Maths outside the classroom
This school is an 11-16 comprehensive community college situated close to the town centre. At the time of writing it had around 1100 pupils evenly split between boys and girls. The maths department comprised of eight members of staff, seven of whom were maths specialists. GCSE results in year 11 had improved year on year from 47% in 2003 to 69% in 2010.
Aims of project
The aim was to develop a bank of differentiated resources via collaborative planning. These were linked to a bank of resources developed primarily by the department’s AST. The resources prepared involve functional skills, guided group work and the local environment.
CPD activities planned and undertaken
The Head of Department was keen to promote collaborative planning. The AST approached the experienced non specialist teacher to work collaboratively on this project, but this member of staff declined as he believed that his foundation group would feel too threatened to work with the higher group involved.
The AST went ahead planning the work with the group involved and continued to invite the member of staff at each step of the project. He became involved at the phase which involved peer assessment and then went on to work collaboratively with an NQT to plan collaboratively on another project involving the local environment.
Since then all the department have paired up and planned collaboratively; pairs of staff have viewed each others’ lessons and reflected upon their plans.
Success of the CPD approach used
The resource is now embedded in the year 9 scheme of work. Teachers gave positive feedback on the information and ideas the resource gave them.
Audio interview 1
is the non specialist teacher describing the positive experience he and his class had once they became involved in the initial project. This teacher went on to plan further resources with another member of staff; this was the intention of the CPD approach.
Audio interview 2
describes what the same teacher went on to plan as a consequence of becoming involved in the initial project.
Year 10 lessons were planned collaboratively ensuring consistency across the year group, lessons were reflected upon in pairs and adaptations made.
As the audio interviews describe, the foundation group were reticent to become involved but felt a lot more confident once they had done so. The pupils involved in this project have since gone on to lead their own groups in their new classes in working on other projects.
Evaluation of CPD effectiveness
Initially, involving staff was difficult. This reticence was overcome through persistence and gentle persuasion. Collaborative planning enabled reflection and adaptation of plans. By the end of the project, staff were planning, making and sharing resources.
Future CPD plans
Although there was initial reticence, this method of selling the idea and participating with the department worked extremely well and should be used again.
Collaborative planning has been rolled out to schemes of work for year 10 and the new GCSE syllabus. It was intended to continue this form of planning for schemes of work with other years.
Methods of peer assessment were included in the initial project and we intended to develop this idea in the future.