A Level Results
All UK A Level results for 2018 have now been published, and British Schools around the world will be analysing their own performance in comparison to the bigger picture.
If you are an exam coordinator or school data analyst this digest of facts and figures from UK based exam stats expert Tony Stephens will make your task a little easier.
Teaching analytical thinking and writing for Linear A Level and IB Diploma
This two day course, run in association with Infinite Learning, Dubai examines a consistent and repeating methodology for developing Year 12 & 13 students as independent learners, capable of writing, speaking and thinking under pressure, ready to leave school successfully.
Can girls just learn to have fun?
The authors of a new study* published in November 2016 look at gender and the enjoyment of Mathematics. Having noted the current persistence of gender differences with regard to the enjoyment of Mathematics, their ‘new research suggests a way forward.
Starting the journey
When taking up responsibilities at a new school, school leaders need to get things moving quickly while also taking stock in a measured way. How do you strike the right balance? Andy Homden talked to Dr. Tassos Anastasiades, who has just taken up the Directorship of Ajman Academy.
Much has been written about “meeting and exceeding standards” in order for a school to be considered “outstanding”. Regulators routinely expect schools to rise to this kind of challenge in order to earn their approval. Malcolm Greenhalgh offers some advice about responding positively, while remaining unashamedly student–centred.
“Personalised Learning is hard” – (Michael Feldstein, 2015)
Neil Jarrett writes that personalising the learning of every student in the primary classroom is not easy. Until recently, he had frequently tried to juggle too many activities and rushed around attempting to support too many students. However, he has found a way forward.
Five steps to help students develop the planning habit
How many times have you made the comment “It is important to plan your work” at the end of a Grade 11 or 12 (Year 12 & 13) essay? A student who writes without planning often shows that he or she “knows things” but, frustratingly, they have not “used what they know” to write a relevant answer. Here Andy Homden suggests five steps to help students develop “the planning habit” in order to write more effectively.
6 top tips for supporting your students
Now that A Level syllabuses are almost entirely assessed in high-stake exams at the end of two years, they have rejoined the ranks of courses based on ‘linear’ assessment, alongside the IB Diploma. This form of assessment is challenging, but linear assessment is a great leveller and if students are prepared well, they will have every chance to shine. Andy Homden offers six tips for successful teaching of linear courses.
Establishing a profile
Susan Stewart is Head of Languages at the International School of London (Surrey) and believes that students should not be expected to ‘park’ their languages at the door. By developing an academic level of their mother tongue language, in addition to English, at ISL (Surrey), these students are able to keep their future options open.
All too often we hear employers complaining that schools do not sufficiently prepare students for the careers they wish to pursue, nor for the workplace. Patric Elder looks at the new International Baccalaureate career-related programme, which is designed to combine the rigour of the IB with the demands of the workplace.
Predictive testing in British International Schools is an important mechanism used to inform them about the expected progress of individual students and groups. But is this measurement of added value robust and accurate? A comparison of raw results between different departments can be misleading. Eddie Rowe raises some questions about the use of objective testing to make comparisons between departments in the same school and the validity of such testing to measure a school’s ability to “add value”.
The Department for Education in England released its most recent secondary school “league tables” based on exam data from June 2014 on January 29 2015. This year the independent schools joined the state sector in the customary chorus of disapproval, as the government’s new tables were condemned as “shambolic” with the status of IGCSE at the centre of one row. Andy Homden wonders whether the controversy surrounding this very English ritual now has global significance.
We have high expectations of “21st Century Learners”. Educational literature suggests we need to develop a range of skills, including creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving and emotional intelligence. But how do we measure a student’s success in coming to terms with these 21st century expectations?
According to Andy Homden, new UK assessment requirements for A Level for first assessment in 2017 and 2018 suggest that international schools using a British Curriculum in years 12 to 13 might benefit from looking at IB Diploma practice and finding out how students were prepared for high stakes end of school examinations in the pre-modular world.