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Audrey McKie

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Everything posted by Audrey McKie

  1. 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
  2. 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 e
  3. 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 Liste
  5. Graham said Typical!!! Thanks, very helpful
  6. 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 -w
  7. thanks for your information and precious help, I have a lot to think about over the next 3 weeks.
  8. 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 exp
  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. 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 w
  11. i think something went wrong with the computer. I wasn't being forceful putting my point across.... Sorry
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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 detai
  16. Just thought I'd ask those of you who have seeen the documentary what they thought of it.
  17. I'll suggest that next time we have a meeting, which is not even once a year.... Although I am French, I am not a great Union person, but I agree with yur view and i wish that they could make themselves heard. The trouble is that one of our reps is retiring and the other one (from a rival company!) took over two years ago from a retiree and is doing that job the same way as he does his teaching one: he just doesn't care...... I'll stop being cynical for a minute and will submit your idea to my colleagues. Thanks Derek.
  18. I am afed up with the lack of transparency from members of the management team in my present school. What they is at best contradictory: on the one hand, we are told that due to the unions (and thereafterthe government too) workload has got to be reduced, and I am greatful for the little amount of cover I have done this year, but on the other hand we are thrown a vast amount a small or large tasks to do, most often administrative and always extremely obscure. And at worst it just does not make any sense... For example, all teachers at my school are being observed by SMT, however, the reason f
  19. Graham says: Yes, I've had a similar experience with a Swiss girl speaking French who wanted to 'lancer un coup de fil' instead of 'donner un coup de fil' (to phone) which in my mind's eye looked like her whipping me with the phone wire!!!
  20. I would like to meet the person who decided that British children did not need to know the grammar of their own language and tell them what I think of that decision! How much more difficult our job is when we constantly have to correct pupils' speech, their writing, etc... let alone teach them anything worthwhile! This is so frustrating! Let's see what our newly appointed governement decides to do about the appalling state of Education
  21. Graham says The question of dreams and languages is one that is often asked by my students, as well as that of thinknig. They always wonder which language I do these in. Apart from very few occasions where it is obvious and the reasons for doing so are too - e.g. my Spanish exams are coming soon and I've been dreaming in Spanish a lot recently - I actually don't know what language I dream in anymore. I think that because I know 2 languages well and 2 others fairly well, I have lost the need to verbalise thoughts and only dream in concepts of language. All the same, during the long hours I s
  22. I have had one of the same kind, except I was at the receiving end and felt more embarrassed than my colleague who brushed the incident off in an amused manner. In short, we were at the end of a long moderating day and had reverted to speaking French when this colleague started to talk about her son whose 'gland' wasn't functioning properly. I thought I was going to die of embarrassment for the poor lad who was at the height of puberty at the time. I couldn't quite get my head round the reasons why she would want us to know such intimate details about her son's shortcomings... Eventually rea
  23. After a very long absence and getting my password back, I am back onto this forum!!! Graham, it seems we are again revisiting some old grounds with this debate about learning languages. It seems that those who do know languages are the only ones to see the benefit of such learning. Do you think we should consider the problem from a different angle? I have been thinking for some time that we are the victims of some frustrated, hung-up people who'd rather adopt the 'politique de l'autruche' than face their own short-comings. My poiny being that it is easier to bring every boody down to your l
  24. I despair... I can only draw a paralell between what David says and the literacy/grammar problems encountered in British schools today. As you know, English isn't taught in British schools through grammatical analysis (unlike French and German in their respective countries). There has been an effort in the past few years to address the issue, unfortunately, for a large part, grammar has to be taught by teachers who were never taught it, therefore leaving pupils quite confused about what they have to learn... This then has a dramatical knock-on effect on the teaching and learning of languages
  25. Would the issue of teenage pregnancy be class induced an economically motivated? It saddens me that children are brought into this world not out of love but because of boredom, lack of professional prospect and as a way of getting an income. What future have they got? I am not implying that the mothers don't love their babies, but I am slightly doubtful about the family structure which those children are brought up. I know that I am generalising but I can't see mother and father staying together after the birth. Do you? And I am not even blaming the father!! I have a pupil aged 14 1/2 who has
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