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Resources for teachers
SCOPE: Success at Cambridge ‘O” Level Public Examinations
To use individualised target setting as a means of developing student responsibility for learning in order to improve the number of credits achieved by borderline students.
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- Develop Personal Education Plans with targeted students.
- Identify common areas of difficulty within the target population.
- Prepare a range of intervention strategies for these students.
- Monitor the impact of these intervention strategies through action research reports and achievements in the O level examination.
- Provide professional development to teachers relating to O level teaching strategies.
In early 2006, the Minister of Education requested CfBT’s help to increase the number of students achieving A to C ‘Credit’ grades in GCE O level English. CfBT set a target of a 10% increase in Credits in the November 2006 exams - double the improvement trajectory over the previous 10 years.
As a key aspect of our response, CfBT Education Trust commissioned an Impact Study to assess and refocus CfBT’s work in Brunei under Professor John Stannard’s guidance. This set out to:
- evaluate the collective impact of CfBT teachers
- identify (and disseminate) factors affecting successful learning
- trial a ‘catch-up’ programme for borderline O level Credit students
- develop and pilot an O level writing support programme
We measured students’ progress alongside CfBT teachers’ classroom performance to identify and then share best practice. We developed new observation instruments and a Common Framework of effective practice
SCOPE adopted a target-setting approach with borderline students and a programme of targeted teacher and student interventions. An important element of SCOPE was the writing of the Key Skills in Writing textbook which has been distributed nationally.
A renewed focus nationwide saw Principals, Heads of Department, the Department of Schools and the Inspectorate all collaborating with CfBT. Teachers responded to the challenge and a ‘can do’ spirit rubbed off on many students.
The results of the November 2006 exams were encouraging. 856 secondary students achieved grades A-C, compared to 658 in 2005, a 30% increase in Credits. CfBT teachers taught about 25% of the 5,559 candidates but their students gained 40% of the Credits. Of students taught by CfBT teachers, 23% gained Credits, compared to about 11% among other students.
During 2007, CfBT consolidated and developed SCOPE through more strategic teacher deployment, greater precision in the use of data to identify and track target students and an emphasis on Assessment for Learning (AfL). In order to optimise the multiplier effect, Bruneian teachers joined the project and CfBT launched a programme of monthly sharing sessions for local and CfBT colleagues.
The results of the November 2007 O Level examinations were issued at the end of January 2008. CfBT’s target of 1,000 Credits nationally by November 2008 was comfortably exceeded a year ahead of schedule. In fact, according to our calculations, 1,234 secondary school students achieved A, B or C grades – an increase of 400 students (40%) compared to 2006. The number of students achieving Credits has gone up by 80% since 2005, and the number of A and B grades has also significantly improved.
In 2008, SCOPE is expanding to include Form 3 classes too. CfBT has appointed the first group of Lead Teachers to strengthen our Common Framework through promoting AfL, action research, differentiated lessons, oral rehearsal for writing and students’ Personal Education Plans.
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