GOVERNOR’S NAME: Ellen Zapiec
DATE: 23rd April 2018
Staff: T, LC, ND
Governor’s comments & observations:
The purpose of this visit was to observe an additional range of interventions and to seek the pupils own view of their effectiveness in supporting and progressing their learning. I was able to see three interventions delivered by TA staff. Two focussed on key literary skills and one on social emotional development.
Precision Teaching 3 Year 4 pupils
This group were studying common exception words and had a comprehensive list of 107 examples. Students focussed on two words to which were applied over learning techniques. This was clearly a well rehearsed activity and pupils settled down quickly to the task in hand. A previous test was revisited to ensure that pupils had mastered the specific vocabulary contained in them. Tahrin made recommendations to individual students as to what they might check and calm music was played while pupils completed this task. Tahrin continued to give encouraging non-verbal cues to pupils as they worked through their list. Tahrin kept a careful record of pupil successes and what examples needed further revision. Pupils were then tested on test 2. Tahrin asked pupils to visualise their words and say them in their heads and then administered the test carefully, contextualising each word to support accuracy and understanding. I was then invited to talk to the pupils about their work. They used words such as improved, happy, proud and one said “I know my spellings, tricky words in Lexia, an IT programme”. All pupils had made significant progress in their accuracy of irregular words. One pupil had initially scored 5 points on the assessment and had most recently achieved 33. A second had improved from a baseline of 35 to 64 and the third pupil from 5 to 35.
It was a pleasure to see this group working so purposefully and quickly, gaining in confidence in this supportive setting.
ELSA programme 2 pupils both aged 8 years
The two children were restless, not able to sit still on the carpet. The routine of doing so was, however, clearly rehearsed and both tried really hard to do so. LC began by asking the children how they were feeling and how their day had been. I observed one girl rolling her cardigan up and down as she spoke to the TA, clearly a bit agitated. LC asked the pupils how these sessions had helped them in class, to which both were able to give reflective and thoughtful answers. Both reported that as a result of being calmer they were able to complete tasks in class more successfully and more quickly. One pupil said, “When I’m asked to do something now I just do it.”
The children were then shown a new booklet on “How to be a Friend” and asked to look carefully at the illustrations to identify how the characters might be feeling. An example of not sharing was quickly identified and discussion followed as to how this issue might be resolved. The pupils were then asked to relate similar issues to their own experiences and discuss how they had resolved issues of conflict. They were then asked to consider what the good things about having a friend were. Both children were able to give several answers to this question. They then moved on to a “roll the ball” activity and took turns to say positive things about a friend that they had. Both pupils were subsequently invited to take a Confidence Cookie out of the jar, clearly a familiar and valued reward. The session finished on a positive note with the two pupils being asked to say what they were really good at and to give an example of how they had solved a problem that day. The lesson finished calmly with both children leaving the room in an orderly fashion ready for the next lesson.
Phonics Year 1 pupils
The children were being presented with “Monster” words, i.e. nonsense words and were blending familiar phonemes to make the word. The group then looked at “ar” as a digraph, and could say what a digraph was! They then blended several examples of “ar” words. Displays of letter sounds, blends and digraphs and picture cues were prominent on the walls of the group room and were well used by the pupils. The children were then given a sentence to read and write and to circle the “ar” words. The children all said how this additional phonic work was helping them to read more difficult words and clearly remained positive about their learning.
All of the interventions observed by me on this occasion were skilfully delivered by well trained, informed and committed staff. They had developed good routines within the learning and used a variety of resources to engage the children in a range of activities. Progress in skills-based interventions was well recorded and measured against base line data. This is different for the sensitive social emotional work addressed in ELSA where judgement rather than measurement is more appropriate. All of the children observed were positive about themselves as learners and could recognise their own progress as a result of the intervention. All were keen to learn and enjoyed their intervention sessions.
I wish to thank the staff for their warm welcome and to Kate and Clare for all their hard work in setting up and carefully monitoring these intervention groups.