At my place of work – Include, we do not have ILP’s, this is because we run a twenty week, roll on roll off programme and we wouldn’t have the time. We do however set goals, at the start and during monthly reviews, using simplified paperwork.. Our sister company that teach pre- sixteen’s do, and I have looked at these documents to reflect on anything that would be transferable to my teaching and offer improvements.
The role of initial and diagnostic assessments is key for producing individual learning goals. It is essential to find out exactly where the student wants to go, why they are wanting qualifications, eg for a particular course at college, and what is realistic bearing in mind their diagnostic assessments. Initially all students are tested using BKSB to find the level they are and what they might achieve with help and teaching from the Functional skills tutor. We carry out Initial Assessments, (A) and Foundation Learning agreements (B) which note career progression aims, some objectives, qualifications to be taken, while with us as well as other documentation gathering personal details, health, education and drug and alcohol misuse.
Our Initial assessment covers previous learning experiences, learning styles, personal and social skills, health and personal circumstances as well as the support we can provide to help the student reach his goals. We also carry out a monthly review, one of the most important ways we can check how the student is performing, his progress, whether he is on track and more importantly whether he feels he’s learning, achieving his goals, and whether he feels supported in his learning. This review time, is also a time when the student can tell us what he wants and where we and he could improve outcomes.
During the review we can find out how the last few weeks lessons have gone, and together we will set SMART targets, and any behavioural problems, late arrivals, not joining in class etc. are addressed and support that would be helpful, worked out together for the next month . We also discuss where he would like to go to work experience and try hard to find the correct match, as this is often a spur to his learning. After goals have been decided and any support worked out the student will sign the review sheet which is filed in their learner file, and a copy is given to the student to refer to each day, to remind them of goals and targets.
After the Initial Assessment and reviews, our student profile (C) is updated (weekly) and this is used with our current session plan as a pointer as to how our students need supporting. I also carry out tutorials, usually towards the end of each unit when students discuss and work with me on any any unfinished or not understood criteria, before completing. The two sessions I have chosen, are on Independent Living (D & E). When planning sessions I must be sure that the work I set covers the criteria set by the exam board and balance this with the needs and understanding of my students. I must also bear in mind my minimum core document.
“The minimum core will support all teachers in developing inclusive approaches to learners with literacy, numeracy and IT needs and raise achievements of learners on their learning programme” LLuk (2007) Obviously I must embed English, numeracy and IT into session planning, bearing in mind that I may well have students as varied in abilities as E1 through to Level 1 or even Level 2. Most of the units I teach are available in E3 or L1, so I will differentiate between the students as to what level they work at As I frequently have a number of foreign students speaking very little English when they join, I must remember to include LA1.
3, LA1. 6, LA2. 1 and LA2. 3 & . 4. At the reviews the Functional skills tutors will feed in literacy and numeracy problems and goals to be addressed during the month, these I need to include in my lesson planning eg L needs to develop spelling and punctuation skills, so when planning the next lesson, I look to see if I can incorporate something to build on these eg word searches, or reminding him to be careful with punctuation in his writing.
The student in the Initial Assessment (A) needs help and support with reading and writing, so a support worker needs to be written into every session plan to help. In many of the units I teach, class participation in discussions are expected and I must express myself clearly LS1 , LS2, LS3, LL1. I must plan my lesson carrying out LR1 & LR2. Embedding numeracy in a non maths lesson can be tricky, but in session (D) researching a flat and tenancy (IT) students had to work out much they would pay out to rent a flat (rent plus deposit etc) and in (E) designed a bedsit, incorporating measurements.
Above all when planning a session I must produce a lesson that considers the subject content and criteria, it must be relevant to the students, it must take into consideration, their learning needs and goals and and help stretch their capabilities. In the new session plan forms we have a section where we can list each students individual needs, and the strategy for helping this. This section concentrates my mind during planning and actual delivery, to remember each students needs and goals. There is also a section for differentiation which again reminds me of each students goals.
All the time I am teaching I must not be complacent , but continually improve my practice. This will be done by, talking with students during their review about the months learning, what they feel they have/have not learnt. By asking students to fill in anonymous evaluation forms. Discussions with the class about the units and what they learnt or would like to learn in the future. Listening to my IV’er and her feedback on the students work and on the unit levels, which have passed.
Reflecting on my teaching is a very important stage in helping me move my lessons and teaching, forward, it is about being more self aware and analysing what happened in my lessons. Schon (1983) suggests “reflect while you’re doing it” and “reflect after doing it” I like this straight forward approach. Planning to meet the needs of my learners means I must be continually review my teaching practise, improving on lesson content and find new and different ways of meeting my students needs, raise their self esteem and self worth which in turn helps self regulation and encourages the student to learn in a classroom setting.