What does differentiation mean in the classroom?
On Tuesday I led a round table discussion at the annual Firefly conference in Birmingham. The topic I facilitated was using Firefly to engender differentiation in the classroom.
Many of the examples I used were based on the outstanding work of Dr David Barrett. He uses the platform to differentiate work and individualise programmes throughout the junior years. The girls have now become experts in using Firefly and enjoy the work that it brings.
One of the questions that we tackled during our discussion was what differentiation meant to us. I see it as a way to challenge girls across the ability range so that none of them are left without the stretch that they need. The days of teaching to the middle of the class are, thankfully, behind us. Children are now comfortable that they might be performing different work from other members of the group or working through a programme at an alternative pace. There are many routes to success and everyone is different.
As teachers at the independent school, Portsmouth High School we are all striving to improve and develop. Modern life is a continual learning journey and what we expect from the children we try to embody in ourselves.