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Substitute into Formulae

Part of the series Classroom Observation with Bayley

  Screen capture from Substitute into Formulae


New head of department Geoff Garnett has been brought in to shake up his maths department but he is nervous about delivering difficult messages to his new colleagues, and turns to John Bayley for help.

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Until recently the department at the Bishop of Winchester School in Bournemouth, was in disarray with staff morale poor, and GCSE scores in the low twenties.

Geoff has been a teacher of 20 years and was brought in to turn the situation around. However, his experience is mostly at primary level and his relative lack of teaching at secondary level makes his new position challenging.

John Bayley works with Geoff as he observes and manages Jo Ward, one of his strongest teachers. Jo needs to push her more able GCSE students, who under the new targets need to get at least C grades.

By delivering something other than praise in a bid to reach his exacting targets, does Geoff risk alienating one of his key allies in the department?


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Extra materials (1)

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Comments (2)

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    • substitute into formulae
      22 November 2010 - 12:42

      It seems to me that all this concern about sub-levels simply gets in the way of discussing what is good teaching.

      There are so many differnt aspects of a lesson that you can look to improve, including looking at the starter, the plenary, questioning techniques, position of students in class, use of resources, extension work, pace, inclusion of the whole group in the learning process (oracy), homework tasks, to name but a few. If the main feedback that this teacher got is that she should talk about levels more then I would have to say that this was an opportunity wasted to discuss and have the teacher reflect on what is important in her lessons.

      All this level and sub level talk simply reduces education to a question of jumping through hoops, it does nothing to answer any of the 'big' questions, such as: "when is this mathematics used in real life?", "How does it fit in with what we have learnt before?", "Why do we use algebra to show numbers?" etc.