I’m pausing during a busy parents’ evening to consider what we’ve put into making ours successful.
I’m the KS coordinator for KS4, and have done much of the ‘grunt’ work for this evening, Simon (of www.ilovehistory.co.uk) is our HOD, and has helped me with the documentation and data for the evening. I want to record, in case I need it in future (and in case anyone else needs it now) what we have done to make tonight successful.
I wrote a letter, with Simon’s guidance, based on a letter written by Alan, the previous head of department. This letter tells students (and parents) about the revision sessions (and resources) on offer, the dates of the exam, and some basic information about what is in each paper.
We offer weekly revision sessions, which are run by every member of the team on a rota basis, and will will also do two weekend sessions before each paper. This evening we also offered a range of revision resources for students to use at home. Mr Ross and I have prepared podcasts for the year 10 course, and I have made a DVD of revision material for the course over the two years. We also have a stock of revision books which we’ve built up over a couple of years. This year we’ve offered these out on deposit to every student in year 11, and many have taken us up on the offer.
Simon produced an excel spreadsheet based on CAT, YELIS and Fisher Family Trust predictions, and using our own predictions, along with the student’s performance in their mocks. This data is used not only to show students how well they’re doing compared with where they should be (and congratulate them on their achievements), but also to point out how close they are to exceeding the expectations. The data has been really appreciated, by parents and students.
Of course, much of this is easier in a large department, where people can work on particular parts of this mix, and we’re lucky to work in such a large and dedicated team. Each teacher recorded which parents attended, and we’ll send the letters and documents we handed out this evening, to those people who couldn’t attend.