Case Study from Gareth Moores, Deputy Head Teacher:
AIdworth School, Basingstoke.
I teach AQA physics and Chemistry to a set 2 Year 11 group. I make effective use of SAM Learning both in and out of lessons in a number of ways.
Within the class, I use SAM Learning to support student understanding of the structure of the course. Clicking through the screens for the AQA Science topics really helps them to visualise how the topics link together, review what has been covered and picture what is to come. It helps them to manage their time as they can effectively assess where they are in the course and how well they are doing, and then can decide what their priorities are.
I also use SAM Learning to consolidate progress. The room I teach in has computers, the pupils are able to review and consolidate their understanding after they have learnt new content by independently finding the topic on SAM Learning and working through the topic.
SAM Learning really helps with effective homework setting. As a school we also use ShowMyHomework. I can combine these two resources to differentiate the homework enabling students to go further. Most pupils are able to log in at home, as a School we offer after school facilities to the small number of pupils for whom this is an issue, or in the cases where the pupil would rather work at school.
The effective file structure that SAM Learning uses allows me to set differentiated work for Higher, Foundation and also for students who have been absent, and I can do this all in one go following the improvements made to the flexibility on SAM Learning. This is particularly useful and effective for students who are missing from school for an extended period of time.
SAM Learning is particularly effective following a mock or Pre Public examination. I carry out an analysis of the questions that were answered less well by individual students, I can then set up interventions on SAM Learning so students can rehearse getting these questions correct next time. Where I am concerned about a very specific topic I can create and assign an activity that is 100% accurate in terms of what an individual or group of students needs to work on.
I know my pupils very well, and I know how they learn. SAM Learning offers the facility to create personalised content – I find this very effective as the context created can link precisely to the examples I use in class – I find this is good for retrieval practice developing long term memory for these topics. I have created numerous activities and I would recommend developing content specifically for a class – once you have done a couple it is very quick, and you can then be as elaborate as your imagination will allow.
I can track impact with the pupils easily using the reports.
There is a range in terms of impact, the ones that become really independent get a massive grade boost. With my Year 11 class last year, one vulnerable learner focused on SAM Learning and boosted his grade from a 4 to an 8 in less than 6 months – this is an extreme example but it was clearly down to significant time spent engaged on SAM Learning both in and out of class. SAM Learning allows then to focus on learning, their organisation of resources or understanding of requirements is no longer an issue, they are enabled to make as much progress as they commit to.
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