A big focus for sixth form teachers is regular communication with students and parents over concerns with regards to academic progress and lack of work being completed outside of the classroom. Sixth formers are young adults and we encourage and assist them in becoming more independent but we also need to appreciate this transition is not an easy one. We therefore need to keep parents/carers fully informed much earlier on if we have concerns. We value parental assistance and where parents/carers work well to support the school to help improve their sons/daughters progress, it can make a big difference. Therefore I have made it clear to all sixth form teachers that they need to be following the following this year:
- Set more private study/independent/prep time work outside of the classroom for students to complete. Student must be using their blank/study/prep time periods in school to complete this along with some extra hours at home
- Ensure this work is checked and monitored on a regular basis and used in lessons with peers and/or marked to give extra feedback
- If a student is not completing this outside of lesson work and/or there are progress concerns, the teacher must inform the parent immediately
Point 3 above is where the academic referral system is to be used. Often a teacher will give one warning to a student if work is not completed and that warning will come with an email or a phone call to the parent/carer. After that an academic referral letter will be issued on email to the student and parent/carer. The letter will make it clear what the concern/issue is along with a focus on what the student needs to do to improve. We would encourage parents/carers to make contact with the teacher from whom the referral has been made. This conversation can make the issue much clearer in order for parents to assist us in supporting and challenging their son/daughter for improved progress.
The academic referral system is a simple and efficient method of communication between the teacher and the parent/carer. Please see the attached instructions that have been given to all sixth form teachers to ensure this method is clear and consistent across all courses.
Reasons for being issued an academic referral
- No homework submitted
- Poor quality homework/assignments
- Underachievement in assessed work
- Poor organisation that is affecting progress
- Lack of evidence of independent prep time work being completed
- Poor attendance – unexplained absence from 2 consecutive lessons
- Lack of classroom motivation to succeed
- Any other reasons as long as its linked to academic progress