“We use Bedrock purely for home learning, even when students are in school and not isolating”
Kingsway Park High School in Rochdale has risen to the challenges of the need for home and blended learning, decisively moving the implementation of our Bedrock Vocabulary curriculum entirely to remote learning, having previously used it in class.
In responding so positively to the directive from the DfE Secretary of State for Education in the UK for high-quality remote learning access for all learners and setting Bedrock as homework, English teacher Sheila Hakim has freed up time in the school day to reinforce learning using actionable data generated by Bedrock, while also empowering her KS3 and KS4 Bedrock students to take ownership of their learning as they work independently through Bedrock’s differentiated T&L.
We spoke to her to find out more about her experiences in overcoming the obstacles posed to learning by Covid-19.
How did your Bedrock journey begin?
We heard about Bedrock Learning through an advert but we went to observe another school – Halifax Academy – to see how they had implemented Bedrock into their own curriculum. In 2019-20 we had specific Bedrock lesson time for students, but in 2020-21 it is purely used as home learning, even when students are in school and not isolating.
At KPHS we have a wide range of students from all backgrounds, which is why we feel it is important to promote articulacy and a want for learning new vocabulary. We have used the Bedrock lists of vocabulary and embedded them into the schemes of learning across all subjects in school; we believe that this way, students are continuously exposed to the same words within the right contexts.
Much of the vocabulary in the curriculum is considered key words for relevant lessons and the vocabulary is posted around school to encourage students to use them in their verbal communication. The data provided by Bedrock is essential for student lessons; for example, word trends are visited in lessons to promote “talk” about vocabulary.
It’s great to see that learning is being reinforced across all subjects. In what ways has learning on Bedrock impacted learning in the classroom?
We were observed last year by the Local Authority “pioneers” where the observers carried out a student voice. When students were asked about what they had been learning in English, they discussed vocabulary that they had learnt on the programme. Students are becoming more confident in discussing new vocabulary within their lessons and discussing how different words would be used. We encourage all students to apply the Bedrock Vocabulary in their written work across all subjects and have noticed that they are doing this.
Looking at some of the whole-school literacy worksheets you use, it is clear that you have drawn from the research-based pedagogy found within Bedrock Vocabulary.
How do you ensure as many students as possible benefit from Bedrock?
We currently have Bedrock accounts for the full Year 7 cohort as part of home learning.
In 2019-20, Year 7 students spent one lesson a week as a Bedrock lesson where the focus was on building vocabulary. In 2020-21, we have moved Bedrock learning to be a home learning task; students are being prompted to complete their Bedrock lessons via Microsoft Teams as well as their school emails.
The biggest challenge we have in school right now is ensuring that students can access Bedrock from home. We have encouraged students to use their phones too. I also plan to host a Bedrock workshop after school where students can drop in and complete their lessons using the school computers.
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