Teaching A Level at Deanery

As a follow up to the inspirational day with Peter and Charlotte Vardy, Final Year Undergraduate students visited Deanery CofE High School and Sixth Form College in Wigan, to hear about the practicalities of teaching Post-16 students.  The day began with students observing a Lower Sixth Ethics lesson with Mr Michiels. He used a variety of techniques to introduce Kant’s deontological ideas including the Ricky Gervais film ‘The Invention of Lying’ and Phoebe from Friends’ attempts at performing a selfless good act.

Lesson two was an Upper Sixth Philosophy lesson with Miss Daley, where the students were working in groups to revise the topic of Miracles. They used a market place activity before finishing with a fun quiz using buzzers. Progress was measured by students’ self evaluating at the start and end of the lesson using RAG scoring, allowing them to set their own revision targets. Both upper and lower sixth were handing in essays, reminding us about the demanding workload for students and teachers in the Sixth Form.

After a cup of tea in the staff room at break, Sarah led a session on teaching and Assessing RE at KS5, giving examples of what makes a good A level lesson. Students were struck the many of the techniques and activities were just the same as lower down the school, with structured lessons using active learning, an emphasis on questioning and facilitating independent learning – simply at a higher level.

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The morning ended with students working together to plan a short plenary for the Upper Sixth lesson on predestination which they then delivered. The undergraduates are now well prepared to plan and deliver A level classes on their final placement after Christmas, or even in their first teaching job!

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