Firstly, let me be honest and admit that I didn’t think of this wonderfully alliterative title myself but instead, shamelessly purloined it from my last school (who used it as a pastoral support report).
However, having stolen the name, I have created what (I hope) will be a very focussed reporting system to help me help my most underachieving PP boys in KS3. This is in response to the rather frazzling (but extremely interesting) analysis of the first data capture of the year. My new school uses a system of MACs – monthly assessment checks – which means that every 4-5 weeks I will have a new data set to look at. This is daunting, I admit – but I am determined to see the positives in looking the progression (or lack thereof) of students this regularly.
PP boys are our biggest underachievers currently. I’m not entirely comfortable detailing the exact ‘gap’ on a public blog.. .but it’s NOT ok!
To address this I firstly need to ensure that ALL SOWs at KS3 are tailored to engaging all learners – but most particularly PP boys to enable them to make expected or better-than-expected progress. The new SOWs I have thus far implemented will be reviewed by all English staff on the new SOW feedback form, post-teaching, to better inform the changes we will make going forward into the next academic year.
However, in addition to this there needs to be a reward system specifically targeted at underachieving boys. Many (although not all) of these will be PP students. My proposal is for a ‘Progress Premiership’ which would allow for the targeted tracking and monitoring of students who have either regressed since joining our school or who are more than 3 sublevels away from their EOY targets.
To engage and inspire students this tracking system needs to be both positive and competitive. The ‘Progress Premiership’ should have, to my thinking, three broad strands: attendance, attainment and attitude. Students will be awarded ‘points’ for each English lesson in which the class teacher considers that they have achieved sufficiently well. Extra points can be awarded for specific attainment – for example full marks on a spelling test, attaining a higher mark in an assessed piece of work or taking part in a literacy-focussed extra-curricular activity.
In addition to this, the selected Progress Premiership students will receive additional support from myself, the HoD and possibly a PE teacher. This will take place once a fortnight and would comprise additional literacy activities, but with an emphasis on it being a ‘boys club’; something positive; not an arduous ‘extra work’ lesson. I feel that positive reinforcement is absolutely key here. It may be possible to implement some work with KS4 mentors too although the logistics of this could prove impossible.
The ‘reward’ element of the Progress Premiership would be ongoing in terms of praise letters and rewards but to my mind there should be an ‘end prize’ at the end of each half term for those who have achieve the most points; a ‘Top 20’ (dependent on the size of the cohort). This would need to be funded through PP money and should be something desirable to foster competition– this should be canvassed but ideas could be: a cinema afternoon with popcorn and drinks/ a hot chocolate morning with our HT/ a trip ice-skating/ a visit to St Mary’s stadium.
To balance this, however, it is important that those who do not ‘buy in’ to the scheme are not allowed to opt out. I propose a ‘red group’, to be on report to myself. These students would be monitored most intensely for attitude to learning. It would of course be possible to move out of this group
…so… I have obviously had a look at what some other schools are doing with regards to PP support and provision but I am more than open to hearing people’s thoughts on my ideas. I would love people to get in touch to tell me what they are doing to close that all-important gap!