Planning Scheme of Work – Literacy Level 2 The produced scheme of work is aimed at 16 to 18 year old learners who are enrolled on the “Entry to Employment” (“E2E”) programme. The programme is intended for unemployed young adults to assist them in improving their prospects of employment with training or of entering higher education. The programme is designed to include personal and social skills, vocational skills and Basic and Key Skills. In this context, much learning is intended to embed Basic and Key Skills into other areas of learning and vice-versa Session Content
Sessions are based on the Skills for Life Teacher Resource Pack issued by the DfES, which is produced to support National Standards for Adult Literacy. These resources are designed to be based on real life situations, aimed at adults and to cover the Adult Literacy Core Curriculum. Six modules have been used, one at level one and five at level two. I have divided each module over two sessions each lasting for two hours of classroom time. Opportunities to complete tasks beyond the scope of the session are available as all learners have free study periods, which are supported by tutors.
Extension activities using spelling and grammar exercises have been included and would also be completed in free study time. I have decided on the sequence of topics based on Reece & Walker (2003, p239) suggesting that easiest topics could be tackled first, so starting the programme with level 1 activities. I have also taken sessions directly relevant to E2E learners, i. e. job search, and used these for the first few sessions as I have observed this type of learner questioning the relevance of various activities they are asked to undertake on the wider E2E programme.
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Teaching and Learning Methods Sessions are started with a directed section, explaining objectives to the learners, using visual aids (interactive whiteboard and data projector) and or audio clips to demonstrate the learning point of the session and stimulate interest in the topic. This part of the session lasts about 10 to 15 minutes and is followed by an opportunity for learners to work on their own, in small groups or more usually in pairs, using printed or on-line resources, for around 40 to 50 minutes. During this time learners are supported by the tutor.
After this a break is taken and the above process is repeated after break, focusing on the next part of the session, again starting with visual aids, usually in the form of a data projector. The final 10 minutes are used to re-iterate points made and check understanding through questioning. The scheme of work relies on the use of visual and audio stimuli in conjunction with individual learning as many learners on the E2E programme have had poor experiences of conventional classroom technique. A. T. Graham (1999, P. 26) Says:
It is interesting to note the following figures for what we remember (learn? ) from our various senses: Sight 75% Hearing 13% Feeling 6% Smell 3% Taste 3% Feedback from learners of these methods is almost unanimously positive, especially towards the use of technology and visual aids. Assessment Methods At the end of each session, learners are encouraged to complete the module checklist and detail areas that they feel confident with or need more practice with. Each session incorporates tasks to be completed during the session and completion of the tasks is supported and observed by the tutor.
This presents the opportunity to continually assess each student’s progress as well as assist any student encountering difficulty. Although not part of the scheme of work, students sit diagnostic assessments at the start of the programme and further diagnostics as well as practice tests later in the programme. Usually a second diagnostic at six weeks followed by mock tests at 10 and 12 weeks. Self Evaluation A self-evaluation form has been included for completion at the end of each session. The form examines the effectiveness of tutor and learner activities, resources and where relevant, achievement.
The largest space is reserved for learner feedback as learners are asked for feedback after each session and asked to complete feedback forms on a regular basis. These, together with improvements in diagnostic and mock test scores form the basis of evaluation for this programme. Learning Theory & Motivation A key element of the scheme is that it encourages independent learning. Within each structured session there are opportunities for the learners to work on their own or in pairs with support from a tutor.
During this time learners are not simply given worksheets and expected to complete them, each learner has access to their own resources which they follow at their own pace and work through with discussion between groups of learners and the tutor. So, for example, during a session on newspaper articles, after a class discussion of two examples of newspaper articles students would be asked to find their own examples on the Internet, examine the differences between articles themselves and discuss their findings with the tutor one to one or in a small group.
In this way learners take control of their own learning and experience the satisfaction of knowing that they are not simply filling in blanks. Learners on the E2E programme then have equal time in non-structured sessions to carry on with any unfinished work, carry out their own research and complete any extension activities. Geoffrey Petty (2001, P. 306) States that: There is a consensus amongst management theorists that giving employees control over how they work greatly increases their sense of responsibility, motivation and effectiveness.
Unsurprisingly, giving students control over their own learning empowers them in the same way. Independence is not an arbitrary foundation for a teaching method: it resonates with a deep human need – the need for freedom; the need to be in control. This is a need felt most strongly by adolescents… 16 to 18 year old learners, many of whom have achieved little or nothing at school respond well to being given control of their own learning. Resources
The E2E programme benefits from being well resourced, especially with technology. This has an impact on the engagement of learners, most 16 to 18 year olds being unimpressed with anything less than cutting edge technology. Every learner has access to a broadband enabled, high specification computer on which to complete individual work, all resources are available across the network for printing and or editing by the learner, meaning that the learner is in control of his or her own version of the Skills for Life Resource Pack.
So, for example, in lesson five, a resource page for searching the Internet would be projected to the whiteboard, we would be able to discuss the question “can you name any more search engines? ” and the tutor would be able to note some examples on the screen for learners to see. Learners would then be able to look at their own version of this resource page, type in their answers and print off a hard copy for their file. They would then be able to access the Internet and continue with the activity. Equality of Opportunity
As discussed, the scheme of work is based around the Skills for Life Teacher Resource Pack issued by the DfES, the introduction to which states that the materials are intended to be “broad-based” and “adult-appropriate”. Within the materials, names, voices and pictures of characters are ethnically diverse and represent both genders. It is however the job of the tutor to be sensitive to learners and I have replaced 2 articles on terror alerts in lesson nine after awkwardness during the session amongst Muslim students.
Wheelchair access to the building and wireless laptop computers are available to students with disabilities. Two of the fixed computers in the classroom are configured for large fonts. Conclusion The Entry to Employment programme is aimed at a group of learners who have previously struggled in education and so challenge tutors to find new ways to engage them. Independent learning is encouraged by the Learning and Skills Council for E2E and more sources than that quoted support this method. The use of I. C. T. s also encouraged and this scheme of work relies heavily on it although a much less “high tech” version could be delivered if this was required. Although many learners are engaged by the technology, it cannot take the place of a tutor or teacher, merely add to the learning experience and a good understanding of the subject is impossible to replace. Bibliography A. T. Graham (1999) Planning for Teaching & Learning, Resource Handbook Geoffrey Petty (2001) Teaching Today, Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd Reece & Walker (2003) Teaching, Training and Learning ,Sunderland: Business Education Publishers Ltd.
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