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Inset Feedback: Improving performance in SHP GCSE


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#1 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:25 PM

Improving performance in SHP GCSE through planning lively lessons, developing a variety of learning styles and designing better coursework.

1) What is special about the SHP GCSE course?
2) Planning and teaching a lively course.
3) Improving performance: showing the grade D candidate the way.
4) Designing better coursework

News from the course
· SHP conference will be held in Leeds as usual on July 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
· There has been a relaunch of the SHP website with more material and appropriate links etc. Check this out on www.tasc.ac.uk/shp
· There are big changes afoot in the GCSE with a new hybrid GCSE being trialled for entry in 2006. This may include a core of study materials with various vocational units. This may be available as a double award but little detail is available at the moment. Further information is on the SHP website.
· (New to me anyway) It is possible to have a group of pupils’ work remarked and a written report put together on their performance. There is an additional cost involved but the intention is to provide more relevant feedback to centres.
· There is a new SHP book “What is History”, published by Hodder Murray and based largely upon the main themes of the SHP GCSE and introduces pupils to these earlier so that they can develop skills appropriate for the GCSE.
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#2 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:26 PM

Overall the course addressed a number of concerns, but the vast majority of people at the conference teach the American West and Medicine Through Time units. We looked at the different examination boards and discussed the various teaching arrangements we used and how these affected our course. Chris Culpin suggested that the best coursework could be done in around 6 weeks per unit as their 12.5% weighting didn’t justify spending longer in their study. We discussed the issue of how we teach the development study and whether we might break this up into themes or chronologically teaching up to 1900 in year 10 then going onwards from this later in year 11. Another key problem suggested was the need to fit the depth study and development study into a framework that allowed easy revision, particularly given the position of history in many pupils’ priorities.
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#3 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:27 PM

How to improve the SHP course in your school.
Firstly it was suggested that the flexibility of the Key Stage 3 programme of study to cover more of the skills and content required in the SHP. So for example we’d look at medicine through the Middle Ages and then just be recapping in later lessons. Further examples given include a possible mini depth study on Northern Ireland, a possible coursework style unit on a topic studied, teaching Native peoples of America, or an overview such as “In what ways did life get better for the poor?”.
It was also suggested that looked at harmonising assessment objectives and using KS3 to build up the ability to tackle GCSE questions, so for example doing more on interpretation, reliability and usefulness of sources. For further examples see WWW.NCACTION.org.uk for a database of searchable activities and pupils’ work marked and assessed.
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#4 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:27 PM

In particular one issue raised was how to raise grade D’s up to C’s.
Firstly the main theme coming from examiners was a weakness in exam technique. Candidates need to be aware of exactly what type of questions they are to face (for example Edexcel questions all follow the same pattern, “What can you learn from the source, cross referencing” etc) and coached in the skills needed for sourcework, showing candidates how they are answered. Ideas for ways around this included
· use of peer marking,
· giving pupils last year’s completed exam papers and getting them to mark them using the relevant mark schemes, looking at what is needed to achieve the appropriate levels.
· One person suggested that candidates took examples of questions and used a marker to blank out the irrelevant parts of the answer or highlighting the elements needed to reach a particular standard.
· In particular candidates need to be prepared for what were called the “iceberg questions” where the question might appear to ask about one topic but need to have an answer that looks at a broader overview. For example “To what extent was the development of anaesthetic a major factor in the improvement in surgery by the end of the nineteenth century?” Here candidates need to show their knowledge and understanding of anaesthesia but also other developments in order to attain the higher grades.
· Again the suggestion was that the Key Stage 3 course could be used as a preparation for GCSE, looking at the basic skills and types of question used and using the schemes of work to develop questions such as; What changed? Why? What was the significance of this change? What progress came from this change?
· Each examination board has its’ own website that highlights ways of improving exam performance or suggests examples of good practice for coursework and exemplar materials.
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#5 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:29 PM

There were a number of card sorting exercises to try out, examples of which are included here. The key features of these were that they helped pupils in organising their thoughts, not just in haphazardly writing down their ideas. These could then be the basis of planning for extended writing.
The basic theme of the day was that history at GCSE should involve lots of active learning, with a full range of activities designed to meet the various visual, audio and kinesthetic learning needs of your pupils. (A brief outline of the basic features is included with these notes)
PHEW! THANKS TO Chris Culpin for a very interesting and informative day. He also added that this site was excellent and more people should do more. Agreed!
Regards
Dave
There is a light and it never goes out.
Go pray in my church!
http://www.nufc.com




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