English Subject Skills Audit

What follows a subject skills audit for English teachers interested in auditing their knowledge. You can download a Word version of the audit Subject skills audit FG August 2017 and fill in the charts etc using that. You should fill in the charts as best you can.

Then have a go at the Survey Monkey version to get a score:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QR2VKWT

Theory and practice

Aims, values and purposes of education

What do you know?

Why do we go to school? Have you thought carefully about what education should be aiming to do? Is there to make people moral or knowledgeable? Or both? Why do we teach students in schools? Have you thought about this?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Mindfulness

What do you know?

Do you know what mindfulness is?

Have you ever meditated, or done yoga?

What do you know about living in the present moment?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Being organised

What do you know?

How organised are you? Do you leave things to the last minute?

Do you over-organise things?

Do you get very anxious about organising your life and planning ahead?

How easy do you find it to manage your time and meet deadlines?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Well-being

What do you know?

Do you look after yourself? Do you find it difficult to keep fit and healthy?

Do you suffer from stress at times? How resilient are you?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Lesson planning

What do you know?

Have you ever planned any lessons? What do you know about learning objectives, goals and intentions? Starters, learning activities and plenaries?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Theories of learning

What do you know?

How do you think people learn? By copying other people and learning by rote? Through discussion, collaboration and practice? Are you familiar with the main theorists about learning, e.g. John Dewey, B.F. Skinner, Lev Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner, Bloom?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Behaviourism

What do you know?

Do you think learning involves ‘being taught’, i.e. listening to information and ‘absorbing it’ through lectures? Are you familiar with John Locke, Pavlov and B.F. Skinner’s ideas about education? Do you know about positive and negative reinforcement? About learning through imitation? Have you heard of the phrases, ‘passive learning’ and ‘tabula rasa’?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Constructivism

What do you know?

Are you aware that many educationalists argue that learners need to actively construct knowledge in their minds rather than being told what to do? Are you familiar with Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner’s work?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Meta-cognition and self-regulation

What do you know?

Have you heard of these phrases? Are you aware that many experts believe learners need to reflect and monitor the processes that help them learn and to use these reflections to inform how they proceed with their learning? Are you aware that the most effective learners ‘self-regulate’; they plan for themselves what they need to do to achieve a goal and carry out those plans, motivating themselves?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

 

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Creativity

What do you know?

How would you define creativity? Do you think it’s important to nurture in education? What is creativity? Are you creative in your life? Do you create new things such as poems, stories, art, sculpture etc? Do you think creative thoughts?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

 

Identity

What do you know?

How important do you think your identity is as a teacher? What role does your gender, age, ethnicity, social class play in shaping you as a teacher? How much do you know about this topic?

 

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

 

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Collaborative learning

What do you know?

What do you know about teaching students to work in groups or pairs? What is your attitude towards group work and collaborative learning? Do you know how to nurture effective learning in groups? Do you understand the importance of encouraging students to discuss things amongst themselves?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Embodied learning

What do you know?

What do you know about using the body to help people learn?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Learning using objects: Artefactual learning

What do you know?

What do you know about using objects to help people learn?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Evidence-Based Teaching

What do you know?

What do you know about the movement in education to get teachers to use teaching methods that are ‘proven’ to work such as teaching by analogy, visual organisers and getting students to hypothesize?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Assessment: summative and formative

What do you know?

Do you know what summative and formative assessment is? Do you know anything about ‘assessment for learning’ (AfL)? Do you know any AfL strategies? Do you feel you know what makes effective AfL? Do you know about the importance of linking learning objectives to AfL?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Presentation skills: explanations, devising worksheets and PowerPoints

What do you know?

Do you know how to devise effective worksheets, PowerPoints and other learning resources?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Behaviour management

What do you know?

Do you feel confident about managing the behaviour of students within English classes? Do you understand the importance of developing positive management skills?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Teacher Research

What do you know?

Do you feel confident in writing academic assignments and referencing using, for example, Harvard style? Do you know about referencing tools such as Endnote or Zotero? Do you know how to read and take notes from academic articles and books? Do you understand what makes effective teacher research? Have you heard of ‘evidence-based teaching’?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Differentiation

What do you know?

Do you know how to meet the needs of diverse learners within the classroom? Do you know what ‘differentiation’ is? Do you know about differentiating by outcome, resource, role and task?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

 

Special Educational Needs (SEND)

What do you know?

Do you know anything about dyslexia, ADHD, autism, emotional-behavioural difficulties? Do you know anything about teaching students with SEND?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Multi-lingual learning

What do you know?

Do you know anything about teaching students with English as an Additional Language (EAL)? Are you aware of what is effective when teaching them and how their English skills might best be developed?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Safe-guarding

What do you know?

What do you know about E-safety? Child protection issues? Dealing with controversial issues within the curriculum?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

 

Spiritual, moral and Citizenship issues

What do you know?

What do you know about the British Values agenda? What do you know about nurturing spiritual and moral values amongst your students? What do you know about the teaching of citizenship and democracy?

 

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Subject Knowledge

What is English?

What do you know?

Do you feel confident that you know what English is as a subject? Do you know are the elements that constitute English teaching in schools?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Spoken English

What do you know?

What do you know about the role speaking and listening plays in learning English? What do you know about nurturing effective spoken English skills in your students? What do you know about the teaching of debating, delivering speeches etc?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Reading skills

What do you know?

What do you know about how students learn to read? What do you know about the teaching of phonics and decoding in primary schools? What do you know about DARTS, Directed Activities Related to Text? What do you know about assessing students’ reading? What do you know about strategies such as Reciprocal Reading?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Writing skills

What do you know?

What do you know about developing students’ writing skills? What do you know about the role free writing can play in developing students’ writing? What do you know about how to scaffold writing for students? What do you know about the different types of writing: the planners and the spontaneous writers?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

History of the English Language & Literature

What do you know?

What do you know about Old English, Middle English and early modern English? What do you know about Anglo-Saxon poetry, Chaucer and writers from Shakespeare’s time? Have you learnt about the history of the language in your degree? What do you know about language change?

 

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Shakespeare

What do you know?

What Shakespeare plays have you read and you feel you know well? Do you feel you know how to teach Shakespeare well?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

National Curriculum for English

What do you know?

Do you know anything about the previous and current requirements for the teaching of English in the National Curriculum? Do you know how the NC links to external exams?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Cultural Literacy

What do you know?

Are you familiar with key cultural texts & events such as the Bible, Greek and Roman myths, Aesop’s fables, important historical dates, scientific discoveries, achievements in music, painting, art etc.?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Pre-1900 Fiction

What do you know?

Are you familiar with the work of Charles Dickens, the Brontes and Robert Louis Stevenson? Do you feel confident teaching stories from this period?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Pre-1900 Poetry

What do you know?

Are you familiar with the Romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake and Keats?

Are you familiar with the Metaphysical poets such as John Donne and Andrew Marvell?

 

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

 

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

YA literature

What do you know?

Have you read any recent Young Adult literature such as writing by Benjamin Zephaniah and Malorie Blackman? Are you aware of the prize-winning books in this genre?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Poetic Techniques

What do you know?

Do you know your alliteration from your onomatopoeia? Do you know how to get students to explore the effects of various poetic techniques? Do you know about the rhythm and rhyme of poetry?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Texts from different cultures and traditions

What do you know?

Do you know about Spoken Word Performance poetry? Are you aware of poetry from other cultures such as Caribbean, African and Indian poetry?

Are you aware of writers like Chinua Achebe, Anita Desai and Teju Cole?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

 

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Non-fiction

What do you know?

Do you feel you know how to teach the writing of newspaper articles? Adverts? Blogs? Are you aware of how to use pre-1900 non-fiction in the classroom?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Multi-modal learning

What do you know?

Do you know how to use audio, video and images in the classroom? Do you know how to help students learn by using different modes for conveying meaning?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

 

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Drama (basic techniques)

What do you know?

Do you know about hot-seating? Nurturing improvisation? Getting students to go into role? Drama games useful for English teachers?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Teaching spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG)

What do you know?

Do you know the basic spelling rules? Do you know how to teach the semi-colon and colon? Do you know how best to get students improving their vocabulary?

Do you know the rules of Standard English grammar? Do you know the history as to how SE developed? Do you know your split infinitive from your subordinate clause?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Knowledge about language

What do you know?

Do you know about the importance of studying language in context? Do you know about issues concerning accent, dialect, geographical region and social class? Do you know anything about socio-linguistics?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

Digital media skills: using ICT, video, images etc

What do you know?

Do you feel confident using audio and video recording for your own teaching? Do you know how to confidently use ICT yourself?

Developing your knowledge: learning puzzles

Term Outstanding

/good

OK Requires

improvement

Comments/targets
1
2
3

 

 

 

 

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About @wonderfrancis

Francis Gilbert is a Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, teaching on the PGCE Secondary English programme. He also teaches the Creative Writing module on the MA in Children’s Literature, which is run by Maggie Pitfield and Professor Michael Rosen. Previously, he worked for a quarter of a century in various English state schools teaching English and Media Studies to 11-18 year olds. He has, at times, moonlighted as a journalist, novelist and social commentator. He is the author of ‘Teacher On The Run’, ‘Yob Nation’, ‘Parent Power’, ‘Working The System -- How To Get The Very Best State Education for Your Child’, and a novel about school, ‘The Last Day Of Term’. His first book, ‘I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here’ was a big hit, becoming a bestseller and being serialised on Radio 4. In his role as an English teacher, he has taught many classic texts over the years and has developed a great many resources to assist readers with understanding, appreciating and responding to them both analytically and creatively. This led him to set up his own small publishing company FGI Publishing (fgipublishing.com) which has published his study guides as well as a number of books by other authors, including Roger Titcombe’s ‘Learning Matters’ and anthology of creative writing 'The Gold Room'. He is the co-founder, with Melissa Benn and Fiona Millar, of The Local Schools Network, www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk, a blog that celebrates non-selective state schools, and has his own website, www.francisgilbert.co.uk. He has appeared numerous times on radio and TV, including Newsnight, the Today Programme, Woman’s Hour and the Russell Brand Show. In June 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing and Education by Goldsmiths.
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