There are two types of seating plan. The first is the ‘organisational seating plan’. This is usually a plan which shows where students are sitting in the classroom, who they are next to, or which group they are in. They are usually accompanied by target grades and, if the student has a SEN status, an indication of that also. However, we are now implementing our own seating plan, the Class Profile, which, along with being the requisite document enabling us to locate our students, will be instrumental in ensuring that we are on top of the progress, achievement (over- or -under) and potential of every one of our students in each one of our classes. An über-document indeed.
We finished last term by working on the class profiles for our next classes. Although the final step here will be making sure that the rooms (sometimes new – the Hub rooms for instance) are laid out appropriately, we should all be in possession of the data and information we need to create our documents. Added to the minimum requirements sent out last term, we might also now consider the next steps below them:
- The last current level/grade attained in the subject
- The target level/grade for the end of the academic year (or the aspirational 4 levels of progress that each student should reach)
- Those students who came to the school at a Level 4c (the focus of our last Review)
- All the students clearly noted who are BME, Looked After, Pupil Premium, Gifted & Talented, SEND
- A brief commentary (bullet pointed) regarding rationale for grouping within the class
- Role of AC is clearly indicated
- Relationships between partners and groups are clearly indicated (eg critique, Kagan cooperative learning groups/pairs, ability)
- Extra data relevant to subject or current SOW requirements is indicated (eg English writing level for Literacy, verbal CAT score, spelling age)
- A seating plan exists for each class profile (eg class set up for independent work, class set up for groupwork)
These are clearly a step (or several) beyond the cut ‘n’ paste photo-plans of yesterterm. They will take time to create, and they will need updating over the course of the year when current levels and grades change after assessments and mocks. But they will, ultimately, make sure that not one of our students is ever forgotten, overlooked, ignored or invisible – and we can prove it too.
Of course behind the data will be the rationale for your groupings and pairings – and that narrative will be implicit in the learning taking place in your classrooms. You might use Kagan cooperative groupings, friendships (or not), ability levels, literacy levels, or the simple groupings formed from the experience you have of the class already, or of some of the individuals within it. And of course – you may switch groupings to suit your activities. What will remain though, is a class profile demonstrating your understanding of each student’s academic needs.
Here are some resources to support the creation of seating plans, and working groups in general.
http://www.classcharts.com/: Lots of people use this already (Steve Downes is an advocate) and it looks fairly straightforward
Googlesheets: Sarah Connor has an example here: https://docs.google.com/a/sbllearning.org.uk/spreadsheets/d/1d-a8qgmkFar_FLzBgGGFd6oY7lopLWL3YZU7xIiwJD8/edit#gid=196536964 and Chris Smy has an example here: https://sites.google.com/site/sblstaffmaths/home/resources (I hope these links work – email me if not!!)
Mark and Sarah will be delivering workshop sessions on googleapps for anyone who wants to create profiles using googlesheets.
Kagan structures and strategies here
Please add any of your own suggestions in the comment boxes below!