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Gumley House School FCJ

Support Project for Trainee Teachers

2013 Gumley House Convent School FCJ M2 Level Support Project for Trainee Teachers in Effective Teaching and Learning
1. Background
Since 2005, each Gumley House Convent School PGCE Teacher Trainee on their second school placement has been involved in subject based Action Research designed to enhance their understanding of the factors which contribute to effective learning for all pupils and effective teaching strategies. PGCE courses now include the option for trainee teachers to work towards a Master’s in education through various assignments. 
This work is integral to the M2 level assignment as outlined in various SWELTEC documents. The Project has been developed successfully as a result of annual evaluation feedback from all involved and has gained from HEI Tutor support and key professional guidance. Participation in the Project is a condition of a placement at the School. Many Trainees find the Project a professionally reflective and enhancing experience reporting that it attracted considerable interest and discussion at job interview. Trainees appointed to Gumley's teaching staff on QTS completion over the last eight years, who successfully completed their Effective and Teaching and Learning Project are now increasingly involved as subject Mentors, qualified to provide insights from their own Project experience and the outcomes it subsequently informed.
2. Trainee- Introduction
As 2013 PGCE student teachers on your second teaching experience, you will be focusing on more sophisticated approaches to lesson planning, delivery, including differentiation and assessment of learning. To support you in this work, you will receive a brief that incorporates new theories about how students learn and the teaching strategies that will maximise on how the brain learns most effectively. This is summarised in a model for lesson planning and delivery. This briefing, combined with your own study of current literature will contribute specifically to your work for the M2 assignment.
Following the guidance given in the briefing session and the support of your assigned subject Mentor and other department colleagues, you will plan lessons to deliver a specified unit of work. In the M2 Assignments, you are required to take a unit of work for your own subject covering at least 4 hours of teaching and learning (i.e. 4 lessons). In working to this brief you will be encouraged to expand your teaching strategies and develop some understanding of how effective teachers work professionally with teaching assistants and SEN/EAL teachers in the planning and delivery of differentiated lessons.
As with all pedagogy, you need to test the model and theories of learning,   to reflect on the results and to adapt what you have learnt to suit your personality/skills as a teacher and the particular demands of teaching your specific subject. Evaluation of your teaching and pupil learning is a central activity to this project. You will work closely with your Mentor- and other department colleagues - to plan a unit of work (4-lessons) where you apply your understanding about how different pupils learn – including the topics covered at the initial briefing session - as a guide to the approaches you are taking and the varied resources and activities you are designing. You should use ICT in some of the lessons, including if possible the electronic whiteboard. The lessons in the unit should be designed to meet the different learning styles and abilities of each pupil in the class.
You should meet with a Teaching Assistant or SEN/EAL teacher who works in the school, (ideally a colleague who actually knows and works with the class selected).  Can you ask the following question?
How can a subject teacher make maximum use of your support for pupil learning when you are working with pupils in the classroom?
The answer that you receive should be noted and may well affect your lesson planning and how you work collaboratively with any teacher assigned to the class in a learning support role.
The lesson planning and resources needed for the chosen unit should be first drafted by you and then refined with input from your Mentor and other colleagues before being finalised.  This should be completed within the next two weeks.  Please discuss with Mrs Seyfert, Professional Tutor, if you need an extension for any reason.
Delivering the Lessons during February/March
The unit of work will be 4-6 lessons and your Mentor will wish to see all lesson plans in advance of the first lesson being taken. You should also share the resources you create/ use with your Mentor. Your Mentor will observe you teach at least twice during your delivery of the unit – probably the first and the final lesson. You will receive written observations notes on those lessons using the SWELTEC observation forms
3.  Evaluation Activities
1.  Evaluation by the mentor - two observations as mentioned above.
2.  Evaluation by the pupils will take place as described below:
The first and final lesson should be evaluated by pupils in writing.
The following questions should be used for the first pupil evaluation:
  • What did I learn?
  • How did I learn it?
  • If I were asked to teach this lesson, how would I teach it?
The end of unit pupil evaluation should ask the following questions of all the children:
  • What skills did I develop during this unit of work?
  • How would I assess my work against the grading criteria? (Trainee to provide grading criteria for the unit)?
  • My suggestions for improvements that could be made to this unit of work.
Self Evaluation
You should use some of the following prompt questions to assist you in your self evaluation of each lesson. Write your thoughts down as bullet points only.
1.  What were the strengths of the lesson? 
2.  What were the less successful aspects of the lesson?
3.  What have you learnt from the pupil response/ feedback?
4.  What do you consider most significant in any Mentor feedback you have received?
5.  How has the effective learning model and other theories of learning , as you experienced it in the lesson, affected your way of thinking about teaching, differentiation and pupil learning?
6.  What have you learnt about personalised learning/differentiation and the most effective ways of working with Teaching Assistants, SEN and EAL specialist teachers?
7.  How have you assessed (summative and formative) for pupil learning during the course of the lesson?
Evaluation of Learning Achieved by Five Pupils
In discussion with your Mentor before you begin teaching the unit, select five pupils for special study. This should be one more able pupil, three in the middle ability range and one with learning needs.
Brief yourself on where the children are in their learning and skills base. Identify with the Mentor what their ideal learning achievements should be on the unit of work.
At the end of the unit, review the work done by these pupils in depth with the Mentor to assess progress. Write a brief summary of progress made or not made by each pupil. Identify what future action could be taken to help each pupil further advance their learning in the next unit of work.
(Write no more than one paragraph -300 words- for each pupil case)
4. The Collated Work that should be ready for an Initial Discussion with Your Mentor during the week beginning:
This leaves you 2 weeks to refine as necessary before the presentation on 16th April 2013.
1. Copies of all lessons plans and attached copies of resources used.
2. Copies of all evaluations.
3. A summarising statement of 1 page of A4 that describes the impact of the model and its application via the 4 lessons, upon your teaching experience at this school. Try to evaluate whether or not this work has helped you gain a greater insight into pupil learning, and effective teaching strategies.
N.B. One Copy of the above should be left with the Mentor for future use by the department.
A final summarising report of your work following the guidelines given in the M level Assignment booklet and reproduced in appendix 1, can be completed by any Trainee wishing to take the M Pathway for the award of the Post Graduate Certificate of Education.
 In order to share good practice and contribute to the work of the team, your mentor will also wish you to discuss this unit of work with your department colleagues at some time before the end of your time at Gumley -  either at a department meeting or informally.  
5. The Presentation Dates to be Confirmed
You will give a ten minute presentation of  what you have learnt about teaching and pupil learning from your work on this brief to your fellow trainee teachers and any colleagues from the school and Education faculties who can attend,  
6. A Summary of Timescales
Friday 25th January: Sue Heightman will lead the training session on the project – the underpinning pedagogies and their application in lesson design, teaching strategies and pupil /teacher assessment for learning.
During January, Trainees will work with their mentors on SOW and lesson design for the project – with relevant background reading/research as required.
In February, the Trainees will teach the key project related lessons with the related evaluations.
In March, the Trainees will be pulling evidence and findings together for their final report and presentation.
In April and in the first week of the summer term, Trainees will present their completed Research Project findings to each other/Mentors/ HEI tutors and senior staff. 
At this stage, those Trainees submitting the M2 Assignment may receive HEI Tutor guidance on how they can refine the report for their final submission to their HEI Tutor.
Dr Susan Heightman
Consultant Project Leader, (2005 - 2013)
January 2013