Academic Review Day

By 26/11/2010PGCE, Reflection

Academic Review day Reflection

Today was Academic review day and it was brilliant. The whole purpose of the day was to have 15 minutes personal contact time with the tutees so that we could; review and look at their mid term progress report and set some targets for them to achieve higher both academically and in the wider context of school. The main focus is for the pupils and how they are doing and parents where their to support them with this it was not really meant for a chat with the parents directly but to incorporate the parents and have them their to support the targets set.

We started of with asking the pupils to right down the areas that they have good or bad feedback from their teachers and to express how they are getting on in each subject this was done in a simple fill out a form fashion. They had to then come up with some of their own targets on how they feel they can improve.

So with the background set we then on the next week handed out their progress report for them to view and take home to their parents. We then went through each of the reports highlighting the excellent reports in green and the needs improving in pink. The main layout was four columns with Behaviour,  Effort, Homework and Equipment. We focused on the first three. If any pupil had 3 or more excellent then they received a mention and gold star for their great work.  The third attainment level was good.

Then once we had scheduled in each 15 minute appointment we had the day itself.

To start with I observed how this was done and the various points that I needed to include.

  1. First was to ask them how they feel they have done with the progress report.
  2. Then to show them the highlighted areas and maybe compare to last years report. Praise where needed and visa versa.
  3. Then to go through the areas of concern and come up with some targets that they could do to rectify the needs improving sections.

This worked really well and particularly if you started and finished on a positive note and really took the time to praise and glorify hard work.

After I had made a few inputs to the sessions and started some off asked to take some pupils on their own and run their the whole review on my own.

This was the fun bit as I was really able to be myself and to put across my own thoughts and have the freedom to speak directly into each target.

I found that it was important to meet and greet the parents and pupils early and to start it of well with plenty of positive notes. It was interesting how some parents took more of an forceful role and others that were quite happy to just sit and listen. It was really great when the pupil and parents both came up with some targets that would be realistic to fulfil and carry out.

Some of the targets were

  • Setting aside at least one hour of homework time after school. This was if homework was needing improvement
  • Reading for at least 20 minutes each evening. If things were good but English was needing improving
  • Asking at least one question each lesson to show the teacher that they were making the effort if effort needed improvement.

There were others such as behaviour reports for those that needed to be kept on tabs with this. This is a form that they take each lesson with a target like uniform and talking and if they achieve it the teacher at the end of the lesson marks it on the form. The purpose of this is to have some accountability on their behaviour. My tutor took and interesting twist on it rather than it being a punishment but actually something to stop them getting in trouble. In all of these targets they were there to be positive and do something constructive rather than just bashing them over the head saying you must not for example.

In some cases the issues were due to home environments and issues that needed to be address by the parent for example staying up to late playing x-box was a classic example of one of the cases I came across. These issues I had to escalate and pass onto my lead tutor and the head of house via a slip that could be reviewed later on. It was really interesting how the home issues were obviously affecting their school life. One needs to be careful on how they approach this as we are not really in a place to pass advice on parenting but as I learned in our child protection training its just our duty to pass on information that could be affecting the health and wellbeing of children to ensure that they are being correctly safeguarded. 

So all in all it was great to invest some time in the pupils one to one and to have the chance to meet their parents and to interact with both on a higher level.

Please email amabey@nortonhillschool.com for more reference if needed.