Rhosybol Primary School has developed pupils’ skills and independence within key stage 2 by planning and teaching more creatively. Pupils were divided into groups in line with their ability to complete tasks throughout the week. Assessment and monitoring of progression included pupil-led filming in the form of a ‘vlog’.
Date of inspection: March 2018
Context and background to the effective or innovative practice
As a result of the school’s self-evaluation processes, a need was identified to develop the principles of the foundation phase within key stage 2. A decision was made to make it a priority in the school improvement plan. In the meantime, staff were given opportunities to observe and work for periods in the foundation phase, and decide on specific aspects for development. For example, the need was identified to develop and rotate tasks within the areas, develop the pupil’s voice in order to develop their motivation towards learning, and foster independence.
There was an opportunity in the classroom to ask pupils about their work, in addition to holding meeting to discuss planning methods. The higher-level teaching assistant in the foundation phase was also given an opportunity to share experiences and practices with the key stage 2 assistants. Specific areas were decided on to be used to develop pupils’ skills and independence.
Description of nature of strategy or activity
In a mixed class of four age ranges, it was decided to divide pupils into five groups in line with their ability. The groups were placed in specific areas to work for the afternoon. The groups rotate through different tasks throughout the week, which reinforces the context, along with one focus group. At the end of each week, the groups assess their understanding and suggest ideas for the following week’s tasks. This engages their interest, develops their skills and enthusiasm towards learning skilfully, and strengthens their commitment to their work.
In order to strengthen the pupil's voice further and apply their skills, pupils are given opportunities to organise and lead projects and film them in the form of a ‘vlog’. This reinforces pupils’ learning and creativity, in addition to their independence. An example of this can be seen as pupils in Years 3 and 4 try to answer the question, ‘How can we teach the children of Wales about the copper industry here at Parys Mountain?’
What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?
There is a mature relationship between staff and pupils, which creates an enthusiastic learning environment in all classes for pupils of all abilities. This has ensured that nearly all pupils apply themselves fully to the tasks with motivation, and concentrate independently for extended periods. This development has ensured that the school develops and works towards the new curriculum for Wales, and that the four aims are at the heart of all provision.
How have you shared your good practice?
Practices have been shared with nearby schools through joint working and holding open evenings at the school. The school is already part of the GwE consortium’s creative planning development project, which will be shared and will co-ordinate the successful futures curriculum within the catchment area.