Hard work leads to progress for pupils at Bethany

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Posted by Bethany School

Mrs Wareham, Head of Year 9 at Bethany School, talks of the direct correlation between effort and success and how well Year 9 are doing.

At the end of last half term, I spent some time looking at the results of the latest effort and achievement grades in Year 9. I was delighted overall and it would appear that the vast majority of pupils are working well and are on target for some promising progress.

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I was particularly interested in the top 10 pupils in each category for effort and achievement. The top 10 effort scores produced the following names:

  • James Duncombe
  • Aubrey Castleton Elliot
  • Tom Knowles
  • Helena McNamara
  • Emily Fraser         
  • Lucy Wells
  • Georgia Harker    
  • Toby Castle
  • Emilia Dillon             
  • Josh Hughes

The word effort is described as ‘a vigorous or determined attempt.’ Any of us who teach the above would agree they tend to ‘go the extra mile’ in all areas. It will also come as no surprise when looking at the meaning of achievement, to note the link with effort: ‘a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.’ The following pupils were the top 10 achievers:

  • James Duncombe   
  • Emily Fraser                                      
  • Josh Hughes
  • Emma Kuhepa
  • Helena McNamara
  • Georgia Harker
  • Sam Kennedy     
  • Lucy Wells
  • Stella Flynn   
  • Arthur Ford

When considering the difference between the two categories, I found the following distinction:

achievement is the act of achieving or performing; a successful performance; accomplishment, while effort is the work involved in performing an activity; exertion.’

Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a pupil has attained their short or long-term educational goals, which at Bethany we call targets.

Effort usually refers to how a pupil approaches their learning, asks for help, and/or participates in class. In Bethany, pupils might be expected to figure out what they need to study, study it, and be successful, with help from their teachers and peers.

It is in Year 9 that we try to instill a more independent learning approach. In the Mathematics department, for example, exemplars are explained, with interaction and questions and then pupils are challenged to use that knowledge to solve other similar problems. Discussion with peers and actually working through complex questions is a skill that needs to be learned. What we ask for from our pupils is the desire to succeed and give it a go, without just seeking the answer.  This is where the effort is recognised and, from that, there is usually a sense of achievement.

Those who are eagle-eyed may notice that there are six Year 9 pupils who managed to be in the top 10 for BOTH effort and achievement. These pupils were awarded a Level 4 merit from me and a letter was sent home to their parents to celebrate their hard work. These pupils were:

  • James Duncombe
  • Emily Fraser
  • Helena McNamara
  • Lucy Wells
  • Georgia Harker
  • Josh Hughes.            

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Each half term, I will be using different criteria to showcase our Year 9s and their successes inside and outside the classroom. In the meantime, I would like to congratulate those who were named above and look forward to celebrating a variety of successes over the rest of the academic year.

Mrs J Wareham
Head of Year 9