How can we support boys in our classroom to help them succeed and excel?

Following our keynote session with Gary Wilson, designated lead for boys’ progress and achievement, Karis Mason, led a staff CPD session aimed at contextualising the information and applying it to ‘our boys’. Recent census and ward information was used to highlight the socio-economic backgrounds of our students and the barriers they face. We also looked at theories of human motivation and how we can create successful learning environments for our boys.

Departments conducted a SWOT analysis of their current provision for boys and discussed strategies that work, ensuring they had time to really think about their practice. Sharing good practice is a key element of making sure we are doing ‘what works’ for the boys at Beamont Collegiate Academy. Staff were given a quadrant of ideas and strategies they could use in their classrooms with boys and asked to consider what works in their department areas. Images of our priority boys were shared too, so staff could visualise who they should pay specific attention to in their planning and assessments.

Off the back of the sessions on boys’ achievement, staff have been sharing examples of work that our priority boys have produced and are tweeting about the work they are doing using #BCAboys and #ourBOYSareBRILLIANT. This has helped to create the culture we want around boys and continues to highlight the amazing work of the staff.

Please use the hashtags to use the brilliant things our boys use doing outside of the classroom.

Gary Wilson, a renowned specialist in raising the achievement of boys, delivered a 2 hour twilight session to address the issues and barriers that boys face in education. Staff were treated to an informative and inspiring speech, packed full of anecdotes and ideas to help improve their relationships and challenge their preconceived ideas about boys. The session really confronted our stereotyping and gave practical ways of inspiring and pushing our boys to do more and achieve more.

Gary was very impressed by the work already going on at Beamont Collegiate Academy and said that he visited hundreds and hundreds of schools and thought we were one of the best he had been to. He was extremely impressed with what we do and he told our parents the same thing at the parental session he held afterwards. He was impressed with the culture and attitude of our staff and very complimentary about how progressive Beamont Collegiate Academy is.

We purchased Gary’s books at the session and have added these to our already huge bank of CPD material, so staff can continue to learn from his expertise. Some of the key messages Gary pushed included:

• Promote reading with boys, and especially getting males to be good ‘role models’ for reading

• Encourage active elements to the lessons, promote their curiosity

• Provide boys with the bigger picture and give them the success criteria, turning the lesson into a challenge (not a competition)

• Promote caring masculinity and show boys it’s ok to share feelings

• Develop quality relationships with our boys- show them we care, value them and want to know what is going on in the heads

• Remove any negative labelling of boys

• Showcase the excellent work they do and get them involved in school life

• A member of staff told us: ‘I will definitely rethink my approach to dealing with boys and will be doing further reading to support implementation of strategies both in terms of curriculum and my approach.’