Modelling

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Since starting my NQT year, I have found that something I need to do more of is modelling. At the school I work at modelling to pupils is one of five aspects of teaching and learning that is highly promoted. Particularly with my AS classes, I have found that it is necessary to show them what I want from the work that I set, as everything is still so new for them.

I have found that writing an essay at the same time as them on the whiteboard, either typed so they can see me typing it or hand written gives a lot of support on many levels for all pupils. It is an easy way to show structure to pupils and to demonstrate exactly what is expected.

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I have often set a task, expecting pupils to write half a page and they give me a sentence. This is simply because they did not know what was expected because I had not shown them. Therefore, by demonstrating exactly what is expected, you are more likely to receive what you expect. Otherwise pupils are taking a stab in the dark as to what you mean when you set a task.

This can be time consuming as it is difficult to prepare a piece of work to show pupils for every task you ever set, therefore the idea of having a small part of the task to show them or starting the task with them and completing it so that they can see it as you’re doing it, whilst reiterating what is needed to be successful in the task, is so important.

My next step is to increase my use of modelling with my key stage 3 classes, as I feel that all pupils in those groups will benefit from having tasks broken down further and demonstrated. It is of course more natural and expected in some subjects rather than others. For example, in art or science, it is common that a technique or experiment is demonstrated before expecting pupils to repeat it. However, pupils in all subjects would benefit from being shown what they should be doing before being let loose to do it.

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