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Child Study - Room J8

at St Thomas’s
HEATHER CROSS
Introduction to St Thomas’s

 760 children enrolled in the school


 New Entrants – Year 8
 390 boys and 370 girls
 105 children in Year 2
 51 boys and 54 girls

 Decile 10
 135 ESOL students
 33 full time classroom teachers
 6-7 ESOL teaching assistants
 10 special needs teaching assistants
School Ethnicity Breakdown

NZ/Other European Maori Samoan Cook Island Maori Tongan


Niue Fijian Other Pasific SE Asian Indian
Chinese Other Asian Middle Eastern Latin American African
Other Internation Students
Introduction to J8

 24 students altogether
 14 boys, 10 girls
 Age range is 5 years 10 months – 6 years 10 months
 4 children attend ESOL
 5 children attend junior literacy support

 Curriculum subjects chosen:


 Literacy
 Mathematics
 Physical Education
J8 Ethnicity Breakdown

Sri Lankan NZ European Middle East Other European


Australian Tongan Other Asian British/Irish
Chinese Filipino Other Pacific Island Group
Introduction to Child A

 Child A enjoys activities such as swimming, drawing and dancing,


but also takes supplemental French lessons during her Monday
lunch time.
 Child A identifies as a NZ European
 She is 6 years and 8 months old
 She has a younger sister
 Literacy/Maths levels:
 Reading – Turquoise
 Writing – 1P
 Maths – Stage 4
Child A – Social/
Behavioural Overview
Child A is a friendly child, and gets along well with the majority of her
classmates, but primarily sticks to another girl in the classroom who is
fairly in line with her academically. They can be seen playing together
at lunchtime, but also stay together during class time too.
She generally behaves well, stays on task, and involves herself into her
work. She is able to balance having a conversation with her friend but
also completing her work in time to an acceptable level.
Over 45 minute block, she was observed:
 On task – 3 times
 Chatting – 1 times
 Actively participating in group discussion – 2 times
Child A - Literacy

 Reading – Turquoise
 Highest reading level in J8
 Writing – 1P
 Current focus is on ensuring her punctuation is being used correctly in a
sentence, in particular her full stops and capital letters.
 She is not the first person to finish her work in Literacy, but she always
takes the time to do it well – she never does things in halves.
 Very confident in her reading, but this can do her a disservice at
points, because she sometimes completely skips over words (that
often are quite difficult) in order to move on with her sentence.
When prompted, she is able to sound them out, and then redo the
sentence with the word included.
Child A – Mathematics

 Stage 4
 Second highest maths group in J8
 WALTs are:
 Use a basic fact
 Subtract
 Skip count
 Very motivated to learn, and quite quick to finish her maths
activities. Is often one of the first to finish up her work, and then
move onto various independent maths activities.
 She tends to ignore the conversations around her during maths, and
can be quite creative in her solutions for maths problems.
Child A – Physical Education

Some observations of Child A during several P.E. sessions:


 She tries really hard and listens (and follows) all instructions, even
when the majority of the class is not.
 Child A encouraged her team mates in group activities
 Not necessarily the “best” at sports or physical education, but she
puts 110% into her efforts which reflects in her ability to keep on a
task even if she is not doing very well at it.
Child A Overview

 Child A’s attendance during 2018 was 184.5/193, so a total of 8.5


days missed. Overall, her attendance is good, and this is continuing
on to this year.
 Both of Child A’s parents are involved with her learning, and take
the opportunity to do extra with her including her home learning.
 Child A is overall an academically strong, and sets her mind to do
well in everything she tries.
Child A Findings

 Questions:
 How can we ensure that Child A’s engagement stays high across all
curriculum areas?
 Where to next?
 Child A needs to be challenged still to ensure that she does not become
bored with the information she is currently learning.
 It would be worth looking at combining some of her extra interests into the
classroom i.e. could we do a section on France and the French culture?
 With her ability to tune out a lot of distractions and her helpful nature, it could
be beneficial to buddy her up with a lower ability child in order to help them
learn how to cope with these distractions in a classroom.
 I think that Child A would benefit from flexible learning goals that she can set
for herself at the beginning of a curriculum unit to give her that extra sense of
inclusion of her own interests (Marzano & Marzano, 2003)
Introduction to Child B

 Child B enjoys drawing and playing outside with her friends


 Child B identifies as Tongan
 She is 6 years and 3 months old
 She has an older sister that also attends St Thomas’s
 Literacy/Maths levels
 Reading – Yellow
 Writing – 1B
 Maths – Stage 0-1
Child B – Social/
Behavioural Overview
She is very friendly, and has a core group of 3 other girls, who come from a
range of abilities. She sticks with these girls both during class time and
outside. Occasionally in class time she will interact with other students, but
they tend to be students that distract her rather than aid with her learning.
Child B is a very teacher/adult shy child, and it is difficult to get her to open
up in group or even one-on-one conversations. She doesn’t often
volunteer answers in group discussions, she frequently moves off task and is
very easily distracted by her friends.
Over 45 minute block, she was observed:
 On task – 2 times
 Chatting – 4 times
 Actively participating in group discussion – 0 times
Child B - Literacy

 Reading – Yellow
 One of the lowest reading groups in J8
 Writing – 1B
 Current focus is on just including more of her own ideas in her writing
 Child B is very easily distracted especially when it comes to Literacy,
and is often found talking to her friends, rather than doing her work.
 She is also very unconfident in her own abilities, and often just
copies the answers of the person sitting next to her.
 Child B attends junior literacy support in order to help her with her
reading ability, but this often coincides with writing in class which
she then misses out on.
Child B - Mathematics

 Stage 0-1
 Lowest maths group in J8
 Some of her WALTs are:
 Count all objects accurately
 Count all numbers in a basic fact
 Understand a basic fact
 During maths, child B either is completely unfocused on the task, or
uses her time to copy another’s work instead of attempting to try it
on her own.
 This is not down to misbehaving, rather a lack of confidence in her
ability to work these out on her own.
Child B – Physical Education

Some observations of Child B during several P.E. sessions:


 Very reserved initially, and took a while to warm up to actively
participate in the activity – but once she has, she enjoys herself.
 Sticks to her same group of friends during these activities, and is very
uncertain when she is separated from them.
 Was 2nd in queue for a game, and then moved herself to the back
of the line. Asked on the next round if she could go first.
 Thrived with the encouragement of her team mates, but becomes
overly discouraged when she does not win in the activity.
Child B Overview

 Child B’s attendance in 2018 was 162 out of 193, so a total of 31 days
missed – this trend appears to also be continuing this year, with Child
B already having missed a range of days so far.
 Child B’s parents have not come to any meet the teacher
opportunities so far, and have not been with her to view the
classroom – her previous teacher informed us that she did not meet
Child B’s parents until the very end of the year. Her parents are not
involved in her schooling, and do not appear to have taken any
opportunity to involve themselves in her home learning so far either.
 Child B is academically quite weak, but does well in her friend group,
and enjoys physical education once she has warmed up to it.
Child B Findings

 Questions:
 How can we help to raise Child B’s engagement in the classroom?
 How can we help to provide Child B with the tools and skills she needs for her
learning?
 Where to next?
 It’s important to try and get her to open up. With very little information on her
interests and likes, it is very difficult to help tailor her learning to these.
 I think Child B would gain a lot from a buddy system, someone that can help
her learn how to move past the basic distractions in a classroom, and give
her the confidence to work on her own.
 I think she would also benefit from a talk partner, in order for her to gain more
confidence in her ability to speak out loud and to more people than just her
core group of friends.
 It would also be beneficial for Child B to explore her culture more, and for us
as teachers to be mindful of cultural contexts for her (Fraser, 2016)
Implications & Interventions

 Through my time in the classroom I have discovered that it is very


difficult to manage a classroom with a range of ability levels in each
curriculum subject.
 At the start of this course I was quite unsure about ability grouping, but I
think if managed appropriately can be very beneficial for my students.
 It is important as a teacher to build these relationships with my students,
so I can use the information given in order to help tailor their learning
and widen the context of information.
 I think it’s also important for me as a teacher to be mindful of the effect
that my reactions and even my non-verbal signals can give children –
for as (Fraser, 2016) states, “whether we are aware of it consciously or
not, what we believe about students exudes from us like a visible chart
of thoughts, impressions, beliefs and expectations.”
References

 Fraser, D. & Hill, M. (2016). The professional practice of teaching in


New Zealand. 5th ed. Retrieved from
https://cengage.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780170359122/
 Marzano, R. & Marzano, J. (2003). The key to classroom
management. Educational Leadership. 61(1), 6-13.