Students are bored, they need additional and more complex and diverse materials’ (Clark yn Gallagher et al, 1997, p.136): here we have research and an intervention which addresses what is noted above as the teacher considers the provision and feedback for 10 MAT pupils in year 10, set 1. At the heart of the research was the teacher’s aspiration to see the pupils challenged and stretched within Welsh lessons and ensure they received appropriate feedback on their work.
An intervention was carried out within lessons over a 3 month period while the rest of the class continued with the usual tasks. What ensued was that MAT pupils were offered opportunities to undertake work that replicated A level essays, take responsibility for the ‘Book of the Month’ scheme for the department and opportunities to express their views on what impacted on their education and learning.
‘The main purpose of teaching is to empower students to become self-directed learners capable of taking responsibilty for their own learning’ (Fisher, p.3): and so the pupils were given a central voice during the intervention with interviews held on the provision and feedback they receive. Also, discussions were held with the head of Welsh, head of English and the ALN Coordinator and feedback from other teachers in the school was analysed to measure the extent of the problem by way of lack of feedback and sharing good practice, highlighting the importance of collaboration among teachers (Cordingley, 2007).
What became apparent was that MAT pupils enjoyed taking responsibility within lessons, that they enjoyed working together, that they wanted a variety of challenging tasks in lessons and that they liked playing an active part in responding to targets.
As a result, the next steps for the school in question will be to offer a separate ‘Book of the Month’ for MAT pupils in KS3 and KS4, provide a differential package of tasks for MAT pupils containing challenging tasks, offer more opportunities for pupils to work together and offer them opportunities to play an active part in responding to targets.
© ‘Author’ January 2016