October 02, 2012

Unit 2– Pupil Learning

How are rewards and punishments (or consequences) used in your EP school? What behaviours are they reinforcing?

In North Leamington School they have veered away from a punitive system of punishment and have opted instead for a ‘restorative behaviour’ policy. At the school they have a PCSO who engages with the pupils in order to maintain a system in which the pupils understand the consequences of their damaging actions. Sometimes this works through a discussion with the relevant parties and often understanding the consequences is simply trying to understand how their action made the other person/ people feel. This system does not replace or undermine the school’s overall behaviour policy and code of conduct relating to disruptive behaviour; if it is appropriate, parents will still be informed of certain disruptive actions and detentions will still be enforced, regardless of the pupil’s undertaking of the restorative behaviour session.

Rewards, however, are given as much emphasis as punishments; students can receive merit stickers which allow them to add to an online profile of achievement. Teachers can also add comments to the online profile which are directly streamed to SIMs and the pupil’s parents/carer. The pupil’s guardian can then also view the comment online and add their own comment. Whilst initially I was dubious towards the idea that teachers and parents are recognising the pupil’s achievement virtually- perhaps leading to a lesser sense of verbal and physical contact with the child- I think the concept of having all the student’s comments and merits of achievement in one place is useful and can give a sense of pride to the child who can view it. It can also lead to a more proactive and strong relationship between the parent and teacher and parent and school as the parent can feel more involved in their child’s education.

Look in detail at the concrete operational stage and the formal operational stage. What concepts or ideas within your curriculum area would the differences in the two stages be most apparent?

At the concrete operational stage the child would begin to be able to manipulate sentences, learning to write and learning to place different words next to each other and how the placement of these words can change the meaning of a sentence. Logical thinking which might allow them to be able to form an argument and be able to vocalise their own viewpoint based on evidence is also developed.

At the formal operational stage however, the formation of argument will be able to be written and viewpoints will become more confident and based on wider ranges of evidence; this means the child will be able to draw on a wealth of literary and verbal knowledge which would inform any piece of writing be it creative, discursive or analytical. The ability to ‘think about things never seen’ now allows them to really develop their reading from other cultures (although, most likely, much of the fiction they will have been reading since the concrete operational stage will have concerned things/ topics of which they have never experienced). Being able to ‘organise ideas and events systematically’ now allows them to write a cogent essay.

Personal TASK

Think about an idea or concept in your curriculum area that occurs in more than one topic. Design a conversation with a pupil to ascertain whether or not the pupil is able to transfer the knowledge, understanding and skills to the other situation.

Plan to follow this up when you begin teaching an idea that occurs in more than one topic.

The idea of the dramatic tableau in order to visually represent a scene in a play is a transferable skill to have. I would give the student a prose extract (fiction) and ask them to transfer the skill of extrapolating what is dramatic about the extract and to physically represent it in a tableau.

Authentic Tasks


What would be an authentic task for different people who work within your area? e.g. what would be an authentic task for an author, an archaeologist, a pharmacist, a mathematician ...

What would make a task authentic to a teenager?

An authentic task in the area of English would be writing a review of something eg. A theatre or music performance, a film, a book, a restaurant, a hotel or a festival.

I would ask the students to think of something they had recently experienced and ask them to write a review of it. This would keep the task contemporary and relevant. In order to make it more authentic I would ask them to be writing with the intention of submitting it to the school newspaper or perhaps a section of the school website. Authenticity in this context can obviously be made ‘real’ if the reviews were submitted to a local newspaper or uploaded onto an online reviewing site; safeguarding issues are relevant here and the appropriateness of the external platform would have to be monitored here.

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