The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School images

How to improve for Year 9

Help for students and parents

We encourage all our students to reflect on their learning in lessons and use feedback from their teachers to help them improve. Below, you will find the ‘statements for improvement’ that summarise the feedback students are given.

These statements will be used on the termly reports sent to parents and students and parents are asked to look at the further guidance below to help clarify the statements on the reports. 

  1. Use a wider range of key words e.g. names and spellings for all tools, equipment and materials

We encourage pupils to use the keywords displayed in classrooms and on glossary sheets when referring to specific materials, tools and equipment when describing how to make a product.

For example: Rather than using the generic term ‘plastic’ a pupil should refer to the specific material e.g. high-density polyethylene (or HDPE) sheet or acrylic rod.

2.  Take responsibility for carrying out tasks independently and safely

Whenever a task has been assigned students should strive to take  the initiative and use whatever means are available to them to enhance their work, whether by trying to find out more about the project or the materials to be used or by experimenting with ideas or pushing the development of a design to its limits.

For example: if a process such as laminating is being used for the first time a student might try to identify products at home or on the market that have been manufactured in a similar way.

3.  Complete all homework to the best of your ability and hand it in on time

All homeworks set by teachers are relevant to pupils’ projects and they contribute to their assessed work, therefore it is important that the work is completed to the best of each pupil’s ability. As homework is part of ongoing project work, it is important that it is completed on time, as if it is not it may also hinder progress in lessons.

For example: A teacher may request ingredients to be brought to a food technology lesson, failure to do so ( with no notice to the teacher in advance) would result in the pupil not being able to take part in the practical lesson.

  1. Make sure you are safe by listening carefully and following instructions in the classroom

Safety in classrooms and workshops is paramount, therefore pupils must listen to instructions.  Failure to do so may result in a pupil being removed from the class.

For example: When a teacher explains how to use a piece of equipment such as a drilling machine, they must be confident that all pupils fully understand how to use the machine before allowing any pupil to use it. If a pupil is distracted or not fully concentrating during the demonstration, the teacher would not allow the pupil to use the equipment.

5.  Take time to improve your work using written comments made by the teacher

We encourage our students to think carefully about any feedback we give to them. When offering feedback teachers might suggest how current work could be developed further, or advice might be given on what improvements a pupil can make when they start their next project.

For example: If a pupil has produced two ideas that are very similar, the teacher would suggest that they produce three ideas that are more varied for their next project.

6.  Use the green assessment sheet and the display boards to improve your work

Each classroom or workshop displays samples of work on the walls for the particular project pupils are working on. Pupils are encouraged to use the displays for guidance if they are not sure how they should present their work or if they are not sure of the content of a particular piece of work.

For example: When starting an ideas sheet it is helpful to look at the wall display to give pupils an indication of the standard of work expected.

At the beginning of each project pupils are given a green assessment sheet which provides details about the work that is being assessed, we encourage pupils to self-assess their work in addition to the teacher’s assessment.

For example: If a pupil is not sure what they should include when annotating their work, they can look at their assessment sheet for guidance.

7.  Use key words when describing features of your idea e.g. materials / ingredients and how could it be made

Pupils are expected to be able to be descriptive when annotating their work and should show an understanding of how their product will be made. Descriptions should include keywords.

For example: When annotating sketches for a wooden vehicle, pupils should include names of tools that will be used e.g. tenon saw, and describe features such as hinged doors, windows and any decoration such as lights or vinyl stickers.

8.  Take pride in your work, keep folder work neat and well presented

We encourage pupils to consider carefully how they intend to present their work by planning what is intended to be included on a sheet, often sketches are annotated [notes to explain the design] so space around a sketch is needed. We encourage pupils to colour their ideas using colouring pencils not pens.

For example: when sketching designs for a cushion, pupils should sketch one design in the   centre of each square on the page then annotate around it.

9.  When evaluating, consider what went well, suggest areas for development and include opinions

It is important to comment on the success of a project, but it is equally important to suggest how work can be improved so that the pupil can build on their skills and knowledge during the next project.

For example: suggestions for improvements could include accuracy of drilling holes, use of keywords such as vacuum forming when annotating, or quality and detail of sketches when designing ideas.

10.  Organise equipment promptly at the start of the lesson to maximise practical time

As well as basic school equipment, students will need an apron for practical sessions, technology folders to store paperwork and ingredients for Food Technology lessons.

For example: Pupils will need a pencil, rubber and ruler for drawing lessons.

  1. Improve your knowledge even further by reading or watching TV programmes about relevant technologies

Technology is developing at an incredible rate and there are frequently programs and news articles relating to this, we encourage pupils to watch and read around the subject to inspire and enthuse pupils.

For example: We encourage pupils to watch programs such as The Great British Sewing Bee, the Great British Bake Off, Grand Designs and follow KTS Technology Twitter.     

  1. Use the written instructions you are given to improve independence before asking for help

Teachers will give pupils feedback on their assessment sheets with the expectation that any suggestions for improvement are read carefully and acted on by the student before asking for help.

For example: If a pupil has not annotated their work, the teacher may suggest on the feedback sheet that the pupil explains their choice of material on their designs or they might ask them to explain what they like or dislike about their idea.

13.  Follow the washing up instructions correctly and leave your sink area clean

A fundamental part of Food Technology is about developing basic skills such as washing up, we expect pupils to be able to follow the simple instructions placed next to each sink in the Food Technology classroom which show how we expect the sink area to be left at the end of a practical session.

14.  Be able to identify the correct tools and equipment for a specific task

By year nine students should have experienced most tools and equipment in the workshops.  They should therefore know the names and be able to apply them correctly in conversation and within their designing and planning work.  Students are encouraged to look back over previous projects and to use the displays from projects undertaken in years 8 & 7 to help them with this task.

15.  Have knowledge of the origins of different materials

By year nine students should have experienced most materials that are readily available to us in the workshop and should be able to identify the original source of the material.

For example: knowing that Beech is a hard wood that comes from a deciduous tree.