I was privileged to be part of an LSC-funded programme a few years ago (via Action for Inclusion) to improve transition to college for young people in alternative education such as Pupil Referral Units, medical settings or other special schools. Young people who are unused to a mainstream classroom can very often drop out of college by the first half term.
Part of the project was to involve those youngsters who were making the transition. Rather than giving them some standard college information, with the co-operation of colleges in the County, we asked them what they wanted to know and the colleges answered their questions. It is essential to remember that these young people were at risk of becoming NEET and their questions were prudent.
The results were summarised in a short booklet which was handed out to subsequent year 10 and year 11 students from 6 colleges in the region.
An article in Guardian Education about recent changes to Ofsted's framework struck a chord http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/16/children-wellbeing-schools, stating that "…..the word "wellbeing", which ran like a river through the previous Ofsted framework, has disappeared".
Although I don't believe that Ofsted has consigned children's happiness to the bin, it's impossible to escape the fact that observations and grading are moving further away from the 'experience' and ever more towards the 'results'.
Some pupils and students will never be able to show how much they know when they are tested in controlled conditions. Exams are not always the way to measure success, which is why vocational learning suits so many young people whose behaviour has lost them a place in education. For those, the learning 'experience' has been stressful and intolerable and has left them feeling angry and resentful that they can't be like 'normal' learners.
Let's hope it doesn't get any worse than it is. ...
Time Management means so many things to different people. To my children it means wangling a later bedtime, to my mother it means filling the rainy days and dark evenings with puzzles and television. To me it means "How can I gain more leisure hours while still working productively"
It never ceases to amaze me how many procrastination techniques my young teens can display. In fact my daughter has been well practised since she was about 4 years old. I've tried to get the whole thing started earlier, but she will still wander downstairs to get a drink, warm up her water bottle, sort out her school bag etc. So her time management is all about staying up late.
Filling rainy days
Our senior citizens have many hours of leisure time on their hands, but not always with plenty of activities to enthuse them. My 73 year old mother absolutely blooms between...
Yesterday I shared a document I recently found which summarised points from a training session with college LSAs. We were examining how our own behaviours can have a real impact on the behaviour in class. In particular, we discussed how some of our own actions can actually create conflict or defuse conflict. Those who believe that we all have the power to bring incidents from hot to cool are those who are most successful at it. Gaining knowledge and skills are all part of securing that belief.
The activity, shared with me by a former colleague who had previously attended some behaviour training from Dave Vizard (www.behaviourmatters.com), was contextualised for the classroom.
Summary points from the activity: List 3 ways in which you could defuse conflict