Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Young Leader Initiative and The Mathia

So many things have happened this year and it's been difficult to find the time to write blogs when I'd have liked to. My intention was to keep everyone abreast of the YLI and #themathia on a regular basis and this just hasn't happened, unfortunately.
What everything seems to boil down to is time...
Why haven't we delivered all six units of the course within the year? Because the time hasn't been put aside properly. The time that has been given to us is, almost certainly, curtailed by somebody else and I haven't been able to achieve everything that I'd hoped to with #themathia.

That said, I am rather pleased with how things have gone thus far and this is a review of the YLI 2012-2013 and where we're expanding to.

The original blog regarding our Young Leaders was posted here. A weekend course never happened and Year 11 eventually ended up doing the day certificate in Sports Leadership, whilst the Year 10 course remains unfinished. That thing that I 'didn't see as a massive issue' has become 'a massive issue'.
I assigned each Y10 and Y11 Numeracy Leader to a Year 8 pupil, but despite reminders to both mentors and mentees, the majority disappointingly failed to show on a regular basis. The reports from class teachers on those mentees that attended regularly were positive, but 'playing out' is much more enticing than 'improving your skills', it seems.
Charity days or weeks didn't run as planned and were thrown together at late notice despite my planning, but a small number of the Numeracy Leaders raised a little money on Pi Day for Catholic Care.
Nothing extra has been a great success and even their involvement in Maths Computer Club has been lacking as there hasn't been the time available to really discuss things with them.

This might not seem like a positive blog post, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
In March I posted about 'Maths Rock Stars' and an update here. The short story is that Year 10 Numeracy Leaders (and 2 Sports Leaders to make 14) are in forms on alternate Thursdays delivering Maths Rock Stars. Recently we had OfSTED in to school and because the Young Leaders Initiative is something that the school are looking to expand upon, they decided to pay a visit to Year 7 forms (as well as Year 8 assembly). The feedback that was given to the kids was excellent, as was the feedback to SLT. Unfortunately, I wasn't given any directed feedback on it, but the OfSTED report says this:

Last week, due to 21 of my Year 7 class being out on a trip, or ill, or suspended, or off school for some reason, I managed to grab a short bit of Q & A time over MRS with 6 girls who said that it's going really well and that they enjoy doing it. I asked them what they'd like to do next and probed a little, and as a result of this we've decided that when the Year 10 (next year's 11s) go back in to their forms (as Y8) that we will run a 'SimLife' project.

SimLife will run as a task with a decided starting point (as a secondary school pupil) and each following week they will continue through different career paths - being a college student, working at a fast food franchise, going to university, owning a dog, getting a job as a mechanic, teacher, hairdresser, doctor, sales assistant, chef and anything else that the Numeracy Leaders can come up with.

The Maths Rock Stars resources are available for download by clicking the following links, or here in one go:

Week 1 - Small Grotty Pub [worksheet] [answers] [Frank Turner and Blur]
Week 2 - Local Band Venue [worksheet] [answers] [Nice Clean Cut and Green Day]
Week 3 - Less Reputable Touring Venue [worksheet] [answers] [fun. and Bastille]
Week 4 - More Reputable Touring Venue [worksheet] [answers] [You Me At Six and Imagine Dragons]
Week 5 - Arena [worksheet] [answers] [Oasis and The Killers]

(Note for printing: If you select 'Multiple copies per page' and '2', enter 1,1,2,2 and 'flip on short edge' on the new double-sided printers, it will do A5-size copies)

Each session ran the same way. Leaders set the 'timer' of two songs going and allowed them to play through whilst pupils worked on the tasks at hand, supporting those who asked for help. After the music had finished, pupils self/peer-marked their work and the leaders collected their sheets. Scores were counted up and recorded in the following week's planning session and inputted onto a central spreadsheet. Prizes are to be calculated from here and given out during the first few weeks back after the Summer holidays.

I'm sure that I'll follow this up with some SimLife resources at some point.

The way that we appear to be going is that we'll no longer be confined to numeracy, literacy and sports with our Young Leaders, but we will have a cohort that each department can tap into. I'm hoping for 14 numerate pupils who can go into next year's Year 7 cohort's registration on Tuesdays that can run Maths Rock Stars and then SimLife. The current #themathia cohort will continue into Year 8 with the current Year 7s to deliver SimLife at the request of their head of year and continue supporting the numeracy aspect of their registration programme. All of this will be supported by a residential in September, to train the pupils up and read them the riot act - anyone who loses interest will be dropped and replaced.

Here's to next year!

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