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From Judith Weston:
“Mine was a whole class. I arrived in a new school at the start of May to find I had a Standard Grade class who had spent a whole year doing nothing with an NQT who resigned mid session. It was a highly able group, but they had learned nothing. Full steam ahead…The year was crammed. We made the most of every lesson-you have to start lessons promptly (not easy when I was peripatetic) and with real purpose. Aims and expectations were raised, group and peer assessment were utilised for learning, not just as a cheap cop out to avoid marking, and soon they were working hard. I couldn’t let up for a minute. Up to then, I think I had become complacent in my job, ambling kids along, safe in the knowledge that we would have time. Here, we didn’t and I had to be excellent. Every lesson. The results were outstanding, with every child in the class of thirty achieving credit-11grade ones. Fast forward two years, and I end up with one of that class in my Higher class, having achieved a no award in S5. Same principals were applied-no time to waste, high expectations, some tough talking and as much of my time as I could give him-and he sailed through with a B pass. I reflected that ambition, drive, making the most of the time available and giving of your help as much as possible, is what my pupils respond to.”