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February 11, 2011

Only got complimentary things to say about my 2nd school…..

Was a rather decent last day on complimentary placement. I was there for a couple of hours...

What did I think? Excellent school, a great head teacher, an excellent Science department who were extremely supportive. I believe I have begun to iron out my weaknesses in the classroom, and have got some excellent ideas from feedback which will hopefully take me to the next level. I was a tad surprised and disappointed with the grades I was given on my CP1, they obviously have very high expectations and set the boundaries tough, though personally I do not think the individual grades were representative of my performance, although the overall grade is about right I guess. But generally a positive experience, and one which has enhanced my training this year. So well done Warwick for sorting that out!

They even bought me a Lego tractor to say thanks and good luck :-), so they must be mint.

Today also marked my first interview in teaching. I applied for 4 jobs in the last week, and have been invited to interview for all of them which is encouraging. Today's interview required me to teach a 20 minute lesson on anything I wanted to do with Physics. Quite a tough ask given it was broad. Even tougher given the application went in two days ago, and I received about 18 hours notice for the interview itself..... The formal interview was quite a nice experience actually, and developed into quite an interesting debate for quite a while on how to get more ladies into higher education Physics. There were questions that went along the lines of 'what do you think makes a good lesson?', 'what would you do to secure a positive learning environment?', 'where do you see your career progressing?', 'how would a friend describe you?', 'what are your views on the roles of pastoral care?', 'how will you bring here to engage all students?' etc etc. There were no trick questions, but I am pretty sure the GTP experience we all have would get any of us through it. I was offered the job in the afternoon whilst I was at an twilight session at my complimentary (incorporating drama into all subjects) school, and accepted it. I was told in my feedback they really like the GTP as a course. I was up against two PGCE students today, and I think the training route really has held me in good stead.

Then went to Warwick, did a cheeky talk for some wannabe GTPites for next year. I think I sufficiently entertained them. Now home, just finished assignment 8 (isn't data a mundane topic) and as of 1.38am, had sorted all my evidence for Q1-9 for Gill :-)

Off to bed, at Warwick in 7 hours.

Stevo x

January 10, 2011

Complimentary Reflection


One week into my stay at Perry Beeches, and I have to say, it is quite simply mint.

Guess the idea of the complimentary placement is to give you a broader scope of the education system, see how another school operates. Well there are notable differences from the start of the day to the end here compared to what I am used to. It is my opinion that the school is much more efficient and streamlined in many of its actions compared to my main placement school.

The start of the day for a student here requires them to bring their passport and show it on arrival. Failure to do this is sanctioned. The 'passport' is used interactively in all of the lessons; it provides a mini-whiteboard, even a ruler. Each subject has it's own page dedicated to the levels / grades they are working at and aiming for, along with ways to move up that next level academically.

I am really impressed with the B4L policy. At my other school, there is an old and a new system running alongside each other, and students are both confused and to be honest lack any respect or fear towards them. PB have a low-level policy (the yellow slip) and a major issue (the green sheet). Everything is recorded in the passport too, and the slips and sheets are posted in the staffroom at the most convenient time (via the head of department).

The day is structured differently, with registration at the beginning and end of the day, no registration taken formally in lessons, only 1 lesson after lunch. And they also have a mentality of scheduling meetings during timetabled hours, with just one meeting after school every fortnight or so. I can therefore be realistically at home by 4pm most nights if I want too.

It honestly just seems to work better. Not to say I do not love my main placement either. My mentors there are unbelievable, and I have made some excellent friends, as well as meeting some exceptional practitioners. The students are a great bunch too, and I miss my form groups a lot! I went back on Friday to conduct interviews with staff for my Masters assignment, and they were fantastic. I had a lot of conflicting views and ideas on implementing peer assessment, which ill invariably now mean my introduction to the topic will be 12000 words. I do not approve of this 5000 word limit!

I have taught my first two lessons today; a year 10 BTec class and a rather sprightly year 7 class. When filling in that form ascertaining targets for complimentary placement, I asked for more exposure to SEN students; well I got it. 80% of the year 10 class I taught today have a school action, school action + or statement in place, and there are 10 of 31 in a similar situation in my year 7's. I met my year 9 BTec group last week, and again there are SEN students within that class too. I now have exposure to EAL. Unfortunately my Polish is poor, so I need to prepare my resources well. Mixed ability sets I asked -> well how about a year 7 class with level 2c up to 7b students in......

I also achieved a huge ambition of mine today. I used Lego in a lesson. My Lego box was a nucleus, the instructions inside were the DNA, I was making bases using Blue and Yellow bricks (A & T), and Red and Green bricks (C & G), inter-twining shoelaces for my strands of the double helix..... it was fun, and the year 10s seem to really engage in it.

Basically it is ticking all the boxes I desperately need to achieve my standards. I was chuffed with how welcoming the students were in my two lessons this morning and their willingness to listen and learn. The attitude towards BTec at PB is refreshingly upbeat, with a string emphasis on teaching and letting them get on with it, rather than crowd control and gentle reminders of what students need to do.

All in all, I really impressed with my complimentary placement.

That is all I want to reflect really..... :-)

Hope you are all having a good experience too.

And oh my god, how good were Chelsea yesterday. playing with a smile on their faces, Care Free football. Love that. Little Josh McEachran is a class act, and the undoubted star when England win the 2014 World Cup!!!

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