Welcome participants Explain any domestic arrangements
Share the objectives with the course participants.
Allow time for the participants to discuss the plenary, focusing on the questions above. Take feedback to give the local picture. Emphasise that when the Literacy Hour was introduced many of us didn’t know what ‘plenary’ meant, or indeed how to pronounce it! We have come a long way since then, although we appreciate there are still many improvements we could make.
This information is taken from the 2001 HMI report - The National Literacy Strategy: The third year Break the second bullet point into two parts: Missing opportunities to extend… ’ - Often plenaries involve a child reading aloud their work and the other children participate only by listening. The teacher does not make the most of the opportunity to extend the learning through questioning or discussion. Pupils not involved as a result of too many tasks. Point out that when plenaries are too short, it is often because the teacher does not appreciate the purpose and value of them.
Split the first bullet point into two parts: Sharing in a common task means that all pupils are able to contribute to the plenary. Common problems, and the next steps for the whole class, can be addressed. Stress the importance of sharing the objectives at the beginning of the lesson, referring to them during the lesson and returning to them in plenary. This gives the teacher and the children a sense of purpose.
Talk through the bullet points. Point out that it is important to plan the plenary, but also important to be flexible, and take account of what happens in the lesson. You may need to address something different in the plenary than you thought you would. However, effective planning ensures the plenary is focused to your lesson objective/s.
When asking children to justify their ideas encourage them to refer back to what they have done. This will help children to make connections and thus bring about meaningful learning. The teacher’s role is to pick out what is significant or important from the children’s contributions and re-present it to them clearly. The teacher extends the children’s thinking by helping them to realise what it is they’ve learnt. It is important to return to the objective and ask, ‘Did we learn what we set out to learn?’
The teacher can use children’s contributions during the plenary to inform assessment judgements and plan next steps. This is generally done informally, on a daily basis. Sometimes information noted from a plenary will contribute to more formal recorded assessment.
Returning to the learning objective is the key plenary rule - all plenaries should do it!
Video Background: The school is in Newham in the east end of London. The children originate from 27 countries and speak 32 languages. 15% EAL, 40% Free School Meals. Below is a list of suggestions, it is not exhaustive. Strengths: The plenary is clearly focused to the learning objective, which is shared at the beginning of the lesson and returned to in the plenary. The teacher uses the plenary to address misconceptions - some children were making general comparisons rather than focusing on the setting The children have shared a common task and are all able to take part in the plenary The format of the worksheet enables the children to record their findings clearly, and therefore feedback effectively. The independent task is given a sense of purpose and value through the plenary. Ways to improve: The teacher could clarify the idea of setting to ‘Jonathan’, and to the rest of the class. The teacher could exemplify the idea of ‘setting’ more clearly in the shared part of the lesson.
Use the resources provided to exemplify the ideas on the ‘Perfect Plenaries’ Handout. Plenary Prompts - Hold up/point to the ‘Plenary Prompts’ poster. Ask the participants to respond to the questions e.g. ‘What did we learn this evening? Did we meet our objectives?’ etc. Focused Listening - use the text provided. Ask participants to put their thumbs up every time they hear direct speech. Speaking Frames - hold up/point to the ‘Speaking Frame’. Encourage a course participant to use the speaking frame to talk about the twilight. E.g. “Tonight in the twilight session we tried to find out why…” Plenary Dice - invite participants to roll the ‘Plenary Die’ and complete the phrases referring to the twilight session. The Four Rs - hold up/point to the ‘Four Rs’ poster. Use the plenary twilight to exemplify how to use it. E.g. Let’s recap what we know about the plenary…, Talk to your partner and agree the key plenary rule… everyone say it together, aloud…, Which part of the twilight was most effective and why?, Remind me again of the key features of an effective plenary. Checking Genre Features - use the poster to exemplify
The PlenaryThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Aims: • To identify the key features of effective plenary sessions • To suggest some ideas for plenary activitiesThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Activity • Which aspects of the plenary are well developed in your class/school? • Which aspects would you like to develop further?The NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Key priorities from the HMI report: • ‘The plenary continues to be one of the weakest parts of the literacy hour’ • ‘Unsuccessful plenaries miss opportunities to extend pupils’ contributions when they present their work, and fail to involve other pupils. Where there have been too many tasks earlier in the lesson, the majority of the pupils have not been involved in what is being discussed’ • ‘Plenaries are often too short and teachers frequently are doing no more than going through the motions of conducting one’The NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Key priorities from the HMI report cont... • ‘The best plenaries make a significant contribution to the pupils’ learning. Invariably, they are successful because the pupils have shared a common task earlier in the lesson. The teaching is highly purposeful: there are clear objectives for the lesson and these are revisited explicitly in the plenary’ • ‘Successful plenaries also review the learning and reinforce expectations’ • ‘Effective plenaries also motivate pupils for the next lesson through homework or questioning’The NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
When planning the plenary... • provide a range of opportunities to review learning • identify questions to consolidate and extend literacy skills • build links between plenary and other elements of lessonThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
During the plenary... • challenge the children to justify their ideas • provide feedback to clarify and extend the children’s thinking • assess the learning against the lesson objectiveThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
After the plenary... • review success and record information • use the information to inform future plansThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Effective plenaries... • return to the learning • connect the learning from this lesson to prior knowledge • help children to make generalisations, and establish theories and conclusions • enable children to use their new learning to test prior knowledgeThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Video Observation As you are watching the video, identify: • two strengths of the plenary; • anything you would do differently; • what the teacher needs to do next.The NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Ideas for plenariesThe NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Share your ideas!The NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary
Home-time!!The NationalLiteracy Strategy The Plenary