What are you going to do in the final weeks of the year?
As the final weeks of the year come to an end, how do you ensure that progress is being made up until the final days of the year?
Here are five ideas to maximise progress within the time left until schools are out for summer.
1. Get outside
The final part of the summer term is a perfect time to use the outdoors to create a learning environment outside the classroom setting. My most memorable classroom experiences when I was at secondary school was sampling daisies on the school field. Little did I know, but these were key skills I’d go on to use in my Biology degree at university. Granted, not all pupils go on to do Biology degrees but it is how different environments enhance learning experiences, and it’s not only Science this applies to:
- Science: Sampling and collecting information about the spread of organisms within the school grounds
- Maths: Plotting life size graphs, working out areas/perimeters/volumes within the playground
- English: Poems about nature or even noise pollution depending where your school is!
2. Use projects in the classroom
Projects can enhance the curriculum that you teach, encourage logical thinking skills and promote cross curricular links. Pupils work in a similar style to how they would in the workplace, collaborating with their peers and supporting one another. If a project is supported with a clear success criteria I have found that pupils work together to achieve a common goal. Project ideas:
- Create a new product for a “dragons den” style pitch (e.g. satellites in Science, wind turbines for Geography etc.)
- Direct a TV clip to tell people about an important cause or event (e.g. persuasive writing in English, key moment in History).
- Create a class debate on a subject matter related to the curriculum.
3. Get creative with revision
The summer term is a busy time with end of year assessments and a lot of revision classes will still be taking place. This time of the year is great to get creative with your class’s revision and then analyse how effective it is. Here are my current favourite revision ideas to use in the classroom.
4. Use peer marking successfully
To give meaningful but timely feedback I often utilise peer-marking in the final weeks of the term. This ensures that all pupils receive feedback before we all break up for summer. There are some great tips on our 7 Tips For Peer And Self-Assessment post.
5. Plan for the year ahead
If you know your classes for next year, now is the perfect time to visit them ahead of September. Likewise, if you know the teacher that your class will have next, could you spend some time updating the shared mark book with all the effective strategies you have learnt over the year? If you know you’re keeping a GCSE class and you have permission, let them know that you are teaching them next year, I am sure that some pupils are anxious about which teacher they will have in year 11.
To ease transition if you are picking up a GCSE class in September:
- Try and introduce yourself to the class within the final weeks of the summer term.
- Use RAG checklists to see how confident they are on previous content.
- Have conversations with their past teacher before they leave to analyse key areas to work on.
- Try to have a look through their current book, this will give you a key insight to their attitude to learning, strengths and areas to develop.