally interested in and curious about.Analysis of quantitative data highlighted that, despite  provision of a well resourced and enabling environment,  gap in attainment between boys/girls widened term on term in all areas of learning apart from PSE and physical development.

Raising the attainment of boys became a key priority in our  Improvement Plan. We carried out audits of all areas of provision and added boy specific resource enhancements as appropriate . We used a successful creativity funding bid focusing on steady beat in the outdoors to bring in a male role model to an all female environment and we further developed our outdoor classroom to ensure we were covering all areas of the curriculum,providing for bigger,real and relevant experiences.

Focused observations of the indoor classroom led us to modify provision by increasing the space/provision for brick/construction play and incorporating ICT into this area.A research student  supported our work by analysing adult approaches with boys/ girls and this has raised awareness re both verbal and non verbal interactions. Boys are now accessing a broader curriculum, are better at both talking and listening and end of year value added shows a significant, positive change in attainment.

Brindle Gregson Lane Primary School

In a bid to improve the attainment of our most able boys in English, we felt that we needed to look further than just literacy teaching and review the curriculum as a whole. It was felt that looking at teaching and learning across the curriculum was likely to have a greater impact on motivation and interest in learning. This, in turn, would impact on achievement of boys in English.

Training was undertaken in learning styles and our curriculum focused on developing learning opportunities for kinaesthetic children as well as cross curricular and thematic planning. Enrichment opportunities were actively planned for. This included weekly lessons in drama and music and also three themed weeks throughout the year.

As a result of our work, learning became more hands on and practical. Interest and enthusiasm for thematic work was evident from both children and parents in their approach and feedback. Attainment in reading and writing improved for both boys and girls across the school but boys made greater progress and the gap between attainment of both enders was significantly reduced.