HoP’s Highlight 2: Third Year’s Final Assessment
Hello again. My first blog under “HoP’s Highlights” focused on second year assessment in our Wider Curriculum module. The focus of this blog is also assessment, this time our third year students and their final assessment over their very last three days at York St John. When we first planned and designed our current degree programme we incorporated a final year subject specialism – a choice from English, mathematics, PE, science and languages – which was to involve as its final assessment, a continued professional development (CPD) event run by the students for the students. “It will never work,” some cried. “It will be too complicated to timetable,” others worried. But, we stuck with it and for the first time this event (or series pf events) ran in May 2016. Picture the scene; each of the five subject groups had to present an introductory lecture to the other 110 or so students. Following this, each subject group had spilt into five sub groups, each of which presented a thirty minute workshop, each focussing on one priority area in their subject. The mathematics group for example drew their priorities from the Ofsted report of one of our partner schools. The PE group drew theirs from a recent national Ofsted report on PE. Each workshop was very focussed on the classroom, looking forwards to the NQT year and each ran three times across a half day to allow the attending students to access three different workshops from a choice of five.
The event started on Mondays 16th May with English in the morning and languages in the afternoon. Tuesday saw mathematics and PE (all in the sports hall and 135 students in PE kit) and Wednesday morning brought the event to a close with science. I have captured just a few photo examples here but sadly we did not get pictures of all subjects..
There were several striking features about this event:
- It DID work and whilst it was a bit complicated to manage, it was worth the effort.
- The student response in terms of preparing and running the workshops was impressive. All of the workshops were very professional, very engaging and very useful.
- The student response in terms of participation was equally good. To say this was the last days of university for these students there was no hint of slacking off. Everyone was fully engaged, enthusiastic and appreciative of their peers’ efforts.
- The atmosphere from start to finish was amazing (and those who know me know that I do use the word “amazing” lightly). Every event started with a real “buzz” and this was maintained throughout.
- The students presenting enjoyed a new and professional context where they led learning for their peers and the participants enjoyed and valued the input in four subject areas in which they had not specialised.
- All the staff were really proud of all the students!
- The feedback from the students was hugely positive.
We made a Wordle out of the feedback comments from the leaving students and about the whole Primary Education programme.
A final fringe benefit of these five events over two and a half days was that the afternoon of the third day – the last day in university for these students before being unleashed into the world – was our “leavers’ assembly”. We had a free lunch, we revisited some ups and downs and some funny and embarrassing moments from the last three years and we presented some awards (some serous, some silly). We laughed, we cried and I also took a massive “selfie” on my phone – the whole final year group and Caroline (fellow HoP) and for the last time.
The event came to a close when one student (Grace? Taylor?) asked if they could put some music on. Take That on You Tube (lyrics included) rang out and we finished our time together in song – a short video clip is included below so you can share the moment.