Grouping Dilemma

July 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

In an ICT Department experiencing significant change (courses, staff and direction), here is my grouping dilemma for Sept 2008.

We currently have Year 10 students moving into Year 11 who have partially completed 2 Units in the OCR National (Level 2) course. Groups have made variable progress as teaching and delivery models have not been consistent. We are introducing a new member to the ICT staff team in Sept – now 3 in total. The fourth teacher is our Deputy Head.

Do we

a) Stream the half year groups into 4 classes of 28, 26, 24, 22 students in each class.

The benefits being that the able students will be able to complete Unit 1 in Year 11 (and are most likely students who have already completed Unit 7 and Unit 2). Any shortfalls in Units 2 and 7 can be met easily and therefore a number of students will be able to secure 2 GCSEs. The drawbacks are two fold, students now have to develop new relationships with new staff and second, we would be creating a low band group that is already disengaged and likely to pose a real challenge for any teacher?

b) Maintain the teaching groups.

This would clearly promote continuity, however the low band students are still unlikely to be unsuccessful and the able students are unlikely to complete 2 GCSEs. We may be able to put additional learning support into the low band set, but would this be enough?

Can this group (predominantly boys) be motivated to achieve? Would the Head permit us a caveat, a reward hook for achievement? Would these students buy into it? Any ideas would be most gratefully received.

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