Month: March 2014

A visit from Kazakhstan

Sawston Village College has recently hosted Yulia, Zhanar and Ayan, teachers from Kazakhstan, who visited us as part of the partnership between the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is currently undertaking an ambitious reform of its education system. At the heart of this is their desire for their teachers to learn directly from various educational systems and schools around the world, whether in Singapore, Germany or the UK.

It was fascinating to discuss teaching and learning and professional development with our visitors. Of particular interest to Yulia, Zhanar and Ayan were how we used “emotion” and our relationships with pupils in our teaching; they also commented upon how enthusiastic and motivated pupils were. They commented upon the level of critical thinking that was expected of pupils from a young age, and how this was integrated into all lessons, and they enjoyed that pupils in science were investigating for themselves even in Year 7. (more…)

Formative Assessment – R&D Group

At Sawston Village College we have been working on phase 1 of our BeyondLevels project.  The project began with a joint staff meeting,  Facilitated by Sue Swaffield of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, joined by all teachers from Sawston and our 7 feeder primary schools. Sue is an expert in both school leadership and formative assessment, and engaged us with the latest research and practice in these areas.

Subsequently, volunteers from across the cluster, with all schools represented, have been working in a joint R&D group, investigating the strategies, systems, conditions and principles that enable effective formative feedback to take place.  The group has had particular, but not exclusive, regard to how we can ensure that our formative feedback strategies support the learning of pupils who are at risk of under-performance and whose literacy skills might hinder the potential impact of conventional formative assessment strategies.  (more…)