Accelerating progress for low-attaining pupils
Find timings, objectives, resources and five activities to support Quality Standard (c), which relates to planning for inclusion, and Quality Standard (d), which relates to challenging all pupils to succeed.
You will need the following resources. Download the relevant files or gather the information from your own records.
- The school's own data analysis to identify pupil groups by gifted and talented (G&T), low attainment, ethnicity and free school meals (FSM) for Year 7 and Year 11.
- Participants' mark books for any Year 7 and Year 11 classes they teach.
- Sufficient copies of Getting Back on Track – pupils who make slow progress in English, mathematics and science.
- Activity 1 (5 mins)
Ask participants what the term 'low attainment' means for them and the pupils they teach. What are the key characteristics of these pupils?
- Activity 2 (20 mins)
Recognising low-attaining pupils
Pupils can be low-attainers for a variety of reasons, but generally they possess some, or all, of the following characteristics.
- Long history of catch-up.
- Tend to be disorganised, lose or not finish work.
- Skilled in avoidance and concealing their problems.
- Do not transfer or apply new skills.
- Lack self-help strategies and organisational skills.
- They feel learning is something that is done to them.
But they can also have the following characteristics.
- They are can be charming and often talkative.
- They do respond to oral, visual, kinaesthetic approaches.
- They are good communicators.
- They learn best from practical demonstration, modelling and exemplification.
- They are often big picture 'holistic' thinkers.
- Are there similarities with your school's own pupils?
- Do they recognise pupils with these traits?
- Are there any additional characteristics to add to the list?
What are the implications for planning teaching and learning to accommodate these pupils' needs?
- Activity 3 (20 mins)
Examine the data provided for Year 7 and Year 11.
What proportion of pupils fit the definition of low attaining in your school and do the pupils demonstrate some of the typical characteristics?
Gather responses to the following questions.
- Is this different to expectations?
- Are there differences between year groups?
- Are there a high number of pupils on free school meals (FSM)?
- Are there more boys than girls?
- Do more pupils fall into the low attainment definition as you move up through the school?
- Activity 4 (10 mins)
Ask participants the following questions.
- What strategies are currently in place to support low-attaining pupils in your school?
- Are the strategies based on catch-up/intervention or on quality provision specifically for these pupils across each year group?
- Are the strategies working? What is the evidence to support this conclusion?
Make a note of the key approaches where improved provision needs to be put in place.
- Activity 5 (30 mins)
Planning for improved provision
Distribute copies of the publication Getting Back on Track – pupils who make slow progress in English, mathematics and science.
Referring to pages 38 and 39, ask participants to plan:
- whole-school continuing professional development (CPD)
- how to investigate further provision for low-attaining pupils across the school and in specific departments.
- Plenary (15 mins)
Use the Lesson design lower attainers grid on page 2 of the Evaluation teaching and learning handout to summarise the position in your school in this area.
What areas of development are indicated and do these appear in the school development plan?
Agree the next steps: who, where, when and what will be done to address low attainment and accelerate progress?