The children chosen for this JPD project were a mixture of Reception and Year 1 children who had entered Reception working within either 22-36 months or 30- 50 months in Communication and Language (CAL). Historically, children enter school lower than the expected level of 40-60 months and I thought this would be a good opportunity to close the gap between those children who come in below expectations within CAL and also FSM.
Although all children in Springboard were significantly underachieving, research demonstrates that FSM and PP children are much more likely to underperform than those who are not. So, even though all the children in the class were to be targeted, it would be the FSM&PP children which would be even more closely monitored for the purpose of this project.
Research across the country has shown that FSM children are much more likely to underperform than children who are not FSM. Looking at historic data from Combe Martin this has often (although not always) been the case too. I wanted to develop a system of teaching writing which would allow the teacher to tailor the learning of each child more closely to their needs. I also wanted to make the teacher more aware of the needs, progress and next steps for each of these children than would have been the case under my previous style of teaching. The success criteria: This was to move the children’s learning in English Writing forward at a faster than expected rate, to enable them to catch up with their peers and to close the gap in their learning.
After identifying the children in my class’ learning needs and barriers, I researched how I could provide tailored support to facilitate the children in discovering and fulfilling their potential.
Some of the children in the FSM group lacked confidence and found it difficult to express themselves clearly. I also noticed that there were behaviour and emotional difficulties which were hindering the children from fully engaging themselves in their learning. I observed that the pupils’ underdeveloped abilities in speaking and listening skills were directly affecting their achievement in writing. Therefore, my aim was to raise the standard of writing amongst the group through develop their speaking and listening skills.
The pass rate for 2012/2013 was 35%. It was hoped that through applying a systematic and structured approach to phonics lessons, that allowed participation by all children, the pass rate would be brought in line with the average national pass rate. In the Class 2 cohort there are 4 FSM children, all Year 2, none of whom passed the phonics screening check in 2013. Six children who started the year working at Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds were also made a subject of this study.