CamStar Project: Mind the Gender Gap by Kevin White

The CamSTAR project was not one that initially interested me as I knew that it would involve a lot of hours researching around a project area and presenting to a group of teachers as well as producing an essay about the research carried out. However, after speaking to Sophie and others who had previously been on this programme, I chose to continue with this as an option to complete my disaggregated hours.

By going through the process, I can honestly say that I have gained a great deal of professional knowledge about the students that I teach and their individual needs. This project enabled me to research my chosen area of the “Gender Gap” in subjects involving extended writing at KS5. I completed a lot of background reading, but not as much as I thought I would need to do. This gave me an insight into the area of interest and also gave me ideas on how to conduct my research. The support from Sophie and the CamSTAR team was excellent and I had access to their advice when required throughout the programme.

I found interesting facts about the “Gender Gap” and how boys and girls differ in their learning and expression of work that we see on a daily basis. One example is the fact that boys’ brains go into a “state of rest” during the day. This may be when they do not take in as much information as we would like them to. As well as this, there are differences in brain structure development between the genders.

The main reason for my investigation was to try and find out if there was a “Gender Gap” at Goffs in a number of subjects and if so, why; and how we could try to bridge this gap. It turns out that there are no significant gaps between genders within Goffs; in a number of subjects, that is present nationally. This brought me to the conclusion that we at Goffs must be doing things to prevent this gap from forming or expanding when it is present. A number of excellent practices are currently taking place at Goffs to prevent/minimise such a gap from forming. These include, having male-female pairs in a seating plan, treating male and female students the same, providing all students with the same level of support, carrying out personalised intervention where necessary, and many more.

I would recommend this project to anyone that is keen to develop their own professional practice in the classroom and as this programme can be very personalised.

For more information on CamStar, visit the link below or speak to Sophie Enstone

http://www.camstar.org.uk/