Within the Geography Department, we started using Doddle as the basis of our KS3 homework. It provides an extensive range of resources, including self-marking quizzes which we felt was a real time saver and reduced our workload. What’s more, the quizzes linked in well with our curriculum and not only challenged students but also supported what they had learnt within class.
This year Baxter College set its sights on improving attainment by promoting independent learning.
The results have been remarkable and they have observed a real growth in proactive, motivated learners as a result.
Whilst there have been many successes in closing the gap between the attainment of Pupil Premium students and their peers over recent years, as educators we still have a long way to go.
Teacher Helen Smith explains how she has used Doddle to engage, raise aspirations and improve attitudes to learning – key barriers standing in the way of PP attainment in her classes.
In their recent Ofsted inspection Tunmarsh School and New Directions, of Newham Pupil Referral Units, got ‘outstanding’ feedback thanks, in part, to their excellent use of Doddle for monitoring and driving pupil progress.
We interviewed Deputy Head Elgan Prosser, and Assistant Head Patricia Andrews, about how they met the new, stricter Ofsted requirements, while engaging students with their learning and supporting their transfer back into mainstream.
Doddle has made setting homework easier, we have made a financial saving by using it and it has meant that we can focus more on teaching and learning in the classroom. It is a very user-friendly system for setting homework and the quality of resources on Doddle are really, really good.
In August 2017, we waited with bated breath to receive the first bout of 1-9 grades from the new English Language and Literature GCSEs. We’d been promised only a handful of Grade 9s across the entire country, but in the end over 2000 pupils achieved straight Grade 9s. The crème de la crème of GCSE attainment suddenly seemed obtainable and sights are now firmly on this summer’s exams.
In their recent report on the new national curriculum, the Policy Exchange think tank concluded frankly that “the workload demand on teachers creating almost all of their resources themselves is intolerable”.
It is no wonder, then, that both the Policy Exchange and the Independent Teacher Workload Group have called for schools to invest in teaching resources.
A recent report published by the Education Endowment Foundation highlighted stark gaps between the attainment of SEND and non-SEND students at both age 11 and 16, with the disparities between SEND and non-SEND students greater than those between disadvantaged students and their peers.
I came to my role as Vice Principal for Teaching & Learning at a time of significant change to the curriculum and the impact it has made on teacher and student workload. In the light of more terminally assessed linear exams, I had to urgently address students taking greater responsibility for their own knowledge and enable targeted, effective homework and revision.
The Department for Education is clear, parental engagement can have “a large and positive effect on children’s learning” and so, schools should prioritise the identification of effective methods for involving parents in their child’s education.