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Speak Out! 2011-2014 Patcham High School Preliminary Findings from Evaluation Julia Sutherland, Mark Warner & Jo Byrne.

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Presentation on theme: "Speak Out! 2011-2014 Patcham High School Preliminary Findings from Evaluation Julia Sutherland, Mark Warner & Jo Byrne."— Presentation transcript:

1 Speak Out! Patcham High School Preliminary Findings from Evaluation Julia Sutherland, Mark Warner & Jo Byrne

2 Overview  Introduction to team  Research Context & rationale: Patcham High School Speak Out! funded by Paul Hamlyn  Project aims & ‘ingredients’  Main findings of Evaluation  Implications for developing good practice? How relevant to your school?

3 Pair buzz…  Why focus on talk and reading for students in receipt of the Pupil Premium?

4 Why talk or oracy?  Develops cognitive ability, reasoning & understanding – measurable impact on attainment in English, Mathematics & Science (Alexander, 2012)  Oral ability relates to social, emotional, moral & cultural development; well-being; ability to participate in democracy - citizenship  Oral language is foundation for all reading comprehension, writing  Children’s unequal starting points: pre-school oral experiences & practices – how far do they ‘fit’ with school’s?  At 3 & 5 years, gap in vocabulary & cognitive development between lowest SES 20% versus highest SES 20% = 1 year (Blanden/Michin, 2011  These gaps widen through schooling (Blanden/Michin, 2011; Feinstein, 2003)

5 Why reading?  Increases vocabulary, inference, comprehension, cognitive development, cross-curricular understanding  Fifth of students in UK/Europe have low reading attainment  Attainment gap between weak/strong readers widens at secondary school (EACEA, 2011; DCSF, 2010)  Motivation to read is strongly associated with reading ability (McKeown, 2013)  Children from low SES backgrounds are less likely to enjoy reading independently (Clarke and Akerman, 2006)  Reading enjoyment is a more important determinant of children’s educational success than their family’s socioeconomic status (Clarke & Rumbold, 2006; OECD, 2002)

6 Context for Reading & Talk projects, Patcham High School, 2009… Urban, average-sized comprehensive.  In 2009: high proportion of Pupil Premium; nearly a quarter of students with SEND  60% had reading age 2 years below chronological age  Response to Ofsted  Mark Warner’s & colleagues’ ongoing commitment to students’ independent reading – beliefs + some research

7 Whole-school, 3-year Project Aims 1. Develop students’ oral skills & confidence, focusing on most disadvantaged, Yrs 7-11, enhancing ability to progress to education, employment & training 2. Enhance teachers’ ability to develop talk 3. Establish community involvement 4. Increase students’ motivation & engagement in independent reading: focus on reading for pleasure

8 Project Ingredients  High status for Reading & Talk  DEAR + Talk + Awards for both  Talk: Briefing, Assemblies, Friday Bk Talk  School & Local libraries at heart: hosting events & developing exciting stock of books  Accelerated Reader to monitor reading progress & make library more user-friendly for weaker readers  Creative, linked projects: some outside  Community links: volunteers, parents, writers, parents, universities involved  CPD: reading & talk; Teacher research: English Dept

9 Examples of interventions  Structured group coaching on talk for most in need  Paired reading with adult volunteer:10-week blocks  Year 9 low set – storytelling to Year 5s  Slam poetry: students with challenging behaviour; collaborative training & strategies for Girls & talk  TV project – creating a ‘One Show’ video  Tiger’s Den & employer workshops & visits  Reading competitions; After-dinner DEAR; book groups, Friday Book Talk, Assemblies, Staff briefings  Training for existing Student Voice activities: e.g. Lead/Support Students; Teachers’ Critical Friends

10 CPD for teachers sssss  by specialists internal/external  External inputs  INSET day on oracy and literacy: workshops  staff training on pair and group talk  Better Reading Partners Training in Teaching & learning communities  TA training in Questioning and Talk for Writing  Inset Day - Talk for Writing

11 Mixed-method Evaluation  Comparative baseline & final oral attainment data Years 7-9 and 11, from English teachers,  Comparative reading-test scores for Paired Readers  33 Interviews with groups of students, teachers, project leaders and other stakeholders, across most projects [+ teacher questionnaires in process]  Observations, e.g. Awards Ceremony, coaching  Yr 10 Student Questionnaires on Reading Attitudes  7 Case Studies on PP & SEND students  Triangulation of perspectives and methods

12 Qualitative Findings on Talk What the students say…  All projects highly rated, especially by students with weaker oral skills, but also provide extension & challenge for all  Coaching well evaluated, once adapted for students with weak oral skills only – not ‘one size fits all’  Improvements in:  Communication, fluency, confidence, extending talk registers  Articulating feelings & ideas, negotiating with unfamiliar adults/teachers & avoiding conflict  Collaborating, building relationships & appreciating different views, after early resistance, including out-of-school contexts  Leading & supporting others  Developing skills in interviews & making transition to FE, work

13 Students’ views  Group, exploratory talk is useful for learning across curriculum – deepens thinking, co-construction of understanding  Value increased independence of teachers & peer support  Show sophisticated understanding & reflection on talk: ‘go meta’: e.g. range of discourses, audiences, purposes; relationship between talk and identity – power imbalances; rights to speak  Mid-Year 2: Year 10 students report teacher-practices changing: ‘Improved teacher questioning’: ‘more challenging with good follow-up questions’ – probing their thinking.  More effective use of pair and group talk & space for students to develop ideas –praise for dialogic teachers who create this space  Value ‘real-world’/out-of-classroom contexts: TV, Storytelling…  Observations of ‘Awards’ show celebration of progress in talk, make links between home/school & show Community of Practice developing

14 Findings on Reading  Embedded whole-school culture of reading & book talk  Greatly enhanced motivation & engagement – all year groups  Reading data shows development in reading scores for PP: 10- wk paired reading, average scores rose by 1 year  Importance of talk, class & peer, to developing enthusiastic independent readers: DEAR + Talk + Accelerated Reader  Year 10 classes where tutors regularly engaged in rich talk about books made the greatest development in:  a) reading comprehension  b) attitudes to reading – this engagement more likely to be sustained after project  Relationship between reading & talk constantly reinforced: Speak Out! Awards celebrate reading achievements – After- Dinner Dear, Reading aloud

15 Evidence of sustained change in teacher practices?  Yes, where students draw parallels between interventions & pedagogy in lessons:  Year 9 storytelling; Poetry project; DEAR; Paired reading  Lessons cited often linked to Teacher Research  Gradual shift to higher-level, collaborative talk & space for student voices to develop  Changes at KS4 particularly convincing & linked to assessment – students report teachers recognising value of talk to deepen understanding

16 Issues and Challenges  Time – luxury of 3-year project to learn from mistakes & gradually change cultural & pedagogic practices  Year 1 of project: ‘pockets of excellence’ some progress in culture of pair/group talk in lessons, but not embedded  ‘Coaching’ sessions initially disconnected from core curriculum; little consolidation via AfL: ‘bolted-on’? Driven by pressure to meet quantitative targets expected in funded projects (900+ students targeted)?  How to gain whole-staff commitment & lasting change of pedagogy, embedding culture of developing talk/reading?  Resources & Leadership – Funding, Passion of team leaders

17 Implications  Whole-school commitment – embedded over time  Oracy & Reading at Centre of student learning  Library as Fulcrum of Activity – See new NC & policy docs  Real-world contexts – literacy must feel relevant, real audiences, opportunities for talking more formally to range of unfamiliar people/different purposes  Induction into school oral discourses - structured pair/group exploratory ‘talk for thinking’ – use of ground-rules, reflection - KAL  Creativity of approach – poetry-writing, TV project  Teacher Researchers as Change Agents, driving project, with 2 critically reflective ‘Teacher’ Coordinators: could more teachers be involved in sharing & developing practice from start of project?  School openness to change? Project benefitted from dynamic culture in school & esp. English Dept, after waves of research on reading & talk  Difficulty of measuring impact & attributing significance – collecting reliable quantitative data – S and L grades; Accelerated Reader data?

18 Yes, sometimes I sit upstairs and speak to my brother or I'll read to my brother and he sits down and listens and he's quite happy that I can actually read to him […] because I can read and talk better now. (Carrie, Yr 8 with ASC, School Action +)  I think that the Speak Out! TV project and everything we've done with speaking and listening has really helped with my life to like make it less daunting for speaking in front of other people and it's also helped with class discussion […] to join in with them, instead of just sit back and watch everyone else. It's raised my confidence a lot [Steve, Year 10] Student voices Speak Out! 2014  The most valuable bit was that you were counting on yourselves to get it right […] This was good, instead of having a teacher telling you what to do and the different stages, you could do it your own way and with your own ideas (Jade, Yr 10, Sch Action +) I think [my talk] improved when I’m speaking to the teacher because when I speak to them formally, they find it more polite and it helps me if I'm in trouble because I can put my side of the story and they listen better… Teachers have started liking me more now (Vince, Year 8)

19 The school’s strong focus on literacy is helping prepare students for the next stage of their education  DEAR is recognised locally and nationally for its success. This has encouraged students to read more widely, talk about their books and write about them in the school magazine. Ofsted, 2013  Students now achieve well, gaining GCSE results in line with national averages and, in some subjects, notably English, well above them. This has been helped by the good range of literacy initiatives in place Students are tolerant, work together happily and understand the needs of others.

20 Implications & sharing practice  What is of immediate interest or concern?  How far does it match your school context?  Whole-school, creative literacy approaches:  How achievable?  What are issues & challenges?  What is role of teacher? Senior leader? TLC?  Match with policy – new NC?

21 Contacts  Julia Sutherland  Mark Warner Guardian Pleasure for Reading Conference 2 Sussex Teacher Researcher conferences  Jo Byrne

22 Bibliography 1  Alexander, R. (2012) Improving oracy and classroom talk in English Schools: Achievements and Challenges. Extended version of a presentation given at the DfE seminar on Oracy: the National Curriculum and Educational Standards, 20 February,  Blanden, Jo and Stephen Machin (2010) “Changes in inequality and intergenerational mobility in early years assessments” in Kirstine Hansen, Heather Joshi and Shirley Dex (eds) Children of the 21st century: The first five years. Bristol: Policy Press.  Clarke and Akerman, (2006) Social inclusion and reading An exploration. London: National Literacy Trust  Clarke & Rumbold (2006) Reading for Pleasure: A Research Overview. London: National Literacy Trust  Dickerson, A. & Popli, G. (2012) Persistent poverty and children’s cognitive development: evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Working paper 2012/2. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Ed, University of London

23 Bibliography 2  DCSF (2007) English Subject Leader Training Materials Speaking & Listening (2007) London: DCSF  EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency/Eurydice). (2011) Teaching Reading in Europe: Contexts, Policies and Practices. Brussels: EACEA, Eurydice (Excellent report & key few pages on reading comprehension)  Feinstein, Leon (2003) Inequality in the Early Cognitive Development of British Children in the 1970 Cohort, Economica, 70,  Literacy Guide for Secondary Schools: (2014)London: National Literacy Trust.  McKeown, S.P. (2013) Reading Motivation and engagement in the primary classroom: theory, research and practice. London: UKLA (mini-books series; see Talk for Reading, C. Warner, same series)


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