Haileybury Oracy Research 2022-2023

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This collection includes the research findings of groups of teachers who considered the impact of oracy on the learning of pupils aged 11-18 at an independent boarding school in England.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    How can the engagement of pupils who are lacking efficacy in group work situations be improved in exam classes?
    (Camtree: the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, 2023) Mitchell, Graham; Trask, Steve; Donkin, Kate
    Background and purpose: The purpose of this research is to investigate how the engagement of exam-class pupils, who are lacking efficacy in group work situations, can be improved. The pupils were perceived by the teacher as conducting themselves in an unproductive manner when previously given tasks involving group work. Aims: To observe a number of different approaches to how students integrate in group work within a DT classroom, and to draw conclusions about the impact of choosing particular group work situations on the oracy skills of discussion, interaction and listening and responding to their peers. Study design or methodology: The teachers used a research lesson study design and observed classes in three different observation cycles. The observation methodology was to observe dynamic interaction between pupils when they self-selected who they worked with in a group situation, compared with when the teacher selected the groups. The particular class involved was 20 in size, comprising 14 boys and 6 girls, and the same class was observed on each occasion. Findings: Students who self-selected their own groups often worked well together, despite not placing themselves in a group that their teacher perceived as the most effective. Some students, when allocated a group by the teacher, felt unable to orally participate effectively in that particular group setting, and they did not have the opportunity to demonstrate effective oracy skills in either their small-group interactions, nor in feeding back verbally to the wider class when summarising or evaluating their work. Implications for practice: Teacher judgement of the effectiveness of groups remains a vital component of effective group work, but it can be tempered with the notion that self-selecting friendship groups may still produce effective outcomes from an oracy and workflow perspective. Other factors, including clear allocation of roles within the group, motivation of the individuals concerned, familiarity with teammates and individual personality traits likely play a part, but were beyond the scope of these observations within the time limit set.
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    What is the impact of metacognitive talking aloud strategies with mixed ability pupils on their ability to apply their grammatical knowledge in translation, and/or interpretation of unknown literary texts?
    (Camtree: the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, 2023) Jones, Lorna; Martinez, José; Iorio, Giovanna
    Background and purpose: Developing translation skills is a very important process of language teaching and learning which students can find difficult at times. The purpose of this project is to use the ‘thinking aloud’ methodology to develop students’ inner monologue when tackling translation tasks and literature analysis, making it more explicit whilst completing tasks and honing in more easily on misconceptions. Aims: The aim is to explore the impact of ‘thinking aloud’ on the grammar understanding and literature text analysis of the pupils. It is also important to develop a methodology to tackle translation skills and literary analysis that could be used extensively with all year groups and that students could apply in future. Study design or methodology: The teachers used research lesson study and based their study design across three observation cycles focusing on Sixth form lessons. 17 pupils were involved over three lessons, between the ages of 16 and 17. The teachers focused on using ’thinking aloud’ to develop students’ translation skills and literature analysis. The group was keen to use this ‘thinking aloud’ methodology with students with different academic ability. Prior to the lesson cycles, the teacher identified that the students would approach translation tasks according to their linguistic proficiency and also their level of confidence. Therefore, the teachers were keen to see different student approaches to the ‘thinking aloud’ methodology. The process involved post-lesson meeting amongst teachers to discuss findings and reflections. Students were also questioned about their reflections on the process. Findings: Students approach translation tasks and text analysis according to their language proficiency and their level of confidence. More proficient students seemed initially reticent to use this methodology as they saw it as an unnecessary step. However, when reflecting about the lessons, all students, of all abilities, seemed to see the benefit of developing these skills both as a way of developing their translation and analytical skills as well as their oracy. Implications for practice: All teachers agreed that they would use this approach with different year groups as a diagnostic exercise for ascertaining prior grammatical knowledge, to develop grammatical accuracy and to enhance students’ oracy. This methodology has been very well received in the department when it was presented during INSET days, which will help develop a collaborative approach amongst all teachers in the department to perfect this methodology. Perhaps this could have long-lasting implications such as influencing the teacher-training of MFL trainee teachers, if taken on board by many teachers in schools.
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    What is the impact of developing active listening skills (using roles) on pupils’ understanding of new topics?
    (Camtree: the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, 2023) Millo, Emma; Sherrington-Scales , Will; Tofts Waters, Jess
    Background and purpose: Active listening has been proposed to give the best outcomes for learning. Aims: The aim of this study was to see if encouraging active listening through the use of different roles aids pupil understanding of new topic areas. This study was carried out across a range of different age groups (from Year 8 to Year 12; ages 12-17) and different subjects (geography, psychology and learning support) to see the effectiveness of allocation of roles to active listening and retention of new information. Methodology: A cycle of observation was scheduled where each teacher would be observed by two others, starting with an observation of a geography lesson being taught to 13-14 year old pupils. Each teacher planned their own lesson and identified key pupils for the observers to focus on during the lesson. After each lesson the triad met to discuss strengths and weaknesses of the lesson in order to adapt the teaching focus for the next lesson in the sequence. Findings: Adapting to given roles allows pupils to focus on certain pieces of information. When they are instructed to focus on certain parts of the information being presented it allows pupils to understand their specific area more quickly. However, the tasks do have to be well thought through and allow for collaboration later on so that pupils can put their part of the information back into the ‘whole’. It is also important to take into account other aspects such as the subject information being presented, the dynamic of the class, their age and experience of oracy tasks. This study suggested that active listening may be more effective for older pupils (sixth form age 16-18) as they are more established with their basic learning techniques and also potentially approach lessons in a more focused manner as they have chosen the subject and have their sights set on their targets for Higher Education. It would be wise to trial different active listening tasks with a range of classes to establish the most effective form of active listening for different age groups. Implications for practice: This study suggested that active listening can be encouraged through the allocation of different roles and that this, in turn, can produce effective learning of new topic areas. It was also found that the technique may be more effective for older pupils and needs adapting for those in younger year groups.
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    What is the impact of Philosophy for Children on Year 13 politics pupils in their consolidation of knowledge at the end of a topic?
    (Camtree: the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, 2023) Wade, Tom; Sparrow, Amy; Belfitt, Nick
    Background and purpose: This study sought to support 10 learners in a Year 13 A-Level politics class, with a particular focus on three students who were identified as being at the top, middle, and lower ability of the class. Philosophy for Children (P4C) was used with the class to explore its usefulness in developing students debate and discussion. Aims: We wanted to use ‘P4C’ as a tool to build and develop students abilities to engage in meaningful discussion and debate on different political topics. If successful, this should also result in an improved ability to write purposefully about the topic in an essay. Study design or methodology: We used research lesson study, to work collaboratively with colleagues, and to take student interaction and feedback (post-lesson interviews) as the basis for reflection and onward planning. We particularly focused our lesson study observations on 3 students identified as top, middle, and lower ability. All students were aged 17 to 18 years. Findings: Students showed an increased confidence in engaging in debate throughout the three lesson series. The P4C model allowed students to demonstrate and develop their knowledge and understanding of topics covered in politics lessons. Using P4C as a tool to bring together a topic before an essay is written gives students the confidence to see the material come alive in discussion and consider different points of view. Implications for practice: A P4C model has been developed for the school and delivered to staff at INSET. Research lessons are now embedded as a learning tool at Haileybury due to their benefits for staff and student learning.
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    The impact of ‘visibility protocols’ on raising the quality of pupils' exploratory talk in the secondary classroom
    (Camtree: the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, 2023) Campbell, Alexandra; Koon, Sam; Tomsett, Clare
    Background and Purpose: The participating teachers identified that, in the context of English and Classics lessons, pupils’ confidence and competence levels when engaging in Exploratory Talk can sometimes be poor. Accordingly, they wanted to develop an activity that could be used and adapted in different subject domains. Aims: Recognising that exploratory talk is a tool that promotes cognitive engagement, the teachers wanted to support secondary pupils in being able to develop these skills so that their understanding of the course content would become more sophisticated and nuanced. They also wanted them to become more aspirational in the way that they articulated themselves, and decided that introducing different ‘visibility protocols’ was a way of achieving these aims. Study Design or Methodology: The teachers used a research lesson study design, across three observation cycles, using three case students in each one. In total, there were 34 pupils participating in the lessons that were observed (24 in one class, and 10 in another). In the first and third observation cycle, the same case students were used. The pupils had been identified as being at different levels in terms of their academic ability and exploratory talk skills: high academic ability and high ‘talk’ competency/confidence, high academic ability and low ‘talk’ competency/confidence, low academic ability and low ‘talk’ competency/confidence. The project involved taking post-lesson feedback from pupils in the form of an evaluation form. After each lesson, the participating teachers also took part in reflective discussion, which both helped to form qualitative data and which informed the adaptation of the methodology. Findings: By giving pupils clear success criteria for exploratory talk, some pupils were able to evaluate the quality of other peoples’ talk showing increased metacognitive awareness. Additionally, a ‘visible talk activity’ enabled some pupils to develop a better understanding of the skills required in the context of exploratory talk. The element of low-level threat that was involved also motivated some pupils to perform well. Indeed, it was noted that across the talk activities, some pupils demonstrated increased participation and confidence levels. Implications for Practice: Methodologically, research lesson study is now starting to become embedded as a professional learning tool in the research school, due to the benefits realised through this for staff and student learning. Additionally, with regards to the research focus, the particpating teachers now have a sequence of ‘talk activities’ that could be used within lessons in their subject domains, and adapted to meet the needs of particular classes. Finally, beyond the immediate context of the school, and with some adaptation, it is felt that this sequence of ‘visible talk’ activities could work in different contexts (e.g. key stages, subjects).