North Wales Team 1
Teachers chose two different classes to experiment with and one teacher used a random name generator, which took up a lot of time. Another had the class line up with named lolly sticks placed on the desks, while another randomly picked lolly sticks. Children are accepting of other pupils and the system is now embedded.
One teacher modelled good talk partners with another pupil. Partners were changed every two weeks or weekly.
“One teacher took photos of the children working with their partner and showed them these in the next lesson. Pupils analysed the photos and discussed what makes a good partner, thus co-constructing the success criteria.”
Gwenno Ifan Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy
North Wales Team 2
Two teachers tried random talk partners which resulted in better behaviour and lower achievers contributing more.
It was felt that talk partners happened naturally in many classrooms.
“Previously I was a Set 1 or 2 Welsh teacher. Having a bottom set this year has been quite a challenge. Generally speaking the set was reluctant to use their Welsh in group work. Knowing that they had a WJEC Welsh oral test was 30% of their final GCSE grade I had to think of a way to ensure that they gained grades that reflected their potential. Progress was imperative!
“I collaborated with Set 2 and found neutral ground. My class observed their peers in set 2 then gave feedback using What went well and Even better if. The following lesson they took part in discussions with Set 2 – in mixed groups.
“The impact was higher grades, increased confidence, better vocabulary, improved collaborative skills and higher aspirations.”