I am having the day off work today … ok, so that’s not quite true, but I’m not busting a gut to get anything done, just pottering and doing other stuff around the house as well as doing “a bit” when the fancy takes me. So here’s a bit of an update (and if you’re on my contact list for the Collaborative Scheme of Work expect mail later when I’ve done a bit more on the exemplar for “volunteers” to do the next step in getting this show on the road – and don’t worry I’m sure there are jobs for everyone!). In no particular order, and I’m gonna warn you includes some random thoughts too (those that came to the meetings will now have the idea that I don’t have a very linear way of thinking and go off on tangents quite a bit – for which I apologise .. sorry!!) :
EDIT: Have just re-read this, and if you only want the update of actions to date, skip to point 2, as what follows is a bit of a rant!
1. There are now close to 100 people on “my hit list” who want to collaborate on this. I think this is amazing and I seriously bow to your enthusiasm and expertise (that’s not “blowing wind up your proverbial” I seriously mean it – you have all been amazing!!) We are doing our bit to take back some form of control of these changes from “on high” and that is sooooo motivating. Last night a tweeter made a comment that implied we are mad for giving up our time, and I (and others!) found the comments sad. We are professionals, and this is our opportunity to really shape what we teach, when we teach it. I’ve said before (and I’m saying it again) … we teach day in, day out and are the people best suited to produce a scheme of work that really works. Of course the exam boards are going to produce their own schemes, and of course there will be those corporate organisations that produce them too .. but at a cost! I know that as a school, we won’t have the money to throw at this kind of thing and it certainly doesn’t sit right with me using anything produced by someone that no longer teaches and has moved onwards, upwards or possibly out of teaching. I am not professing to be an expert but I do know that as a collective we can achieve so much more than any of us can do on our own. It won’t be instantly perfect but will be an ongoing “work in progress” and I am confident that this puts us back in the driving seat.
2. Two meetings have been held
– At the first the key stage 3 and 4 programmes of study were organised into common themes, and a running order agreed. After this the brilliant Jon Treby put together a site, for us to make anything that is produced freely available … he’s a star!! We’ll be looking for people to allocate admin rights to, so that they can add resources etc once the structure has “more meet on the bones” too!
– During the second meeting we tweaked the running order, and started to put together some of the differentiated objectives for each of the units depending upon the year group being taught and where you are pitching the work in terms of difficulty. Think Kenny’s pouch style (sort of, but not quite!) in terms of teaching the same topic, at different ability levels (that’s where the similarity end) as we are aiming to have each “topic area” on its OWN page, but all the teaching objectives for that topic shown in one place rather than having to dip in and out of different pathways.
3. In both meetings we agreed that we should be looking to produce a plan for 3 years, possibly with the third year being left quite fluid, until we see specimen materials, and also have more information about grade equivalencies between the current grades (A* to E) and the new “levels”. This means that the urgency of having something in place for September when the year 9’s (they’ll be the first group to sit the new GCSE’s) will need to taught from. The structure also means that should we wish, we can extend the SOW at the front end, so that it could include years 7 and 8 to make it a 5 year plan!
4. We also agreed what other things needed to be included such as misconceptions, problem solving activity ideas, criteria for success etc
5. Additionally, in terms of the content we decided that rather than having recommended resources included within each topic area that we would have resource pages set up for the main sub topics of the programmes of study such as No, G&M, R&P, Algebra, Probability and Stats and then within each page there will be “folders” for topics with recommended resources.
I’ll be mailing out the running order later today and asking for feedback and comments – I will give everyone about 2 weeks to reply with any changes – and also be looking for volunteers to do the detail for specific “units”. In the background I’m going to be liaising with Jon (he doesn’t know yet) to put more of the structure in place on the website ready to get it populated with lots and lots of the detail.
AN OBSERVATION … or just some more random thoughts!!
I’ve been tweeting and blogging for just over 12 months now and its been a pleasure to interact with so many like-minded people and I can confirm that many of you are “real people” and do exist in the real world. In the vast majority of cases, most of you were exactly like I imagined you would be … in some cases, some of you even looked like I thought you would (and I don’t mean those that have pics on your profiles! because that would just be a stupid thing to say)!!. Maybe its just me, but you form an idea of what people are like in real life … OMG … that probably means that some of you will have been having the same thoughts about me (hope I didn’t disappoint you!!) 🙂
I’ll post the running order on here later (I’m having a day off, don’t you know!!) and if any of you have any comments I’d be happy to hear them!