Jump to content
The Education Forum

Audrey McKie

Members
  • Content Count

    54
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Audrey McKie

  • Rank
    Experienced Member
  1. Audrey McKie

    raising achievement

    Hi everybody I am looking for ideas and tips on raising achievement in general, with the following subheadings: - raising achievement at KS4. - raising boys' achievement. I went on a course a couple of years ago which gave me concrete ideas to use in the classroom, and it did work well, but I am finding that I am always using the same ideas, the same games : there are only so many ways of using Os and Xs!!! I just want to know whether we could all share ideas (from all subjects, from all types of schools) on how we try to raise motivation and achievement in our classrooms. Even a list on what to avoid would be welcome... Thanks Audrey
  2. Audrey McKie

    Modern Languages: GCSE and A levels

    I was re-reading this thread and had to admit that things are not getting better... The take up for languages at GCSE in Year 10 (prospective, that is) is extremely low (1/3 of cohort, including many dual linguits). However, Business Studies and Media Studies have more students than they can cope with! So the new idea is that those taking the aforementioned subjects should study a language as a compulsory component of that course. Well, I can see how this could be a good idea in theory: broader education, more skills, more employable students... Indeed, if you want to work, for example in export, it seems fundamental to know at least ONE language. Yet, in practice, I think it'll only serve as a deterrent for many students who will therfore not take those courses.
  3. Audrey McKie

    Lack of language skills = loss of jobs

    Graham, at last what we have been predicted has unfortunately come true. Is there a primary source which you could give us a link to so I can print it for work? Alas, this is too late to influence our take up in Year 10 (very low this year , sadly) but there may be a couple of our GCSE cohort whom I could persuade to take up a language at A-Level... Audrey
  4. Well, the interview is on Tuesday. Did I not say? I got this job for ONE term and it can be renewed as a permanent post as a 2nd in Faculty, in charge of KS4. I have been given all the details about the interview and I noticed that the school has invited one of the candidates who was present the last time round... I really don't know what to make of it, so if you have any tips, from whichever side of the interview room, it would be greatly appreciated... (interviewee, interviewer). My lesson is : half a Yr 10 class (grades A* - B ): Ma ville, intro lesson, concentrate on Speaking and Listening skills. Graham, any ideas on how to approach the matter? thanks Have a great weekend
  5. Audrey McKie

    European Day of Languages

    Graham said Typical!!! Thanks, very helpful
  6. Audrey McKie

    European Day of Languages

    Dear Colleagues I just thought that I would try to revive this tread as the European Day of Languages is approaching fast. Are you doing anything special in your school? What has the response been by colleagues from other faculties? if any or if involved. I have just started in a new post in Cheshire and I am pleased to see that the Languages has got a pretty high profile, possibly because we have a Dep Head and an Asst Head in the Faculty... This is what we've organised (I say WE but I mean the Head of Faculty): -an inter-tutor quiz about languages and European countries and cultures -willing teachers to greet students in a foreign language -students are challenged to teach teachers a aord or a fact about a language or country (which they didn't alrready know) One of the Maths NQTs, who is fluent in French is planning to do her lessons in French for that day too. I think this is fantastic and I am positively impressed ny the lack of reluctance of the staff here to get stuck in! Tell us all about your plans or what you have done in the past or did if you don't get to read this before Monday... Happy European Day of Languages Joyeuse Journee Europeenne des Langues
  7. thanks for your information and precious help, I have a lot to think about over the next 3 weeks.
  8. Audrey McKie

    Modern Languages: GCSE and A levels

    I agree with Graham concerning the over-specialisation of our students. It is rare to find people who are competent in more than one field, unlike people of our generation or older. A relative of mine is a world-wide acclaimed engineer whose career only advanced because he is able to conduct conferences in (broken) English without a translator or notes! The Americans love him! A while back, I found myself explaining to GCSE students that there wasn't a King in England at the moment an that the Queen Mother (who had just passed on ) was the Queen's mother. They were totally miffed with my explanation and one of them earnestly explained that he didn't know because he wasn't doing history... Yet, studying geography di not help as he thought that the capital of Chile was Con Carne! I despair... Ona more positive note, I think that we should see a sharp rise in the MFL results in the few years to come because of the optional system. I have to admit (reluctantly) that it has some positive sides. I teach 3 GCSE groups this year who are all very nice and motivated and relatively bright and they have all CHOSEN to do the subject. For the first time in my small career, I enjoy teaching KS4 more than KS3! Let's wait until next August and see what the option-students deliver.
  9. I am applying for a second in Faculty job whose main responsibility will be 'in charge of GCSE/KS4'. Any tips on what to include in letters, what to expect for interviews,etc... If this is your job description, can you tell me more about it? All help appreciated. Ta.
  10. Audrey McKie

    Modern Languages: GCSE and A levels

    When the results came out, I was very angry to see that, yet again, MFL was a target as an underachiever. Yet I was pleased to hear the journalist say 'maybe the dramatic fall in the take out of languages at GCSE has to do with the fact that the subject is now no longer compulsory; and that is not right.' On a more positive note, in my little group of adult learners taking a Spanish GCSE as an evening class, so far (I haven't managed to get in touch with all of my 'classmates') our pass rate of A*s and As is 100%. I don't blame pupils for choosing easier subjects where they know that they will get better grades, in their situation, I would do the same. I think that the option system has to be revised and and made more coherent from one school to the other. Why can't we go towards a system whereby options could be organised in groups and thus try to deliver a balanced curriculum? By that I mean to try to avoid the pitfall of the completely optional system where pupils can have very little literacy or numeracy etc except for the core subjects, yet that (utopic?) system would still allow some specialisation. I have in mind the post 16 French educational system, at least what was in place when I was doing my Bac. For example, I worked out that I was better at Languages than anything else, I quite liked reading too, so the Literary block was good for me: 2 languages, French, Humanities were the main components, and I was happy with that. I was less happy with the 8 weekly hours of philosophy but I made do with it because I got more out of it than I would have of any other block. On top of that I had to do one hour a week of biology, of physics and of maths. Only one of the 'scientific' subject would be sanctioned with an exam which we were told a month prior to the exam: it was physics, there was therefore no reason to get a bad mark as we knew what to revise, so I scored 95% (fluke). That grade is probably not worth very much but it looks good on the CV!! To finish with, I think the main point that I was trying to get across is that we need to have a clear structure to abide by and that it should be the same for all schools.
  11. Audrey McKie

    Despatches: Undercover Teacher

    i think something went wrong with the computer. I wasn't being forceful putting my point across.... Sorry
  12. Audrey McKie

    Despatches: Undercover Teacher

    I think that your first two points are roughly similar. Schools are put under so much pressure from outside agencies that they have little time left to deal with what is really important life inside the school, the teaching and the welfare of our students. Indeed, like you say, John, it is little surprising that schools have developed survival methods or shortcuts to make them meet the rigorous targets set by Ofsted and their like. The problem with the league tables was very well illustrated by a dispute my colleagues and I had with the 6th form college. Most of our A* students in Languages who carry on with the subject at AS Level find themselves totally lost, submerged by very complex grammatical concepts that they never have heard of in secondary school. 6th form tutors complain that we don't teach properly (not enough grammar, etc) yet, we teach very well for the pupils to achieve the best possible grade. Who's right and who's wrong? As for the inclusion policy, I am sure that it was a great idea to start with but I don't think that school have been given the tools to deal with so many disruptive pupils. Rather than making disruptive, problem pupils more 'mainstream', it has had the opposite effect, making borderline pupils or even 'good' pupils go to 'the dark side' because they can see other pupils geting away with things. They try it on, before you know it, half the class develop an attitude, they get rude, rowdy and finally they fight, throw chairs at each other (I'm not even joking) and the school goes onto a downward spiral... In my opinion, inclusion and assimilation can only work if only a few individuals are dealt with at a time. Schools otherwise find themselves overwhelmed with trouble they can't deal with at once.
  13. Audrey McKie

    Despatches: Undercover Teacher

    I think that your first two points are roughly similar. Schools are put under so much pressure from outside agencies that they have little time left to deal with what is really important life inside the school, the teaching and the welfare of our students. Indeed, like you say, John, it is little surprising that schools have developed survival methods or shortcuts to make them meet the rigorous targets set by Ofsted and their like. The problem with the league tables was very well illustrated by a dispute my colleagues and I had with the 6th form college. Most of our A* students in Languages who carry on with the subject at AS Level find themselves totally lost, submerged by very complex grammatical concepts that they never have heard of in secondary school. 6th form tutors complain that we don't teach properly (not enough grammar, etc) yet, we teach very well for the pupils to achieve the best possible grade. Who's right and who's wrong? As for the inclusion policy, I am sure that it was a great idea to start with but I don't think that school have been given the tools to deal with so many disruptive pupils. Rather than making disruptive, problem pupils more 'mainstream', it has had the opposite effect, making borderline pupils or even 'good' pupils go to 'the dark side' because they can see other pupils geting away with things. They try it on, before you know it, half the class develop an attitude, they get rude, rowdy and finally they fight, throw chairs at each other (I'm not even joking) and the school goes onto a downward spiral... In my opinion, inclusion and assimilation can only work if only a few individuals are dealt with at a time. Schools otherwise find themselves overwhelmed with trouble they can't deal with at once.
  14. Audrey McKie

    Despatches: Undercover Teacher

    I think that your first two points are roughly similar. Schools are put under so much pressure from outside agencies that they have little time left to deal with what is really important life inside the school, the teaching and the welfare of our students. Indeed, like you say, John, it is little surprising that schools have developed survival methods or shortcuts to make them meet the rigorous targets set by Ofsted and their like. The problem with the league tables was very well illustrated by a dispute my colleagues and I had with the 6th form college. Most of our A* students in Languages who carry on with the subject at AS Level find themselves totally lost, submerged by very complex grammatical concepts that they never have heard of in secondary school. 6th form tutors complain that we don't teach properly (not enough grammar, etc) yet, we teach very well for the pupils to achieve the best possible grade. Who's right and who's wrong? As for the inclusion policy, I am sure that it was a great idea to start with but I don't think that school have been given the tools to deal with so many disruptive pupils. Rather than making disruptive, problem pupils more 'mainstream', it has had the opposite effect, making borderline pupils or even 'good' pupils go to 'the dark side' because they can see other pupils geting away with things. They try it on, before you know it, half the class develop an attitude, they get rude, rowdy and finally they fight, throw chairs at each other (I'm not even joking) and the school goes onto a downward spiral... In my opinion, inclusion and assimilation can only work if only a few individuals are dealt with at a time. Schools otherwise find themselves overwhelmed with trouble they can't deal with at once.
  15. Audrey McKie

    Despatches: Undercover Teacher

    So what is the truth, John? That documentary made me a little angry, so much so, i stopped watching it after about 35 minutes. It made me wonder: Is it fair that teachers and schools should fail their inspections because of a handful of pupils who cannot be controled? I agree that sending them on a day trip as if they'd done something to deserve it is wrong and doesn't give a fair representation of the school, but is it the teachers' fault that they cannot be controled? sometimes, but not necessarily. On the topic of lesson plans: Do teachers have time to provide supply teachers with detailed lesson plans for them to take over? Not always and certainly not for long-term absences. I could do it if I am out for one day, but if the supply teacher is not a linguist, they're still not going to be able to teach. So, indeed, the cover work isn't challenging, but we are always asked not to give something too complicated so that anybody can do the lesson. As far as long-term supply teachers are concerned, those who work in my school are excellent and they are provided with SoWs and can plan their lessons themselves. It is also the school's responsability to take care of their supply teachers, so that they'll want to come back. This will in turn make the pupils think that they are part of the staff if they are often in school, therefore trigger more respect. This is one of the major problems with supply (and new) teachers, pupils 'try it on' with them until they become a familiar sighting in school, part of the furniture, if you like.
×