Jim Heal (English Teacher and Behaviour & Discipline SLE) describing the use of Harkness to develop Independent Learning

What makes great pedagogy?

A Study of KS4 English students in Cross-Sectoral Online Collaboration.

'Learning is a social and collaborative activity in which people develop their thinking together."
(James, 2009)

The Teaching Schools initiative (2010) aims to improve standards in education and leadership through school to school support and peer to peer learning. The National College and the Institute of Education are supporting Teaching Schools in this initiative in three research and development (R&D) themes, the first of which is 'What Makes Great Pedagogy? Nine Strong Claims from Research.' (Husbands, Pearce, 2012.) The seventh of those claims states that "Effective pedagogies focus on developing higher order thinking and meta-cognition, and make good use of dialogue and questioning in order to do so." It is the latter part of this claim, and its focus on dialogue and questioning that I propose to explore with our partner schools.

'In a 2009 government web cast, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as "devastating." This is what researchers have often referred to as the "summer slide." It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected (Cooper, 1996).'

Research Question:
What is the impact of a collaborative summer reading programme impact on KS4 English student confidence and enjoyment of reading.

Rationale:
This project seeks to explore the ways in which pupil dialogue and collaboration at KS4 English (language) can improve attainment and affect learning in a virtual space in cost effective ways.

Methodology:
Students will do a pre and post test testing reading comprehension skills and will also be assessed on their engagement and confidence in reading. Staff will receive an initial training session from Google on how to use their online tools. (This session is now also open to staff across the alliance.) Following this, over the summer a range of C/D borderline year 10 pupils from across our alliance will engage in a 6 week online collaborative reading programme using the new Google Classroom. This will not be online tutoring but will feature activities such as reading an extract from a childrens author then having a week of 'ask the author' where students can ask questions directly (but safely.) Students will also be expected to write a collaborative story and keep a record of new vocabulary.

Findings and dissemination:
A report will be published in October and delivered to the National College with a set of recommendations made to partner schools.

The Wellington College Teaching School Partners