Welcome back to all of our wonderful users! It’s that time of the year where we as teachers reflect on exam outcomes and think about the changes we can make to support our students to do even better this year.
Personally, I look back on my students’ GCSE results this year with mixed feelings. There were lots and lots of highlights, but as always there were students who didn’t quite hit the heights I was hoping for. It could be the student who got an 8 when predicted a 9, or the student who just missed out on their grade 4. Either way, I’m always left wondering what I could have done differently and what aspect of my practice could have made the difference to get them those extra few marks.
The start of a new academic year is a great opportunity to re-evaluate every aspect of what we do inside and out of the classroom and here are my resolutions for the year:
More individualised papers for my Y11s. These take 5 minutes if you choose the questions and are even quicker if you’ve got marks uploaded for the class from another paper. It makes a huge difference to students to know that you’ve put a worksheet or paper together just for them
More packs of GCSE style questions on individual topics. Students love these and I feel my Saturday and evening revision sessions could have been targeted at students who struggle with a certain topic rather than targeted at students who were working at a certain grade. I think the sessions would have felt more focused and therefore more productive if organised this way
A better revision timetable for the students. We sometimes assume that students know what to revise, how to revise and when to revise. I need to keep telling myself that this isn’t always the case! This year I’ll be mapping out precisely what they should be revising and when. Crucially, I’ll then be checking that they are following this plan, particularly those that struggle with time management
I’m sure that more ideas will come to me over the coming weeks as I get to know my new classes, but it’s vital that we all reflect on our strengths and weaknesses as teachers.