Informed intervention and independent learning at Castle View school

The science team at Castle View school needed a way to effectively link their classroom teaching, targeted intervention and student’s independent learning. We caught up with Sean Webb and Chris Bazley to find out more about the solution they put in place this year.

Why did you choose Doddle?

“We chose Doddle because we wanted a system that would assess how students are doing against each statement in the new specification, rather than just a mark out of ten or a percentage. We wanted to see what bits they were getting right and what bits we needed to focus on later."

 

On Doddle, the school can access online, self-marking progress tests that link to Personalised Learning Checklist (PLC) statements. Students can complete these tests at the beginning and end of each unit to give a clear indication of the progress they’ve made.

At Castle View, one lesson every fortnight is spent in a computer room completing these tests, says Sean.

The fact that Doddle offers baseline progress tests is a godsend because it analyses the students without much input from us, so that’s a fundamental part of how we’ve arranged our KS3 programme this year.”

How does this data inform student intervention?

The team showed us ‘plenary booklets’ that they had created, linking exam-style questions to Doddle statements. This allows teachers to clearly understand exactly where students’ strengths and weaknesses lie.

The team use this information, combined with the data obtained from Doddle’s progress tests, to identify those students most at risk of falling behind. Those with the lowest scores (or red skills) in Doddle come to Thursday intervention sessions after school.

“In small groups they work specifically on the areas that their teachers have identified as being weak for them. Those children are very happy by the end of the sessions as they are able to see that they have ‘gone green’ on their target skills.”

This approach sees students making progress at an accelerated rate. Reviewing their weaknesses in this way allows them to sit their end of topic tests having already been through targeted intervention, gaining marks that are reflective of their ability. Teachers can then move on to later topics knowing that outstanding knowledge gaps have been addressed.

How have students responded to this new approach?

“Students enjoy the Doddle test lessons and the competition amongst them means they’re always on about finding out what score they got.”

Further capitalising on their students’ competitive nature, Sean and Chris have been recognising achievement by giving out prizes during assemblies to pupils who have the highest average quiz scores in each year group, using Doddle’s ready-to-print certificates. If you would like to do the same simply search ‘certificate’ in your Doddle resources bank.

How has Doddle helped to develop independent learning?

To develop independent learning skills, students at Castle View all have access to the science department’s ‘Home Learning Calendars’ which tell them the topics they will be studying during the year.

In addition, they have the ability to search Doddle’s vast resources bank to find presentations, revision activities and interactive animations that relate to the topics they are studying in lessons.

This has had a surprising effect on student study habits, says Chris:

“Some of the students are even self-teaching future units by going on Doddle and finding materials that fit the topic they know they will be studying in class next week. That’s not the sort of thing we would ordinarily expect pupils to do, but they really enjoy it.”