Standard 2- ‘Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils’

The importance of ensuring that every lesson I deliver ensures that all children make progress is regularly emphasised in all aspects of my training. When beginning my training this seemed like a simple enough aspect of teaching, as a teacher you must teach all children in your class. As I begin my second term i can reflect upon how I attempted to do this early on in my training and how my methods have been improved.

I am teaching a year one class, with 28 children and a huge range of abilities. There are some children in the class who are still working on phase three phonics and others who are working on phase 5 phonics, some who can love and are confident with a wide range of maths skills and others who still need practice recognising numbers up to twenty.

No matter what subject I am teaching ensuring that all children are being challenged suitably requires a lot of multitasking. There are so many aspects that need to be taken into consideration and they change during each an every lesson. It is not as straightforward as putting children into groups, a child can really struggle with phonics but be a fabulous mathematician. On top of that even once you know the children and their abilities, it is very rare that during a lesson each child performs as you expected them to.

I was finding that pitching lessons to a wide range of abilities, and creating exciting, engaging activities for all a huge challenge. I really enjoy planning creative and unusual lessons to capture the interest of my class, however I quickly found that sometimes this can all become a little too much. I found myself planning 4 or 5 entirely different activities, my classroom would be full of beach balls covered in phonics, children chalking on the carpet, giant, sparkly, over the top resources and the lesson, whilst targeting the abilities of lots of different children, would be somewhat chaotic.

Reflecting on this with my mentor, it was highlighted to me that even the most experienced of teachers would struggle to manage the intensity of the lessons I was trying to carry out. Initially I was worried that toning all of this down would return my lessons to the dull, repetitive lessons I really want to avoid but it turns out that was not the case at all.

I have began to take into consideration the workload surround a lesson plan, how it will be managed and how I will keep all children on task, and I am slowly making progress. I can definitely say that I was getting over excited and trying to cram too many ideas into each lesson!

My lessons now are as still stimulating and exciting, but much more manageable. This is not only benefitting myself in that I do not need to spend hours creating resources, then find myself struggling to run so many different activities whilst keeping a calm classroom but it also benefits the children. The variety that I was trying to include was far too over stimulating for such young children!

Recently I am focussing more on finding just a few exciting activities and then adapting them for different abilities and needs, rather than creating something entirely new. It has not stopped me being creative or stopped my lessons being exciting but it has helped in the process of ensuring that all children make progress.