The purpose of the final CPD session on A-level teaching was to find out how induction into Sixth Form is carried out across faculties and to share and exchange ideas to create a best practice list.
We wanted to focus on 4 key areas:
- Why do we have an induction process?
- What has been successful in the past?
- Is there anything to avoid?
- What is essential equipment for an A-level lesson?
I carried out a survey of a small group of Year 13 students who shared their ideas about their induction process:
|Why do we have an induction process?
– Encourage us to join the course
– Make it seem exciting
– Make sure we choose the right subject
|What has been/would be useful?
– Holiday homework was good to prepare for the course.
– Having a test after 4 weeks to check progress – makes you revise and builds confidence
– Access to textbooks in school
– Routine for homework
– Would like guidance on how to use frees effectively
|Is there anything to avoid?
– Missing out students joining the school if they can’t come to induction day.
– Telling students “you need to work X hours a week outside of lessons” – this leads to stress if it can’t be fulfilled every week. Telling us what we need to do would be more useful.
|What is essential equipment for an A-level lesson?
– A folder set up with sections for topics.
– Well-stocked pencil-case
– Lined paper or a notebook
– Copy of the specification or checklists for topics
The CPD team discussed each of the sections and staff shared their ideas for a successful induction.
We felt that an induction process was useful to ensure students understand the expectations of the course including organisation, independent work, wider reading and homework.
For some faculties, this is made explicit from the beginning, while in others it is more appropriate to have a staggered approach.
Useful things for faculties to include on an induction programme:
- Preparation homework over the summer
- An assessment early on (within the first month) to check progress
- Information about deadlines and a rough plan for the year
- “Study skills” e.g. how to take notes, how to structure an essay, how to organise study.
- Providing students with reading lists and useful links
- Having an organised VLE with access to specification and course details.
- Suggested things to do in independent study time (e.g. super curricular ideas)
Ideas for super curricular activities: https://www.sandringham.herts.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Key-Stage-5-SC-Booklet.pdf