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Evaluation of OCR Nationals A06 Databases

By PGCE, POT 3, TeachingNo Comments

Over the last term I have been teaching a series of lesson bassed on the ICT OCR Nationals syllabus. The syllabus is broken down into 6 modules and the pupils have to complete each module at pass level in order to get what is equivalent to half a GCSE.

I have been specifically teaching them the AO6 Databases module over the last 7 weeks.

Please see my medium term plan here >>

The challenge with this unit was to make it interesting and engaging for the pupils. Databases can be a bland topic to teach as it is quite a formal and rigid skill that does not allow for much creativity. The easiest way I found to make it interesting was to try and choose a topic that allowed them to engage with the program. As a department we came up with an idea for the pupils to create a music festival and to allow the pupils to choose the types of bands that they would like to perform. This allowed the pupils to create the tables in the database with information that was relevant to them.

Each skill needed to be chunked into small tasks as at times the pupils got lost when doing the long processes of creating queries and reports. It was also important to explain why they would do certain tasks in the program so that they could see the benefit of using an automated program like this.

I found the use of the powerpoint template was helpful to scaffold the pupils work and give them direction however after a while the pupils lost interest and became obviously quite bored with the process of combing in again and again and gathering screen shots for each skill they have shown and annotating it. In the future i will try and find more activities that allow them to do the work quicker and more independently. To give time  allow for more creative teaching.

After we had finished this i was able to collect the work through the automated Joint assessment system program and I am currently in the process of marking it to give pupils feed back.

>> powerpoint template =

Year 8 Apprentice Finance Lesson.

By PGCE, POT 3, TeachingNo Comments

Resources >>

Lesson Plan >>

What went well?

In this lesson pupils where given a good opportunity to practice their numeracy skills by using their research to fill in a finances spread sheet in Excel. They where able to practice doing formular such as sum functions and simple adding up formular they als learnt how to do percentage. This was all worked into a scafolded spreadsheet as the pupils where of a low ability.

Pupils learn the importance of creating finances and the reason why they do it. There where some good responses saying why they though so during times of questioning.

I was able to challenge the pupils by asking them to try an figure out certain formular without any guided teaching.

What could have been done better.

Some of the items on the spread sheet where not included in the list of items they could produce making it hard for them fill the spread sheet out completely

Some pupils needed to be encouraged to get a move on with their work and needed a few warnings given.

I could have made the introduction to the spreadsheet more interesting and engaging to grab the pupils attention.

National Curriculum and Exams

By PGCE, POT 3No Comments

I have recently been involved in some department meetings that have been to discuss the relevant topics and schemes of work for the next academic year in my home school. The way this has worked is the Head of IT has emailed us out a list of the various areas in the curriculum that have gaps and need schemes of work. We have previously discussed how these schemes of work for year 7-9 relate toe the national strategies and national curriculum.

I have personally been involved in creating some marking levels for year 8 assessments according to the levels set out here

It has also been very interesting talking to my mentor about the future of GCSE and he has said that if he could he would ask pupils to do the  ICT iGCSE as this is a academic route that does not require anny coursework assesment.

Currently the School are going to do the ICT  functional skills by edexecel it is apparently a good course as it does not require the pupils to do all the work independently without the use of scaffolded work for coursework. It is all assessed through exams.

I have been involved with coming up with the mini projects that help the pupils learn all the basic skills for the GCSE. The point is to get the pupils the do the tasks again and again practicing the skills so that they remember them for the exam. I helped with comming up with a game project unit to design and sell a game including the planning and marketing.

Year 13 Revision Lessons & Exam Prep

By PGCE, POT 3, Reflection, TeachingNo Comments

Over the last 5 weeks I have had the opportunity to get some experience with year 13 KS5 computing lessons.

This has been a steep learning curve for me and I have seen how complex a topic this is.

The main area that we have been working on is Internet security.

Please see this Lesson plan and this PowerPoint to observe what I did in this lesson.


For these lessons I only had two pupils so I really tried to make sure that they it was setup like a tutoring session rather than a lecture. This I achieved by just sitting with the pupils either side of me. I was also able to show them a few not taking tools and barnstorming applications such as

We went the various aspects of networks and how they can be protected with firewalls I asked them to sod some research to see what firewalls where available. I also asked them how they thought antivirus programs worked and what the virus vault was. It was good to talk to them about their experiences with antivirus software and to compare this to macs.

I also then went onto teaching some revision lessons where we were looking at a past paper. These lessons where fairly simple as it was just to ask the pupils to get on with the paper. Please see my Lesson plans for what I did.

The main observation was that the pupils need to understand the concepts clearly and be concise with their answers in orders to achieve all the marks. It was really useful to use the mark scheme to get what was exactly needed it also showed the pupils what the examiners wanted.

It’s a hard task to get them to understand the concepts and not just teach to the test. At A-Level most of the questions do require pupils to understand what is actually going on so it does balance the scales I feel.

Teaching Logicator to Lower Ability Pupils.

By PGCE, POT 3, TeachingNo Comments

Lesson Plan >>

In this lesson i was really trying to make personalized provision for SEN Pupils

What went well.

  • most pupils where able to have a sub system created for a pelican flow chart so the objectives where completed
  • pupils learnt more about how to create flow charts and see the effect of this in action
  • I was able to give them a solution to work of in order to aid the less able ones with their working

What could have been done better.

  • I would hav liked to prepare a flow chart without the do procedure so that pupils could see why it is a good idea to use procedures to save time and energy
  • I still need to work on chunking this up for the lesser able pupils even further
  • I made good preparation for the the TA so that they knew what to do and what to help with this lesson

All in all i really was needing to make sure that each step was explained verry carefully i found that if pupils did not understand it i needed to be gentle with them and not get frustrated. I also found that the Use of a helper was really important in the management of the lesser able pupils. It was important that the squeaky wheels did not get all the grease from me.

For the 4 pupils that did not create the flow chart completely I issued a lunch time detention that I later had to sell as a session to help them improve their learning and to get them caught up to speed with the rest of the class. It was a fine line for some of the pupils who where taking advantage of their and not putting in the effort needed. It was good tho to get them all up to scratch as this really help these SEN pupils progress.

What i really learnt from this lesson is that it is incredibly important to keep the lower ability pupils self esteem up and not get frustrated with them but not to allow them to just use it as an excuse.

I also have had to follow up on a SEN pupils progress with the tutor and ask them to please back me in the importance to get work completed during the lesson. This pupil needs to be constantly watch as there are some social, home and behavioural issues that are affecting his work progress. It has been a good start to get the tutor involved.

Please see Email Evidence to support this.Q18 Email Evidence of supporting a pupil

Using National and Statistical Data GCSE ICT

By PGCE, POT 3, TeachingNo Comments

Using Local and National statisitical data in my teaching

I have been looking at how pupils at GCSE perform in ICT over this year. I have noticed that there is a trend that boys tend to under perform in the course work related subjects of which one is the GCSE OCR national’s option.

According to the article from the bbc below it indicates how boys are under achieving. I also have had a look at the results from my home school

Gender gap


Boys continue to lag behind girls in most subjects, a trend of more than two decades.

The gender gap was at its widest in the early 2000s for A*-Cs, and in the middle of the decade for A*-As.

Explanations for the gap vary, although it is widely thought that girls perform better than boys in continued assessment and coursework. Other reasons given for the gap in GCSE performance are maturity and motivation.

However, a higher percentage of boys get A and A* grades in economics and additional maths than of girls. Boys also pulled ahead of girls at these top grades in maths last year, and in physics at A grade – and managed to maintain the edge in both in 2010.


The main solution to tackle boys under achieving is to chunk and segment coursework into manageable tasks that can be achieved each lesson one by one. We have been creating out OCR nationals work with small slides that each pupil can complete each lesson and I have been implementing this in my year 9 teaching of databases.

I have personally seen how this really works well for in class activities however it is tough when pupils don’t completed all the work that they need to do in lesson as this as ramifications later on in term as areas can depend on other areas.

Please see my POT 3 TEACHING for YEar 9

Creative Computer Control Year 7 Lesson

By PGCE, POT 3, Reflection, Teaching125 Comments

Jam Sandwich Creative Lesson Year 7

Computer control is a fairly mundane topic for year 7s if it is not delivered in the correct way. In order to make it more creative and innovative I discovered and was informed about a way to explain how computers need to control things precisely and exactly and you have to issue commands in sequence.

This is where the Jam Sandwich Robot Demonstration comes into play. It is quite a simple task and is as follows.

  • You need bread, jam, a knife and a plate  and possibly butter or margarine.
  • You then need to tell the pupils to instruct your every movement so that you can make and eat a jam sandwich
  • Emphasize that it is only one command at a time
  • Allow each pupil to have a go at giving you a command
  • Do what each pupil says exactly

At the start the pupils issue too many commands at the same time and they also don’t issue them exactly. For example pupils say put bread on the plate but don’t tell me how to open the bread packet and how many slices to put on the plate. If they tell you something to do that is sill you can just say computer does not compute.

The pupils then get into it and give you all the instructions that you need to create the actual sandwhich and they soon get the hang of it.

The only thing you need to get right is the safety of the experiment its is important that you have all chairs cleared and that you ask the pupils to stand back before you start making it just as they all start to crowd round and it is not fair on the other pupils. This helps keep the classroom purposeful and safe.

This is a great task to get them thinking logically and to understand the importance of precise and exact commands in computer control.

Lesson Plan >>

Power Point >>

Evaluation of the Apprentice Year 8 Unit

By PGCE, POT 3, Reflection, Teaching124 Comments

Evaluation of Year 8 Apprentice Unit

Over the last 5 weeks I have been teaching Year 8 a new module that I have created a medium term plan for. This unit has been called the Apprentice unit. The main concept for the project is to come up with a product that they can sell to pupils at their school. The product needs to be small and affordable with the average pocket money that pupils have per week.

To start with I asked the pupils to think about what sort of people they are targeting and what sort of products they might like. I gave them some clues to get them started with the product one of which was a usb lipstick product that could sell to females.

Above is an example of how I designed a simple poduct in firework and then asked them to create a similar sketch for their product. This particular idea really gave them the chance to be creative with their product. It was important that they undertook this task so that they could have an idea of what the product would consist of for the production phase. This lesson worked particularly well with some fantastic produces being produced.

They also had to think about how they would brand their product and come up with a logo. This was a good chance again to use the program fireworks to design it. It was important to give them a few examples of different logos and take them through the program in steps otherwise the pupils forgot it by the time they had a go.

Finally the pupils had to go through and sort out the finances of the product to figure out how much money they intend to make. This needed to be done with an element of competition.

At the end of this unit the pupils will be assessed via a presentation and they will have to present their PowerPoint that they have collated their research in and pitch it as if they where in a boardroom.

All in all this was a great project that is suited for an end of year project to consolidate a series of skills .

Please see this folder for all the resources files and folders.

Year 8 Tutoring

By PGCE, POT 3No Comments

Over the last year I have been placed with a year tutor group. I have been heavily involved with these tutors as they progress throughout the year. As already mentioned in earlier post I have been involved in academic review days to give them targets for school. I have also been able to attend a forest of dean trip with them that really helped me get to know the pupils better.

The main areas that I have been helping with over the last term have been taking tutorial times over the lunchtime period. 3 Times a week we have a session where we have to organize activities and tasks for them to do for 20 minutes.

Part of the rewards system in the house that this tutor group is in awards them with stars for various things. These stars can then be cashed in for various prizes. For example 40 stars will get you a new DVD

The various things we do with them are as follows.

  • Check and sign their contact books to see how they are progressing throughout the week. We award stars for contact books that are organized and set up for the following week.
  • Give out notices that are specific to them
  • Do equipment checks – stars are awarded having all the correct equipment in place
  • Do silent reading and homework
  • Run quizzes
  • Run healthy living and exercise sessions
  • Do personal one to one mentoring

Part of my duty was to organize tutor activities such as quizzes. So each week for the last week I have been compiling current affair quizzes for the tutees. Each table plays against each other. I then read out the questions and then ask them to swap tables to mark. They do enjoy this however more recently they have been so noisy whilst delivering the questions and answers I have had to warn them that I will not be doing them and they shall do silent reading instead.

Please see here for latest quiz >>

Picture of Quiz Results below.

Doing this tutoring has been vital experience for my professional development especially as I will be taking a tutor group in my next school.

Marking pupils work GCSE OCR Nationals

By PGCE, POT 312 Comments

I have been marking some OCR nationals GCSE coursework over the last 2 days, which has been a great chance to learn more about the course and the way that it is delivered.

The school use a really great method for monitoring the work and recoding it through access program call JAS. The Head of IT has developed a series of queries that put the work into a database that can be viewed in excel.

The process for the pupils is to submit their work to the Joint Assessment System

Then me as a teacher can print out all the levels and then goes into each pupil and clicks on the work that needs to be assessed. Once I have given it the correct grade that I feel it deserves I then put a grade and a comment for any improvements that could be made to actually increase their grade before it is submitted.

The process is made simple once you get into a rhythm and once you master the nuances of the program. It takes a total of about 5 minutes per piece of work. The hardest part is when you have to make a judgment call on quality of the PowerPoint slides.

Once pupils then receive their work back then they can make the edits to it and view what each module needs to working on.

Above and below is an example of som work that I have marked with reference to the powerpoint that they where creating.

Below is an example of the tracking and monitoring that this program achieves and helps with.

Bellow is an example of the class that  have been teaching and the results that they have achieved.