A young man who is repeating year 9 appeared in my English class earlier this term. Mr T had been removed from his previous English class for various reasons. He usually wears his uniform in a scruffy manner and pretty much every lesson I have to ask him to remove the stretcher earing he persists in wearing. Last time the stretcher was part of a biro pen because all other earings have been confiscated!
Anyway, he came to my class not having achieved anything in year 9 last year or so far this year. Buying an iPad was a financial challenge for his family so the school agreed to lend him one.
The first topic he embarked on with our class was a profile of a famous person. Mr T engaged with this topic but worked very slowly. He did not hand in the work on the due date so I had to give him a Not Achieved. I was disappointed but looked at the progress that he had made and realised that we had to take baby steps. Mr T has seated himself with a student who was doing the same famous person which was helpful. The student he sits with is a bright young man who works at merit level, a positive influence on Mr T.
When it came to delivering a speech I did not expect too much and predicted that he would end up with another NA, however, I was pleasantly surprised! Mr T gave a good speech about his famous person which had plenty of detail, images of the person and he spoke in a clear, confident voice and made eye contact with the audience. He received an Achieved for his efforts. As his speech was based on the written profile, I can now change his profile grade to an Achieved.
Mr T has not suddenly become a star student but he is doing well. Using an iPad has increased his level of engagement and interest.