Africanand Caribbean Heritage

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Information about Africanand Caribbean Heritage
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Published on January 12, 2008

Author: Manfred

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Slide1:  The Achievement of African and Caribbean Pupils: Success Factors Feyisa Demie - Head of Research & Statistics Social Selection, Sorting and Education Conference 12th of October 2007, Greater London Authority Underachievement Debate and National Concerns: previous research evidence:  Underachievement Debate and National Concerns: previous research evidence Black Caribbean and African pupils lag far behind the average achievement of their peers. Gap in achievement is growing and many black children are not sharing higher educational standards. However, in Lambeth African and Caribbean children achieving better than White British at national level. Key question- why are they doing better in Lambeth??? Aims of the Research:  Aims of the Research To study the achievement of African and Caribbean heritage pupils at the end of KS4. To examine the school experiences of African and Caribbean heritage pupils in relation to classroom experience and support from home. To discover factors which contribute to the success of African and Caribbean heritage pupils in Lambeth schools. Research Methodology:  Research Methodology Firstly GCSE Statistical trends and patterns of performance are analysed Secondly, using ethnographic approach, a detailed case study research was carried out in 5 schools. A structured questionnaire was used to interview headteachers, teachers, parents and pupils to gather evidence on barriers to learning, the school’s links with parents, parents’ and pupils’ views about the school. Thirdly, teacher, parent, pupil and community focus groups were carried out to ascertain their views and to identify whether their experiences mirrored the views of those participants in the case study interviews The case study school covered between them a range of ethnic groups, eligibility for free school meal, languages spoken at home and similar school family groupings based on social factors. Interviewed staff, parents, pupils, visited schools, informed dialogue Questionnaire were used to get views of pupils The Study: LA Context:  The Study: LA Context Lambeth is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse boroughs in Britain (e.g. 81% ethnic minorities & 145 languages spoken at home). Black African pupils formed the largest ethnic group with 24%, followed by 20% Black Caribbean and 19% White British. 40% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. Attainment of African and Caribbean heritage pupils at KS2 and GCSE has been consistently high for many years and above national and LA averages. GCSE Performance Trends of African Heritage Pupils in the Case Study Schools:  GCSE Performance Trends of African Heritage Pupils in the Case Study Schools GCSE Performance of African Heritage Pupils in Lambeth and England:  GCSE Performance of African Heritage Pupils in Lambeth and England Why? What are the factors that contribute to this success?:  Why? What are the factors that contribute to this success? This research is not just about good schools. All the case study schools share many of the characteristics of successful schools nationally. The research is about what the case study schools are doing differently or additionally to raise achievement. The most outstanding are strong parental support; use of African heritage tailored curriculum including music, arts, drama in raising self-esteem and engaging imaginations of pupils and strong link with African and Caribbean Community SUCCESS FACTORS: Parental Support :  SUCCESS FACTORS: Parental Support African parents value education very highly: “African’s invest in education because we need it. Back home we do not have the opportunity that these children have. Education makes a way for you”. (Parent) Parents build and support a culture of achievement at home to support their children’s education. Parents feel valued and respected by the school and describe it as ‘family’. SUCCESS FACTORS: Strong Partnership with Community and Parents and Shared Values :  SUCCESS FACTORS: Strong Partnership with Community and Parents and Shared Values All schools have strong links with African and Caribbean communities. Partnerships with African parents is a key component of the schools success. The schools reflects the local community it serves and responds to their needs - Very strong in equal opportunities and value cultural diversity - Large number of staff and learning mentors are recruited from local communities SUCCESS FACTORS: Good Awareness of the African Culture and Caribbean Heritage:  SUCCESS FACTORS: Good Awareness of the African Culture and Caribbean Heritage Case study schools are truly multi-cultural schools where the diversity of ethnic origin, languages spoken and cultural heritage, brings real life to learning. Some of the case study schools are involved in the LA’s link with schools in Africa and Caribbean. Display in the school reflects the school community including African and Caribbean contribution to history, great people in Black History, African Cultural Artefacts; cultural and language background of people of Africa and historical and political maps of Africa and Black history month activities SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Diverse Multi-ethnic Workforce:  SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Diverse Multi-ethnic Workforce Schools have a diverse workforce. Staff of African and Caribbean heritage are represented across the school and within the leadership team. “Our staff are ethnically diverse and we have a good number of African teachers from Ghana and language support assistants who speak Twi, Ga and French between them, a Greek Cypriot, Irish, two Maltese, a Welsh teacher and two South Americans who speak Portuguese and Spanish. We have worked hard to get a good mix of people who reflect the intake of our school community. (Teacher with 19 years years teaching in the same school) SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Relevant Inclusive Curriculum (1):  SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Relevant Inclusive Curriculum (1) The schools are good in using an inclusive curriculum that meets the needs of African heritage students. African experience is used to enrich the curriculum in art, dance, music, geography, history and technology The curriculum used add to their growing pride in being African SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Relevant Inclusive Curriculum (2):  SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Relevant Inclusive Curriculum (2) Schools are engaged in curriculum development and innovation using the richness of of their local communities to bring greater relevance for African students. Schools have no problem in questioning the national curriculum. Headteachers encourage teachers to use their creative intuition to deepen the quality of learning. SUCCESS FACTORS: Leadership and Vision:  SUCCESS FACTORS: Leadership and Vision The single factor that links all the case study schools’ success in raising achievement of pupils is the excellence of leadership. Universally, they focus on high standards and high achievement and equality of opportunity. They build strong, cohesive teams and lead by example. Some are of Black African or Caribbean heritage. All have a commitment to creating an ethos and relationship with pupils, parents and staff that have developed a real sense of community. They have given many years service to the schools within the LA. SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Data for Self-Evaluation:  SUCCESS FACTORS: Effective Use of Data for Self-Evaluation Use of performance data for school improvement is a strength of the schools. Data is used as a driving force for raising standards. Schools have well developed pupil tracking systems and have detailed CATs, KS2, KS3 and GCSE assessment data with background data such as ethnicity, language spoken, EAL level of fluency in English, date of admission, attendance rate, eligibility for free school meals, SEN stage, mobility rate, years in school, which teacher’s class was attended, attendance rate, types of support and postcode data. “Data is critical for raising standards. Without data it is difficulty to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the school and track individual students’ performance to improve teaching and learning. Teachers need good data and it is a request for all schools. Not just having it but using effectively.” (Deputy Headteacher) Conclusions:  Conclusions Achievement 73% percent of African heritage pupils in the case study schools achieved 5+A*-C compared to 59 nationally and 57% in Lambeth. Black African pupils in all Lambeth schools are performing above national averages. Black African pupils in the authority achieved better than White British pupils at national level. 71% percent of Black Caribbean pupils in the case study schools achieved 5+A*-C GCSE’s compared to 44% overall nationally and 52% in Lambeth schools. 2. Reasons for Bucking National Trends African parents value education very highly. Parents, pupils and staff value diversity. The leadership in schools is outstanding. Schools use performance data effectively. Inclusive curriculum that add to their growing pride in being African and caribbean Schools have strong links with the African community. POLICY IMPLICATIONS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:  POLICY IMPLICATIONS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION We now know a good Headteacher and an innovative LA and school initiatives such as the case study schools can boost the achievement of Black African and Caribbean pupils. The raising achievement of ethnic minorities is local issue. What can be done to challenge the national centralised education policy that ignore the needs of Caribbean and African pupils and indeed other underachieving groups? Lambeth study questions the appropriateness of national curriculum to African and Caribbean heritage pupils and called for reforms to enable all schools to adapt lessons to the needs of ethnic minority pupils. What can be done to improve training for teachers to improve their knowledge of the roots of African and Caribbean culture and black Caribbean pupils as learners- how and why some underachieve and what teachers can do about it? End of Presentation – Thank You:  End of Presentation – Thank You Contact details: Feyisa Demie, Head of Research and Statistics, Lambeth LA fdemie@lambeth.gov.uk Tel. (0207) 926 9448

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