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It became clear, after our big push on assessment and marking, that we needed to do more to improve the students’ lesson recall. So we focused on home learning and how it can help.
We did extensive research to get the pupil and parent voice on home learning. There were lots of barriers identified, such as parents not knowing what homework’s been set and some students not valuing home learning. We also spotted some gender gaps in the quality of work done and teachers felt it created more work to mark.
Stacey Parker-Browne and Lucy Pond, Hungerhill School
Positive feedback from the students
We implemented I am Learning and analysed the impact on recall at the end of lessons, a week later and finally after half a term. We saw the decline in recall over these periods. So we initiated spiral learning. The ability to reassign questions in I am Learning/FrogPlay with zero impact on teacher workload. Students really valued the topics being put back in their minds.
More focused lessons
I am Learning provides clear information on where students are in their learning. This insight has enabled teachers to focus lessons better. For example adjusting the groups in lessons so the gaps in learning are addressed. Also it’s helped increase the content covered in each lesson.
However there is not enough curriculum time to cover all the content and get deep learning in lessons alone. It was very clear to us that if we didn’t get home learning working properly and use independent learning time, we couldn’t properly prepare the students for exams.
The questions set for independent learning impacts lesson planning as the teacher needs to cover the same topics. So we are now providing reading material prior to lessons which is then supplemented with questions in I am Learning. As we have moved to a three year KS4, this approach has to work all the way through from Year 9, with students able to revisit what they did in Year 9 during Year 10 and 11. We want to use online revision guides for this.
I am Learning/Frog Play brings the fun back to learning
A key element in all of this is that I Am Learning/FrogPlay makes independent learning fun! The software is built on points and we run leader boards that link to rewards and vouchers. The students have largely bought into this, embraced it really and are using it independently. Our user statistics are very high in comparison with other schools nationally using I am Learning!
Our challenge now is to find the time for teachers to write content and devise the right questions. As a teaching school this also helps with teacher training, so we will be allocating timetable time for our strongest teachers to do this.