Archive | July, 2012

Super Teacher Tools

18 Jul

This website was found by Eloisa a few weeks ago. It is an excellent source of teacher-friendly tools, including a random name generator, seating plan chart and tools to create your own games and activities. Take a peek…


Routines and Relationships

18 Jul

We all know how important it is to get off to an effective start at the beginning of the academic year. The routines that we establish with our classes and the relationships that we develop with students in the formative lessons are crucial to setting the tone, standard and our expectations. So how do we do this? Ideas please!

The TeachMeet Launch!

13 Jul

We held our first TeachMeet at lunchtime today to an audience of thirteen members of staff. Three nano presentations were given on:

– Differentiation and questioning – Zoe

Zoe TM

– Voice and reducing teacher talk in lessons – Eloisa

Eloisa TM

The use of TED Ed to create flipped homework assignments – Rona then click on ‘TED Ed’ at the top of the page to  learn how to flip videos.

Our next Teachmeet event will be held on Friday 28th September in R1 from 1.05pm until 1.40pm. Four presenters have already stepped forward:

– Debating in the Classroom – Kate (Nano)

– Seating Plans – Kevin (Micro)

– Group Work – Emma (Nano)

– Socratic – Sam and Gemma (Nano) *

Please note that the fourth presentation* requires the use of Smart Phones so please bring yours with you. We look forward to welcoming new TM members to join us for fruit, cake and enlightenment!

Mathematics across the curriculum

13 Jul

We know from the new Ofsted Framework that there is a focus on the communication and numeracy skills of teachers. It is important that over the next twelve months we look critically at our own understanding of mathematical concepts – when we use maths in our own subject areas, we must be confident that we are adopting suitable strategies and processes that mirror their learning in maths lessons.

The Maths Department have produced an overview sheet to get us all started. Do take a look and see if it makes sense to you. Over the year there will be opportunities for you to develop these skills so that you can deliver the concepts with ease! General Strategies for Maths

PE Department Review

1 Jul

In June the PE Department experienced a ‘Review Week’ focusing on the teaching and learning that was taking place in their lessons. All department members planned one lesson and were observed for up to thirty minutes. The observations started with a blank piece of paper and the observers were looking…asking themselves, “What can we see…therefore…what is it telling us about the learning experience and the progress that the students are making?”.

Feedback following observations is invaluable and this is structured under two distinct headings: strengths; areas for further consideration. The Head of Department is keen to identify both teacher-specific and departmental strengths and development areas so that they can contribute to his strategic planning for September 2012.

Clear strengths are already emerging:

  • Engagement of students
  • Relationships between students and teachers
  • Learning environment – relaxed, warm, conducive to promote effective learning
  • Routines
  • Health and safety considerations
  • Use of a range of practical equipment to aid differentiation
  • Organisation of students, particularly over large spaces and with technical equipment
  • Student appropriate and effective use of specific terminology
  • Use of ICT to enhance learning through performance-related observations of experts and self-analysis
  • Teacher subject knowledge
  • Effective use of praise
  • Quality of demonstrations

The areas that the department are now considering for further attention are:

  • How can we get students active promptly at the start of lessons?
  • For what length of time are students active in lessons?
  • How can we move from the ‘teacher as the expert’ to find new ways to ensure the students become the experts without us telling them the theory?
  • How can we use NC levels to support us in delivering a skill:
    • to meet the needs of every individual student?
    • to show students how the complexity of a skill develops?
  • How can we plan our lessons to ensure that the activities meet the individual needs of every learner?
  • How can we plan our lessons on one side of A4 in ten minutes…and not reduce the standard and quality of lessons we deliver?
  • How can questioning be developed so that the teacher asks a greater number of      specific questions and the students are required to think more deeply and answer questions…less teacher talk, more student talk?
  • There were some excellent examples of peer coaching and use of students in      demonstrations – how can this be developed across the department?
  • How can we close lessons to ensure that we and the student are aware of the progress they have made in the lesson?