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Underachieving Boys: The Play's The Thing

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Summary

In this last of a three-part, whole-school series, behaviour expert John Bayley explores how using drama in English lessons can help the underachieving Key Stage 4 boys at Bexleyheath School in Kent.

John observes graduate trainee teacher Abigail Mack as she teaches a group of Year 10 students on the D/E grade borderline. These boys are usually a handful, but getting them to read out parts of a Willy Russell drama Our Day Out, about a boisterous school trip, is a real hit.

John later reports back to the school's English department with some surprising findings: video footage of the lesson suggests the secondary boys are completely unaware of their underachievement and Bayley believes they should be told.

He concludes this classroom-management resource by suggesting that the boys' performance and self esteem could be boosted by satisfying their need for attention and making lessons more of a performance.

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